The purpose of rules is not to restrict, but to protect.

Scripture References & Transcript

Genesis 6:5

Genesis 8:20-21

Genesis 15:17-18

Judges 21:25

Luke 15:1-3

Luke 15:11-12

Deuteronomy 21:18-21

Luke 15:13-16

Luke 15:17-24




We’ve got three young kids. And because we have three young kids, we talk a lot about rules in our family. And here’s the challenge when you talk to your kids about rules, is they like to point out to you the times that you have rules that you don’t follow the rules. And then when that happens, you start to become aware of the fact that there are a lot of rules that exist that we all just tend to ignore. For example, there’s lots of different warning labels that we just all ignore. Here’s one in particular that you probably would recognize, Q-tips. On the side of the box of Q-tips, it says, warning, do not insert swab into ear canal. Now what’s the point of a Q-tip, if not to stick it into your ear, that it, it was designed in such a way that it fits perfectly in there, and yet they tell you not to do that.

There’s also this warning on the top of a ladder that very top step says, do not stand on or above this step. Now let me point out that it recognizes that it is in fact a step. And the point of a step is to step on it. If you’ve ever been on a ladder and you’re doing a project and you’re trying to get higher and higher and higher, what happens is whether you’re painting, you’re hanging, Christmas tree lights is there’s always just a little bit higher that you need to get. And so you just go up one step at a time, one step at a time, and then you get to that top one and you’re not supposed to be on there. And it says not to be on there, but you say, if I just had a little bit further reach, and so you stand on there, they showed me a picture after our, our nine o’clock service of me.

Do we have the picture of me standing on the top of a ladder here at work? So that’s an OSHA violation. Shouldn’t do that. This is the reason that men’s lives are shorter than women’s lives, right there. There’s also this, this terminology is what I’ll say. So I, I don’t actually have a, an issue or a challenge with the fundamental concept. I hate the the grammar. And here’s why. It says, when you’re checking out a grocery store, enter the number of bags you wish to purchase. Now, I, I would have no problem if it said, enter the number of bags you must purchase or enter the number of bags you’re choosing to purchase or enter the number of bags you have to purchase. But that’s not what it says. It says, enter the number of bags you wish to purchase. And I’ve never wished to purchase almost anything before in my life.

And so when I’m there at the checkout, I’m like, I mean, I have to purchase five bags ’cause they won’t fit in my shirt when I’m carrying my groceries out. But I don’t wish to purchase five bags. And so it feels like a lie every time. When I was growing up, we had, Friday night was movie night. We’d watch a movie and in the middle of the movie night, we’d pause and we’d make cookies. But the most exciting thing wasn’t the cookies. The most exciting thing was the cookie dough. And how many of you eat cookie dough? It’s the best part of cook of cookies. It’s not the cookies, it’s the dough. But growing up, they had this warning, do not consume raw cookie dough. And now they make cookie dough where they don’t have that warning. They, they somehow make it to where it doesn’t have the bad stuff in it.

And I think that’s a shame because growing up half the fun was eating the cookie dough and saying, is this gonna be an enjoyable treat or is this gonna give me salmonella? I’m not sure which one. And, and kids will never know these days, they don’t get that excitement when they get to eat cookie dough. Then there’s this warning, probably the single most ignored warning of all time. This is the warning that’s at the gas station. So when you go to the gas station, it says, warning, turn off cellular phone, not just don’t use it. Not just leaving the car, it says to turn it off. Now, I, I would guess that of the entire room that is here today, in the last month when each of us have refilled our guests into our car, that not a single person when you pulled up said, I’m gonna go ahead and power down the device, put that in the glove box just to be safe.

We all ignore that one and we ignore the cell roam from 1990 <laugh>. But fortunately, none of us have blown up yet. So apparently it’s not that big of a warning. But, but so there’s all these warnings that exist, many of which we just ignore. But, but here’s the important thing when we think about rules is that the purpose of rules is not to prevent or to restrict or to deny that, that’s what we tend to think of. We think all of these rules are just trying to ruin my life. They’re trying to prevent me from having fun or restrict me from doing things that I would like to do or deny the joy that I want to experience in my life. In fact, the purpose of rules is to protect. Now, when people think about the Bible, here’s oftentimes the perception that people have about the Bible is they say, well, it’s a giant rule book, especially if you’re not a Christian and maybe you’re kind of new to the Christian faith.

