Come Back Home – July 8, 2024

He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. . . . You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.
Ezekiel 2:1-7

Come Back Home

Family Devotion – July 8, 2024

Devotion based on Ezekiel 2:1-7

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Cody was 17. He didn’t want to live with his parents anymore. He was tired of their rules. He didn’t like to depend on them and their care. So he left home.

Cody’s mom still loved him. She called him. She wanted him to come back home where she could take care of him and keep him safe. But Cody wouldn’t answer the phone.

Mom had an idea. “I’ll bake his favorite zucchini bread,” she said. “It is healthy for him and tastes sweet. It will remind him that I want him to come back home. I will have his sister, Evelyn, take it to him.”

Evelyn worried. “What if he won’t accept the zucchini bread?”

Mom answered, “Just take it to him. I know he is stubborn. If you take the bread to him, you have done what I want.”

Today’s Bible reading tells a similar story. God’s children, the Israelites, were stubborn. They didn’t want to live under God’s rules, and they didn’t want to trust that God would take care of them. So God sent the prophet Ezekiel to them with the message, “Come back home. Come back to me and believe in me. Be my children.”

Would the Israelites listen?

Like Cody’s mom, God told Ezekiel, “Just take the message to them. I know my people are stubborn. If you tell them my message, you have done what I want.”

What about us? Are we sometimes stubborn?

Do we wish we didn’t have to follow the guidelines in God’s Word? Maybe we would rather talk badly about people who bug us instead of thinking kindly of them. Maybe we wish we could do whatever we want instead of listening to parents and teachers.

Even worse, is there a part of us that thinks we’re good enough to get into heaven and really don’t need Jesus? Maybe it would be cooler if we were the ones who “found” Jesus instead of him finding us when we were lost in sin.

What does our heavenly Father do with us—his stubborn children? He sends messengers—like Evelyn taking Mom’s zucchini bread to Cody. God uses parents, teachers, pastors, and friends to remind us how stubbornness separates us from God, and he doesn’t like it. Rather, he wants to welcome us back in forgiveness.

Thank God that he always calls us home to him!

Closing Prayer:

Loving Father, thank you for seeing me in my stubborn sin and sending someone to call me back home to you. Use me to call others to your forgiving arms, too. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What is it called when we do things God doesn’t want us to do?
  • How did Jesus fix those sins?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being really stubborn and 5 being very obedient)—how stubborn are you?
  • When you’re stubborn, whom has God sent into your life to tell you? If that person also tells you that Jesus forgives you, give him/her a hug!

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • The Word of God is like Cody’s mom’s zucchini bread. It is healthy for us and tastes sweet. What from the Word of God is healthy for us? What from the Word of God is “sweet”?
  • Sometimes, it’s hard to tell people about their sins because they might get mad. Why is it important to remember in that moment that only the Holy Spirit can change hearts? How does that encourage you?

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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