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Posts Tagged ‘members of God’s household’

I hesitated for quite a while before writing the title of this blog. After all, I’m not in the business of shocking or offending anyone—and definitely not in the business of writing about Jesus in any dishonouring way. But I decided to take the risk in order to share something that may challenge but also encourage you as it did for me this past week.

A few evenings ago, I was privileged to speak to a group of women at a nearby church who braved some bleak, cold weather to be there. I had chosen to speak on a favourite part of Scripture—Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 where he first of all prays the following for ‘the saints in Ephesus’:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (3:16-17).

Yet Jesus Christ was already present in the hearts of these believers. In the previous chapter, Paul reminds them how they have been made alive with Christ by grace (2:5) and how they are now ‘fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household’ (2:19). So what does he mean?

Apparently, the Greek word translated ‘dwell’ here can also mean ‘inhabit’, ‘live in’, ‘settle in’—even ‘settle down and feel at home’—which is why we find the following in the New Living Translation: ‘And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.’ In other words, Paul is praying that these believers will be strengthened more and more in their faith in Jesus, coming closer and closer to him in the process.

As I explained this, I noticed one girl sitting with her feet resting on a nearby chair. She wasn’t being rude. In fact, she was right at the front, paying close attention to everything I said. In an instant, it occurred to me that this is exactly the way Jesus desires to be at home in our hearts—sitting back, feet up, knowing he is so welcome there, ready to listen and also so ready to share with me from his own heart. And that is what I told the women, as I pointed at the smiling girl, sitting back with her feet up and enjoying it all!

Sometimes I’m convinced Jesus turns the tables on me when I speak and has me say things intended first and foremost for me. Sometimes I picture him smiling wryly at me and saying in a gentle but firm voice, ‘Oh really, Jo? Make sure you put it into practice yourself!’ But this time, I think Jesus wanted to show me again how delighted he is to be at home in my heart and to put his feet up there. Because he loves me, he is prepared to wait there patiently in those times when I ignore him and want to run my own life. He doesn’t leave—because that’s his home. But he longs for me to notice he is there and to allow his presence to fill me to overflowing once again.

What a privilege we have to be able to open our hearts to Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and make him comfortable there!

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