Neuschwanstein Castle
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A Home Worth Treasuring

by Katy Kauffman

I love exploring castles and mansions, and I have found some unique ones. Did you know that King Ludwig II built a cave inside Neuschwanstein, his Bavarian castle? Or that George Vanderbilt, on this side of the ocean, put a swimming pool and a bowling alley in his basement, making Biltmore not only a beautiful place to entertain but a fun one?

Our homes reflect us. They exhibit some part of our personalities and tastes. What does God’s choice of a home say about Him? He values faith and love.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me,
he will keep My word; and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
(John 14:23 NKJV*)

The condition for God’s entrance into our hearts is that we love Him and keep His word. If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31) and believe that [God] is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), our hearts become God’s new address.

Salvation is not just an escape from hell or a guarantee of heaven; it is an ever-present  relationship with the one true God. It is knowing God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit “up close and personal.” When we keep God’s word—obey Him by having faith in His Son—and choose for ourselves that we want to know Him and share our lives with Him, He comes into our hearts, never to leave.

This promise gives us sunshine for every day, peace for every moment, and hope in every new adventure. We have God Himself living on the inside of us. When He moves in, He brings with Him all of His power to enable us to serve Him, all of His peace to calm the inner turmoil we feel in trials, and all of His wisdom and creativity in creating new adventures and making dreams come true. We receive God Himself in all of His infinite love, joy, and goodness. Spending time with Him in prayer, in Bible study, and in the sharing of life together unpacks who He is in our lives.

God wants us to make Him our permanent “home” too. The root word of home in John 14:23 is the same word as abide in John 15:4.1 We are called to abide in Jesus—to make Him our “home,” our permanent dwelling place—and then we will bear much fruit. When we choose to stay close to Jesus, listen to Him, obey Him, and follow Him wholeheartedly, we will abide in Him and be effective for His kingdom. He will be our treasured Home, just as we are His.

We will also want to keep our home clean of any “clutter.” John 15:2 mentions some “spring cleaning” God does so our hearts can bear more fruit. We can cooperate with the process by getting rid of what hurts our oneness with Him and our love for Him and other people. We can make our hearts a home in which God delights in residing, a home where He finds fellowship and a willingness to be and to do what He wants, and to go where He sends us. And what He has in store for us is good. Very good.

How strongly do faith and love live in your heart? Let them thrive there and spur you to share the warmth of knowing God with those around you. May our hearts be a welcome home for God to dwell in, and may our lives radiate the effects of His abiding presence, influence, and fellowship.

Prayer:

Dear God, Thank You for making Your forever home within us and for Your abiding presence, influence, warmth, and love. Thank You for all of the joys that come from having a personal relationship with You and for all of the resources that You supply for a richer and more satisfying daily life.

May we give You the best of ourselves. May we express our love for You by taking in Your word and living it out, and by keeping our “homes” free of clutter. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Questions:

1. Why is keeping Jesus’ word, an overflow of loving Him?

2. God’s presence with us gives us these treasures—power to serve Him, peace for trials, and wisdom and creativity for life. Which of these do you need right now?

3. What do you treasure the most about daily life with God?

4. What do you want to nurture in your relationship with God?

5. What are some examples of “clutter” in our hearts and lives?

6. How does it affect your daily life, that God’s dwelling with us is permanent?

____________________

*All Scripture verses are taken from the NKJV.
1. Larry Pierce, The Online Bible, CD-ROM (Winterbourne, Ontario: Larry Pierce, 2007), Strong’s #3306.
Note: This excerpt comes from Feed Your Soul with the Word of God, Collection 1 (Buford, Georgia: Lighthouse Bible Studies, 2019), 121-123.  

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