The idea that most outsiders have about the Bible is they say, well, it’s just this giant book of rules and things that we’re supposed to do and other things that we’re not supposed to do. But, but that’s not what the Bible is. Now, there are some rules that exist inside of the Bible, and those rules are ultimately trying to protect us, protect our hearts, point us towards God. But the purpose of the Bible is not to be a rule book. The purpose of the Bible is to help us to understand God’s story towards us, his creation as God is attempting to redeem us back to him. It’s a complicated book. There’s 66 books inside the Bible. It’s really a library of books. It was written over a few thousand years, lots of different authors. But there is one continuous story from the beginning to the very end that we are trying to, in this series understand the singular message of God’s word.

If you were here last week, and we talked about Genesis chapter three, the fall, that everything’s going great for two chapters, and then boom, fall sin enters in God’s creation is broken. So that’s in Genesis chapter three, just a few chapters later in Genesis chapter six, verse five, it says, the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. So God looks down on his creation, sin is entered into the world. And because of sin, because of man’s choice to rebel against God, to elevate himself to that same authority level as God, what’s happened as a result is complete and utter chaos. The the man’s thought is continually on evil. And so in Genesis six, we have the introduction of a very famous story in the Bible, Noah’s arc, which is kind of this interesting story.

It’s become a kid story. So if you go like down to a, a nursery, oftentimes in a nursery, we’ve got animals on the wall and we’ve got Noah and we’ve got an arc and like, Hey kids, welcome to church for the very first time. We’re so glad that you’re here. Here’s the story of when God destroyed all of mankind. We’d like, we’re, we’re so glad to just show that to you while you’re, while you’re small, so that, you know, follow the rules. That’s I think we, we think, well the point of the Noah’s Ark is ’cause there’s animals and that’s why it’s a kid story and there’s an ark and woo-hoo, there’s a rainbow. But the point, the whole point of the story of Noah’s Ark comes at the very, very end. So after he’s built the ark, after there’s been the flood, after they get off the boat, this is what happens in Genesis chapter eight, verse 2021.

Then after everything, Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings in the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, I will never again curse the ground because of man four, this is the reason why he’s not gonna destroy man four, the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. And now un understand what the verse is saying. It’s not saying that God says, I’m not gonna destroy the earth anymore because I’ve chosen Noah and Noah is righteous. And so everything’s gonna be great going forward. Now, no, God says, I’m not gonna destroy the earth because man is wicked and terrible. What Tim Mackey, who if you’ve been going through the Bible project with us, he’s the, the mastermind behind it.

He, he’s really the, the biblical scholar behind the Bible project. Here’s how he describes that verse. He says, what God is saying is God is saying, because I know humans are so screwed up, I’m going to, I’m never going to destroy them. I’m going to set into motion a plan to save them and redeem them. God is saying, because of the fact that humans are messed up and continually evil and continually sinning, I’m not gonna destroy them, but instead I’m gonna have a different plan. And so what happens next in Genesis is you’ve got Abraham at the time when he’s introduced to, he’s just Abraham and God makes a covenant with Abraham. And what happens in the Old Testament is a covenant is they, they cut animals in half and they put one half the animal on this side and the other half the animal on that side.

And you’re like, what? That sounds crazy. But that’s, that’s what in the Old Testament culturally, that time in ancient history, that’s what a covenant meant. Here’s what it says when God is making a covenant with Abraham, Genesis chapter 15 verses 1718, it says, when the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces, it’s talking about the pieces of the animals. On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram. You’re like, what on earth does that mean? It it’s, it’s powerful because what it’s saying is this is you have these two animals that have been cut in half placed on either side. And typically what would happen in the covenant is the two people making a covenant would lock arms and they would walk between the two animals. And what they’re signifying is they’re saying, I’m making a promise to you.

