PASTOR COLUMN - Jesus' wonderful heart a safe haven for us

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The entire family built the birdhouse together and all went well.

Brother and sister quibbled over who would paint the propped-open door. Mom and Dad shared different opinions as to where the house should be placed on the porch. But all in all, it was a healthy and happy experience.

Protected, fed, and provided for, the birds would make the specially made house their home. In the days, weeks, and years to come, their protectors would enjoy the activities and antics of birds both young and old.

God's Word tells us, "Yea, the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even your altars, O Lord, my King and my God,"(Psalm 84:3).

Though it is not made of twigs, straw or grass, the home provided for us in the perfect love of God shelters our soul and provides us with peace of mind and heart.

His protective care allows us to let go of the worry and fear that the storms of life may bring. His merciful compassion forgives our sins and washes us clean.

It is in this home that we expect great and wonderful things to come. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 We are promised "eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the wonderful things that God has prepared for them that love Him."

In 1 John 3: 1-2 the Bible says, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God. Beloved, now are we the children of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."

In John 15:13-14, Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for His friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you."

God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins on the cross. Jesus lay His life down for us on the cross and was raised from the dead three days later. He enters the heart and life of all who turn to Him in faith and turn away from their sins. He promises us the inner presence of the Holy Spirit and an eternal home with Him forever.

He has made us a home, a kind of nest, where we are safe and loved, even at the altar of His wonderful heart!

The Rev. Greg Brownell is pastor of Dayton United Brethren Church in Dayton. Pastors in the U-B circulation area who want to write a column should contact Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312, or by e-mail at catherinehicks@wwub.com.

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