By Erin Lamb ©, all rights reserved.
I love that Jesus told stories. Stories seem to stay with us. Instead of dumping facts on us, they makes us think and dig deeper.
The Rich Mansion Owner:
There was an extremely wealthy man who had a multi-billion dollar home. Oh, did I mention it overlooked the beach, miles and miles of beaches. There were tennis courts, basketball courts, feasts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There were heated pools and every luxury imaginable. He provided everything. He made sure the home was clean, spotless even. He asks you to accept his invitation to be with him and be a part of his family. Yes, there were some house rules but he offered to be the one to help you keep them. He asked that he was called if there were any problems. There were to be no worries about things getting broken or messed up; he would clean it up.
It was the most beautiful mansion in the neighborhood. The house was filled with laughter, joy, peace, and sometimes dancing. It was almost effortless to live with him because he was good, kind, loving, affectionate, considerate, and compassionate. Every day the man would prepare a favorite meal and spend time preparing something special for every person in the house. He asked that you live there with him as family and not behave as a guest. It was your house too. Everything in the house belonged to you. You had full access to the fridge, the activities, and whatever the man did, you could do. He even gave you access to his bank account. All his money was yours too. He let you carry his credit cards and everyone in the town was to know you were his beloved. He smiled at you daily and encouraged you to be the best you, you could be. He loved spending time with you, sharing his thoughts and wanting to hear yours. If you made a mistake, he quickly forgave you and kept loving you.
One day a stranger shows up at the door. He’s a nice looking guy. He tells you, “You should leave this house. This man (home owner) is trying to keep good things from you.” The stranger says, “He doesn’t love you. He just wants to control you. I mean why do you need to stay on this property when you can strike it out on your own. Wouldn’t it be nice to do your own thing? Wouldn’t it be nice to not be under the watchful eye of this man.”
You think about what the stranger says. You begin to wonder what else is out there. Can you really trust the man who opened the door to his mansion. Does he really love you? You start to think, “I can do life on my own. There has to be something better out there.” You leave with the stranger. As the stranger drives away you recognize that the beauty of home is fading behind you.
The stranger takes you to a shack on the edge of town. It is run down and polluted. It stinks. It’s dark. There are other people chained inside. He throws you in a room, locks you in, and laughs at you. He spends day and night telling you how awful you are and how stupid you are for leaving paradise. Day and night you are tormented because this isn’t home. You find yourself alone and hopeless.
Meanwhile the owner of the mansion is looking for you. He can’t live happily without you. He loves you. He drives and drives until he pulls up to the shack. He calls your name. “Come to me,” he yells. “I want you back. I love you,” he exclaims. The stranger doesn’t want to let you go, but he has no power stronger than love. As you realize what you had and how much you’re loved, the shackles release you. The door opens, and you run into the arms of the one who loves you. He loved you before and he loves you now. He rejoices because his beloved is coming home. You see, he wasn’t withholding something from you, he was protecting you.
God loves you. Anytime God says no to something it’s because of love. He always has something better in mind. Anytime God convicts of sin or tells us to repent it’s because He loves us. He loves us. Let that sink in. What God has for us is far greater than anything we can give ourselves or what anyone else can do for us.
If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, it comes through faith and acceptance of His Son Jesus. Jesus died for all our sins, so we could be reconciled with the Father. We believe, we confess our sins and need for a Savior, and we invite God into our lives. If you don’t know Him, your missing out on the most amazing relationship you’ll ever have. He is amazing.
Photos from Microsoft Clip art