And if I break that promise, may I be like one of these cut in half animals. It’s saying that if I break my end of the bargain, if I break my promise, I deserve to be cut in half. That’s what the covenant meant. But notice that God and Abram do not walk through the pieces of the animal together. The Abram is actually asleep. And it says that the presence, the spirit of God is who walks through the two cut and half animals representing not just God’s side of the covenant, but also man’s side of the covenant. Here’s what God is saying, it’s really important. God is saying, I know that Abram is incapable of keeping his end of the bargain. And so I will represent both of us walking through and when he fails and he deserves death, I will be the one responsible. Profound, profound thing.

And so what what we see in the Old Testament is we see a couple things. Number one, we see man continually over and over and over again falling short. Look what it says in judges, the very last verse in all of judges, it says, in those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Everyone did what was right in its own eyes. Could that apply to 2024? Yes, sure. Could that apply to any other moment in human history? Sure. That’s what we do over and over and over again. So on the one side, the Old Testament is helping us to understand this pattern that man is evil because we’re born in descent, we’re evil, and we fail over and over and over again. We’re constantly elevating ourselves up as our own authority, our moral authority, our supreme authority.

I’m gonna ultimately do what’s right in my own eyes, but then also in the Old Testament is God pointing ahead, saying, because man is incapable of saving themselves. I’m going to set into motion a plan that will bring a savior and that savior will be the one to fix the problem, to redeem all of creation. If you’ve got a Bible turn with me to Luke. We’re gonna be in chapter 15. We’re gonna look at probably the single most famous parable of Jesus. Luke chapter 15. Let’s get a little bit of context in the first three verses. This is what it says in Luke chapter 15 verse one. It says, now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawn near to him talking about Jesus. Now, now pause for a second and get how profound that is. That it’s not that just that Jesus was going out to spend time with tax collectors and sinners and, and in the first century, tax collector was considered like the most evil profession.

People had disdain for that person. They thought they were just terrible and horrible and evil. So it’s not just that Jesus is going out to hang out with tax collectors and sinners, it’s saying that he is drawing them in. There’s something about the personality, the compassion, the person of Jesus that causes sinners, tax collectors, the worst sinners to want to hang around Jesus. And so two really quick points because of that, that one, if you’re walking in to church today and there’s a part of you that says, I’m, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be there or if I allowed, I’m not sure if I feel worthy to be at church, can I just tell you, we, you’re worthy to be here. We want you to be here. Because that’s exactly who Jesus was. He attracted everybody. It was a safe place to come to him.

And then number two, we want to be a church that is filled with tax collectors and sinners. As a matter of fact, if we’re a church that is not attracting those type of people, then we’re doing something wrong. So it says the tax collectors and the sinners we’re drawing near to him. Jesus. Verse two, and the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled saying this, man, Jesus receives sinners and eats with them. Then verse three says, so Jesus told them a parable. Now I understand the Pharisees were the religious leaders at the time. So they understood the, the Old Testament as we know it the Torah better than anybody. They had something called the Talmud, which took the Torah, the laws of the Torah, and they kind of quantified in a more specific way. So the Talmud was a whole bunch of lists of do this and don’t do that.

And the Pharisees followed that list religiously. I mean they followed it to the T. And so their expectation, their, their worldview is that because of their lifestyle, because of how they lived, they saw themselves as righteous because of that, they believed that they deserved God’s favor because they had earned it with their own good works, their own righteousness. So when they see sinners, they in their mind believe that they’re way up here and those sinners are way down there. And then Jesus comes into the equation and they don’t know what to do with Jesus. ’cause Jesus is not a sinner. He’s a righteous guy. And he teaches with authority. And he knows the Old Testament. He knows the law. He, and yet Jesus who’s performing all these miracles and drawing a crowd is hanging out with people that the Pharisees would say, you’re not supposed to hang out with them.

