Scripture for Today: John 14:2 “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”
Five minutes more and our cousin would have succumbed to the smoke! As she slept, her house was going up in flames. Fortunately her faithful small companion, Tess, pulled her out of her deep sleep just in time. Tess was especially attentive to our cousin’s moods and emotional state in the difficult two years that followed. The day finally came when the rebuilt house was completed. Tess, so advanced in age, was carried into the house and shown her new digs. Now, she saw that everything was alright. Her vigil was finished. In her arms, Tess looked up into the eyes of her owner and breathed her last.
Today’s verse is part of a message of comfort. Jesus was soon to leave His disciples and they were troubled at the thought. He promises that He will be preparing them a place, called a room, a dwelling place or a mansion. This place will be home, forever in His presence. It is prepared as we walk this earth and completely ready the moment we breathe our last. The weighty cares of life will disappear with even a glimpse of His face. He has rescued those that love and trust Him.
I am grateful that the Lord has pulled me out of my spiritual stupor. He has rescued me from the just punishment I deserved. Because of His sacrifice, I not only have life here, but I look forward to that forever house. It will be “home” like nothing I’ve ever enjoyed on earth. But what will make it “home” will be His presence! How incredible that He wants me to be with Him!
Scripture for Today: Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
I have heard some real horror stories about the repair and renovation process! Thankfully, so far we do not have one of our own. However, two observations on the process ring true for me; the work always takes longer than expected and the cost is higher than anticipated! In watching the progress, I have had to readjust my expectations. Patience is not my strong point and what I really want is for the work to be finished yesterday!
Today’s verse speaks about being glad to enter the house of the Lord. To be with other believers and worship our Lord together is a glad event. However, we ourselves are in the process of some serious renovation in that house. There may be some rough edges on people that need sanding down to make smooth. There may be a hanging hinge on a door which makes opening up difficult to do. Perhaps, there are “damaged” people in that house that need repair. Can I really be glad to enter a house like that? Wouldn’t it be better to come in after all the renovations were complete?
I can be glad to enter the Lord’s house knowing that God is working in others just as He is working in me. He promises to continue working right up to the day of His return (Phil. 1:6). The on-going changes He is producing in others are the same kinds of renovations He is doing in me. As believers, we are all in the process of change and growth into the very image of His Son. It is a renovation that we live with, knowing that the outcome is worth it!
Lord, help me to be patient with Your work in me, and in others!
Scripture for Today: II Corinthians 5:8 “We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”
I love the carol, “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.” Much of my decorating for Christmas is done in the hopes of making my house seem more “homey.” The right ambiance and the painstaking emphasis on feeling tones are all done with the hopes of creating a sense of HOME. But of course, the important element is the people there to enjoy it! Everything can be in its place. The decorations can be perfect. The right carols can be playing and the air filled with wonderful scents of cinnamon. But without loved ones there, it all falls flat.
Today’s verse expresses Paul’s preference to be “home with the Lord” rather than at home in his body. Even if conditions on this earth were perfect, there would always be a sense that we are not home yet. Paul believed that being home with the Lord is far better than living here on earth. That’s because to be home is to be with Him. HE Himself is our “home.”
There are family and friends of mine already with the Lord. I miss them. But they are home. What is more, they are home for the holidays, in their true home. The holidays they are enjoying far outshine what we can do to celebrate here on earth. No budget, no tiredness, no dashed expectations, no overindulgence! Those in Heaven have no trouble keeping Jesus front and center! It is true, there is no place like home for the holidays. How much more this is true for our eternal home!
May Christ be my “home” during this holiday and every day!
Scripture for Today: II Peter 1:11 “…and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
My welcome mat is looking a bit sad. The welcome seems worn out with time although it is not that old. There is an old truism written by Benjamin Franklin and found in his Poor Richard’s Almanack. It says that fish and visitors stink after three days! If that is true I have stunk plenty of times. The idea is that after three days, a fish left out will smell and the welcome of a visitor may wear out.
Today’s verse is about crossing over the threshold from an earthly life into the eternal kingdom of God. I am not so sure there is a mat needed to mark that entrance! However, there will be a “rich welcome” for those who have placed their faith in the saving work of Jesus. And there is no other entrance except through Him (John 14:6). A rich welcome must mean that no one enters quietly or unnoticed. Each arrival will be a celebrated home-coming and marked with a warm welcome. Perhaps the believer will experience the same kind of welcome as the Prodigal Son. When he returned to his Father’s house, his Father ran out to greet him. He welcomes him with the best robe, a ring and sandals. And there is a feast and celebration all done to welcome him!
I wonder what is done to welcome believers into that eternal kingdom. No way do we slip in unnoticed. I imagine one’s “rich welcome” means being greeted by family and friends who arrived before us. But the richest welcome of all would be to be greeted and held in the warm embrace of the Savior! And this welcome will never wear out!
Thank you Lord, for the rich welcome in my future!
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 11:10 “He (Abraham) was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
There was a problem. We had been living with it for awhile and finally decided to do something about it. The “something” meant poking a hole in the foundation. It was the only way to fix the shortcuts that were taken in the building of our house 46 years ago. After repairs below, there was no question but that we had to go that extra step. The foundation needed work to be stable once again. It would be unthinkable to live with a gaping hole in a foundation.
Today’s verse describes the faith of Abraham, looking forward to the Celestial City with sure foundations. He does not have to worry about how those foundations were built as the Builder and Architect is God Himself. Abraham lived as a nomad, in tents and on the move. (verse 9) He lived like a stranger in a foreign country. The idea of building his life on an unmovable foundation must have been especially attractive.
The foundation this world offers is never a sure one. Its changing “truths” make it full of holes and unstable. Trying to build my life on it is like trying to nail jello to a wall! If there are no absolute truths there can be nothing sure and certain on which to build my life. But my foundation is God’s unchanging and life-giving Word. Nothing and no one can poke holes in His Word, His character and His plans. Despite the uncertainties of this life, I can look forward with certainty to the fulfillment of every promise. My Builder and Architect is even now preparing a place for me (John 14:2).
Lord, keep me looking forward to what You have prepared for me!