Tuesday, May 1, 2018
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We were with our Native American team to Alaska, and I probably ate more salmon and learned more about salmon than I had all the rest of my life. We were in the Kodiak area one day, and our host took us to this neat little swimming area with a charming little waterfall. And I watched this salmon trying to jump up the waterfall to the stream above it. And he made it! I thought, "Man, that's the gutsiest fish I've ever seen!" Our host explained to us that the salmon was actually heading home - back to where he came from originally. Apparently, after a salmon is spawned, he heads downstream and ultimately out to sea where he spends a lot of his life. But eventually he seems to hear the call to go back to where he came from, even though it means a rugged upstream swim. Something summons him to fight his way back to where he began.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Back to Where It All Began."
I believe that the same Creator who summons salmon back to where they began does the same thing in His children. In fact, He may be issuing that call in your heart lately. It's something Jesus had in mind for His first followers as He prepared them for His return to heaven.
You find it in our word for today from the Word of God, Matthew 28:10. Jesus has just won His awesome victory over death and now He meets the devoted women who came to the tomb that first Easter. As the women fall down in worship and amazement at their risen Savior, He says, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me." Jesus' message for His disciples: go back to Galilee. Verse 16 tells us their response. "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go." And there those original followers of our Lord received their Great Commission to take His message to a dying world.
When Jesus sent that "meet Me in Galilee" message, they were in Jerusalem. That's some 90 miles from Galilee. So why Galilee? Well, that's where they had first met Jesus, where they were called into His service, where they first experienced His love, His power, and His miracles. So Jesus is actually summoning them back to where it all began so they can experience Him as they've never experienced Him before.
Jesus is still calling His followers back to their Galilee. Like a salmon returning to where his life began, maybe it's time for you to get back to where your life in Christ began - that first love, that first passion, that first excitement. Since those early days in your relationship with Jesus, you've covered a lot of miles, maybe even swum in the big ocean out there. But what was once so warm; maybe it's become cool. What was once so simple has become so complicated with layers of activity and even theology. There was once a time when you had a lot of Christ, but not much Christianity. Maybe now you've got a lot of Christianity, but not a lot of Christ.
So, after all the experiences and knowledge and scars you've accumulated in that big ocean out there, Jesus is summoning you back to the simplicity of where you started. Because then it was all about Jesus; it was all about a relationship. So, you just talked openly with Jesus in simple, childlike faith that He'd meet your needs, He'd heal your hurts, and He'd move your mountains. He wants you back there again.
At the source, you were hungry to be with Him by being in His Word. You just naturally wanted the people around you to know this One who had brought you the greatest love in your life. You were eager to do anything for Him because you were responding to that love. Jesus wants you to have that again - to have that passionate "first love" relationship that is, no matter how many miles you've journeyed, what this whole Jesus-thing is all about. But that simplicity is easy to lose.
So listen to that pull in your heart right now, that homing instinct from your Creator. He is summoning you back to where you began. Even if you have to swim upstream to get there, it's the only place that your heart can really call home.