And so Jesus knows that they’re grumbling and knows that they’re complaining. And then he tells three parables. We’re gonna look at the third parable that Jesus tells. Skip down to verse 11 and verse 11 says, and he said, there was a man who had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father, father, give me the share of property that is coming to me. And he, the father divided his property between them. Now, I i understand we, we lose a lot of the context because we’re in 2024. And it was a story that was written in the first century. But understand this, that the first century audience, to them, the request is startling. And the response is stunning. That, that when Jesus says that the younger son comes to his father and asks for his inheritance, when he says that there would’ve been a gasp, there would’ve been an audible response, especially from the Pharisees.

And the Old Testament tells us that the oldest son would’ve received a double portion of the blessing that meant that he would’ve gotten two thirds of the inheritance and the younger son would’ve gotten one third of the inheritance. But just like today, inheritance doesn’t happen until the father, the parents are deceased. And so this son is going to the Father while the father is still alive and saying, I want you to give me my inheritance. Now that, and the first century would’ve been just the highest level of dishonor, the highest level of rebellion. And so for the Pharisees, here’s what they understood culturally, contextually that we miss out on, is that that rebellion on behalf of the sun, meant that the sun deserved death. Look what it says in Deuteronomy chapter 21, verses 18 through 21. It says, if a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and though they dis discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives.

And they shall say to the elders of the city, this is our son is stubborn and rebellious. He’ll not obey our voice. He’s a glutton and a drunkard. Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. How many of you are glad that that is not enacted today? I would not have made it very long as a kid. And so a pharisee their mind is understanding that the discipline that this son deserves because of this rebellion, because of this disrespect and this honor, is that he deserves to get drug out in front of the city and stoned. And then what does the father do? It says that the father does it. The the father says, okay, he splits his inheritance. And so some, some really important key details. Number one is that the son is rejecting the authority of his father.

It’s the same thing we talked about last week in Genesis three, Adam and Eve. What ultimately were they doing? They were rejecting God’s authority and elevating their own authority. The son in the story is doing the exact same thing. And guess what? So do we also, the son deserves to be punished for his rebellion. And guess what? So do we. And then also the Father in a response that that feels unorthodox, especially at the time the father waits to be wanted. The father waits. It doesn’t say the father tries to talk him out of it. Surely there’s been some conversation happening up until this point. But knowing that the son is rebellious in his, has set a course of action, the father waits, he allows him to go. Let’s keep going. Verse 13, it says, not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country.

And there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate and no one gave him anything. It’s just a few short verses. But in those few short verses, we see the story that so many live into that they see the allure of sin, the allure of the far country. And so they take what they have and they squander it all and they live recklessly and they live for the moment and they party. It’s an amazing season. And then it comes to an end and it crashes deeply and sorely. I’m not sure who first said it, but it’s a famous phrase.

I think that that Pastor Wayne Barber is the very first person, but you can see it attributed to 19 different people. Online was the famous phrase, sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay. And that is the truth of sin for the prodigal son is the truth of sin for me. It is the truth of sin for every single one of us that sin always takes us farther than we ever intended to go. And then it keeps us there longer than we ever intended to stay. And then ultimately it costs us way, way more than we wanted to pay.

And so the, the son gets, gets caught up in the lifestyle that he thought was gonna give him fulfillment and happiness and joy and peace. And the results are very, very different. You see, because just as it was in Genesis chapter three, sin always promises more than it can deliver. In Genesis three, the serpent says, if you’ll eat of this tree, then surely you’ll be like, God, there’s there’s this promise. It’s deception. They do it. The results are disastrous. The the son, he runs off and the promise, the allure is there, but then the reality is disastrous. And so what happens? He finds himself and a pigpen, he finds himself wanting to eat the same food that the pigs themselves are eating. He’s at rock, rock bottom. And he’s completely, completely lost. It’s interesting with my kids, they’ve never actually been lost in a car before.

It’s kinda a weird thing. Like I, I think back when I was a kid growing up and we’d go on some type of road trip or we’re just going somewhere in town and we get lost in the car a lot. And back in the day when you got lost in the car, you had two choices. One choice was you had to stop, pull over, find someone and ask for directions. You go to a gas station, you find someone just random stranger, Hey, can you help me find blank? Option number two is that you open up the glove box and what’s inside the glove box, A map. How do you still have a physical map inside your glove box? I like it. I like it. The dozen of you hanging in there, hanging there. My wife also still has a map in her glove box. It’s a map of Texas, so it’s not gonna be very helpful for her if she gets lost, but she’s still holding onto that map.

