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people of praise

Jesus holds door key to your heavenly home


Having the right home is very important to most of us. We spend a lot of time picking out just the right place.

We spend a great deal of time and money keeping up our home. We want to have a nice home when it comes time for retirement. But how about eternity? How much time do we spend contemplating where we will be when this life on Earth is through?

With our economy in the state it is in, perhaps we ask, “Wouldn’t the cost be prohibitive to have an assurance of being in heaven when I die?” The Apostle Paul said it best when he wrote in Ephesians 2, “For by grace are you saved by faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God not a result of works lest anyone should boast.”

Having spent a significant amount of time in ministry in Texas, an article caught my eye in a recent publication. The article spoke of an auction taking place in Pottsboro, Texas, where a person’s home was being put up for auction. This is always a sad thing. So many memories being sold off to the highest bidder is sure to bring tears to the owner of the house.

And so, Tracy Orr watched helplessly, with tear-filled eyes, as her home was being sold to the highest bidder. With heart racing and sweaty palms, she watched the bidding anxiously, trying to tune out the person behind her who was continually asking her about her house and inquiring of her whether the house was worth it.

Tracy’s home was finally sold for $30,000. It was sold to that annoying person who had been standing by her. Tracy’s home was sold to a lady who after the auction said, “I did this for you.”

The stranger, without even knowing Tracy’s name, or her financial condition and how she got to the point of having to auction her house, bought her house and then gave it back to her. Unbelievable, you say. I agree wholeheartedly. Who would do something like that?

Well, the article went on to say that the lady is not actually giving it back, but pretty close. When asked why the generosity, the Good Samaritan replied, “If it was you, wouldn’t you want someone to help you?”

If we stop to think about it, Tracy’s story is mine and it is yours. You see we once had a home in paradise. These were homes that we, because of the sin in our lives, managed to lose. Seeing our lost condition, the best of Samaritans – the son of God – stepped in to pay the price for us and save us from our lost condition.

Unbelievable, you say? Who would do something like that? It was Jesus, who left his throne on high and came to dwell among us. He did what no one else could do. Jesus bought back our home in heaven. But there are two differences between our Lord and the kind person in Tracy’s story:

Jesus didn’t make his purchase with a check, credit card or cash. No, the cost was far higher than that. The savior redeemed us and saved our home in heaven by shedding his precious blood on the cross at Calvary.

The second difference is also considerable; the benefactor in Tracy’s story is not giving her back her home, she is selling it back to Tracy in terms she can afford. However, Jesus, knowing we would never be able to pay the price to acquire a home in heaven, gave his life to pay the price for you and me. John says it well in his Gospel, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but instead have everlasting life.”

Jesus now calls out to you and to me, come unto me all of you who are weary and heavy laden; those of you that are troubled by the sin in your lives, I have the key to your home in heaven which I have made ready for you. You don’t even have to pay for it. I paid the price for you.

The Rev. Phil Schamehorn is pastor emeritus at Our Hope Lutheran Church in Huntertown. If you are interested in submitting a column (750 words or less), send it to Terri Richardson, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email Include your name, religious organization and a phone number where you can be reached. For more information, call 461-8304.