She won’t get rid of it. But the map, you get lost and you, you bust out the map and it open up the whole car. And you look at that thing and you say, okay, I’m trying to figure out where I am and where am I trying to go? And it helps me get there. And then sometime in like the early two thousands, MapQuest comes out <laugh>. I mean, I remember when MapQuest came out and I thought it was the greatest deal of all time because you, you could put in where you start and then you could put in the destination and then you’d print out 12 pieces of paper and you’d have, you’d be driving your car down the road. You’d, you’d have that thing. And you just say, okay, next. Okay, we’re gonna turn here and then now what do we do? And then, and you just follow the instructions.

Now, if you got off on one of those instructions, good luck. But at the time, I, I remember printing out those maps and saying like, we’ll never get lost again. The greatest ev eviction of all time. And when’s the last time you MapQuested something? Probably been a while. Why? Because we all have a GPS in our pocket all the time. We never get lost. You just, you just type it wherever you wanna go. And not only will it take you there, it knows where you are. ’cause Oftentimes I miss a turn. I’ll get off of where I’m supposed to be going. And what does my phone do? It reroutes it reroutes it takes into account the wrong turn that I’ve taken and it points me back to my destination. You see, if you really want to understand the heart and the point of what the word of God is the Bible is, is it’s trying to help us to understand where we are, our current location, but it’s also directing us to the destination.

And what then is the destination? The destination is the, the same for us as it is for the prodigal son of what happens next. The prodigal son, he comes to the end of himself. He realizes, Hey, I’m in the pigpen. What should I do? He’s starving. And then verse 17, it says, but when he came to himself, this is one of the most important verses in scripture because it helps us to understand that starting point in our relationship with God. It starts with me coming to the end of myself, to getting to a point in my life where I come to myself, where I realize it’s not working. Surely there’s more than this.

Surely what I’ve got right now in the pigpen can’t be all that there is. And so the son comes to the end of himself and then he gives himself a pep talk. He says to himself, how many of my fathers hired servants have more than enough bread but perish, but I perish here with hunger and I will arise. I’ll go into my father and I’ll say to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants. Everything he says there is true. He sinned against his father. He’s sinned against God. He’s unworthy of going back to his father. And here’s what you gotta imagine, imagine if you’re the prodigal son, that walk of shame, that’s probably kept him in the pigpen longer than he needed to be.

That thought of going back to his city, going back to his town, going back to the farm, and every eye would be turning his way, watching him walk up with his head down like a dog with his tail between his legs. That’s his expectation, just full of shame. Everybody’s gonna be throwing shame on me, but, but he decides even that is better than where he is. And so what happens next? It says, and he arose and he came to his father. And and this is if, if you underline or highlight, highlight this verse. It says, but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Three really important things about this verse that, that number one, the father has been watching, it says the Father saw him from a far way off.

That means that the father is continually looking out for his son. He had hope, he believed my son is gonna lead, but one day he will come back until the father has his eyes pointed towards the son. He didn’t try and talk him out of leaving, but, but he said, when he’s ready, I will be waiting until the father’s eyes are focused and waiting. And then the next part is that it says that he had compassion. Compassion in the Greek is this word ple niman. It’s only found 14 times in the New Testament. Eight of those times it’s either used by Jesus or it’s describing Jesus the words pni mai means gut in the Greek. So, so it’s not just, when we think of compassion, we think of feeling bad for someone or having empathy for someone. But that Greek word, it’s not just feeling bad, it always results in action.

So the Father, it’s not just that his heart is breaking for his son, that, that he’s seen his son walk in full of shame. It’s not just that his heart breaks, he is spurred on into action. And what is that action? It says that he runs to his son. Now, now we miss the cultural context of that. But, but in the first century, a distinguished man, a father should not have hiked up his robes, hiked up his garments, exposed his legs and go running like that would’ve been seen as shameful. The audience in this moment, they’re, they’re recognizing that if you were in a town and a man hikes up his garment and sprints across town, no eye is looking towards the sun. Every eye is looking towards the father saying, what on earth is that crazy guy doing? But understand why it’s significant. ’cause Here is what happens in that moment that the son is walking into the town believing that he will have the shame of the whole town put on him.

But instead the father takes the shame off of the son and brings it upon himself by running to the son. Powerful. We can miss it because we don’t understand the context, but the shame is shifting from the son to the father in this moment. He runs to him, he embraces him, he kisses him. And the son said to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, this is that speech that he’d been rehearsing to himself. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. And by the way, that’s true, especially in that cultural context. He doesn’t deserve it. But the father said to his servants, bring quickly the best robe and put it on him, put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet and bring the fat and calf and kill it and let us eat and celebrate for this. And my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found and they began to celebrate. You see, here’s what’s important to understand and the story of not just the prodigal stu, but the story of all of scripture. And that is this, that the story should resonate with us because we’ve all been in the pigpen. Maybe you’re still there.

And the story of scripture, the story of the gospels, that Jesus comes to take the shame that we deserve and he bears it on himself on the cross and he has compassion and he’s watching us from a far way off and he’s racing towards us. And that same story for the prodigal son can be true of us. That what was dead is alive. What was lost is found if will come to the end of ourselves and receive the grace, the free gift of Jesus. You see, the Pharisees thought that they could earn righteousness, but what scripture tells us from the beginning to the very end is that none of us can earn it. It’s only by grace. Unmerited favor something that we don’t deserve, that God gives to us, that we can experience the dead coming alive, the loss being found. Each one of my kids have sat in my lap at different times.

And as they’re growing up, each one of ’em will do that thing where they start kind of playing with your hand. And I think for a kid, one of the crazy things about your dad’s hand or your mom’s hand is just how big their hand is compared to yours. So like my kids will, will put their hand in the palm of my hand and they’ll say, is my hand ever gonna be as big as your hand to my girls? I say, I hope not <laugh>, but as as they kind of put their, their fingers on my hand and kind of move around. Eventually they’ll all come to a few of the different scars. I’ve got my hands, I’ve got a big scar right here on my finger. And they’ll say, what is that? And I’ll explain that that’s a scar. How’d you get it? Well, I had a pocket knife that closed. You remember those rules that were supposed to follow? Yeah, that was one of those when I was a kid. And each one of my kids separately has asked this question. They, they look at that and they ask, they say, daddy, will I have a scar? Some?

And I wish I could tell No, you’ll never have a scar. But, but instead I say, yeah, unfortunately, most

Likely you will. ’cause We all end up with scars. And what I don’t tell ’em is that we all end up with scars, not just on the outside, but everybody ends up with scars on the inside too. And oftentimes those are the worst ones. Nobody else can see ’em, but they’re there, but they’re permanent and they’re painful. We have scars because the brokenness of this world that causes us to be in a pigpen. But no matter how unworthy, no matter how much shame, no matter how many scars and how much brokenness you and I might have in our life, here is the hope of the gospel. The redemptive story of the Bible is this, that Jesus’s reach finds you, finds me in the pigpen and wants to bring us home. Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, we are so grateful that you are a God that did not just agnostically step away from his creation and watch it unfold in a destructive manner, but instead, because of your love for us, because of your compassion and you stepped into human history knowing that we couldn’t save ourselves, you took the punishment that we deserve.

You took our shame, you bore on the cross when Jesus died for our sins. And that each and every one of us, you, you are looking acutely with eyes waiting for us to come to the end of ourself, to run towards you, to experience the hope and the joy that is only found in your embrace. And pray for anyone in this room that does not know you, that today can be that day that they come to the end of themselves so they realize that they’re dead, but they can be alive, that they’re lost, but they can be found. That they’ll just put their faith, their trust, their hope in you. Pray that today can be that day. Pray for anyone here that knows you but has been far from you, that today can be a day that they come back home. Name Lord Jesus we pray. Amen.