Mark 5:18-20 (NKJV)
And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.
Today my husband and I will begin to look at homes for sale in a nearby city. It is only about thirty or forty five minutes from here. The Lord has laid this journey on our hearts. It is exciting, exhilarating and a bit ominous all at the same time. When we stepped on this property which only bore a foundation with a few blocks and plumbing pipes protruding from the ground, the Holy Spirit rose up inside my heart. Though only the beginning of a building on top of red clay, I knew that this would be our home. We immediately began the process of purchasing the new building. When it was finally complete, it was more than I could have ever dreamed of or expected. It was “exceedingly abundantly” more than I ever thought to ask for. Moving in, I was surprised that it did not feel like “home”. Full of our belongings and children, I found myself overwhelmed by it. It would take quite some time for me to fully settle into this house that was bigger than I expected and more than I could handle at first. A building is not the structure or foundation of a home, but a home is the life we make in it.
When we moved into this house, we have five small children. Though much larger than our former home, it immediately was filled to capacity. There are many memories in this place but now with three grown adult children building lives of their own, we only have two girls left at home. Teenagers now, they have busy lives and schedules. Our house has grown a little with each departure. It is very quiet. Very different. As the seasons of life change, sometimes the Lord will make our place of comfort a bit uncomfortable to get us to move into the next season. When it was time to leave my job with the school system, I went on a cleaning frenzy. I began to set each department in order having no idea that within a few short months what I thought was the beginning of transition would become an abrupt change. I thought life was getting back to “normal” but instead it was time for change.
Now with this thought and longing, I realize that I am doing the very same thing. Cleaning and organizing. Getting rid of the excess and preparing for change. We have been through a harrowing season of fiery refinement and tumultuous testing. Our life has changed dramatically through the process as the desires of our heart as well. It is time to move. We are ready for a change or so we think. Jesus had delivered the man of the plethora of demons that once inhabited his body, mind and spirit. He was saved and healed ready to serve the Lord. Following the Lord to the boat that would carry Him away, he begged to go with him. Jesus would not allow him to instructing him “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” Not everyone is called to become a pastor, elder, deacon, or any other leadership position in the church. We are instructed to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It begins at home.
John 24:23-26 (NKJV)
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. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
Home begins in our heart. It is the idea of relationship. When entering a relationship with Jesus Christ, He becomes the foundation of faith and should be our heart’s desire. The Holy Spirit in us begins to produce fruit such as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” These are the things that feed our starving soul and desperate heart creating complete contentment and satisfaction. If we love Jesus, we will keep His Word. Considering God’s Instruction in our everyday life and pursuing radical obedience covered in captivated love for our Savior and Lord, His Spirit is our helper. Leading, guiding and directing us from victory to victory, glory to glory and everlasting to everlasting. The Lord strengthens us with His Might so our inner man develops character and integrity. This is accomplished by the indwelling of Christ in our heart which means the complete repentance from willful and destructive sin. We become rooted and grounded in His Love that allows us a glimpse of the tremendous capacity of the Lord’s Boundless Love. (Ephesians 3:14-21) From this position, we begin to understand the Love of God from a new perspective. One of faith, hope and freedom that allows Him to do exceeding and abundant things that we never dreamed of or even thought possible. Is Jesus at home in your heart today? He had to go in order to be with us so intimately. Do you take full advantage of His Holy Inhabitation with your whole heart? “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
Colossians 3:18-25 (NKJV)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
Once Jesus makes His Home in our heart, it should impact our home. The Lord detests double standards. You cannot love Jesus and the world. The world hates our Savior and Lord for He marks the imminent destruction that is coming. The manifestation of Jesus begins at home in the intimate and personal relationships that we have with our spouse, children, family and friends. Wives are to submit to their husbands. Submission is absolutely essential in our relationship with Jesus the Lover of our soul. For women, that same submission extends to our husbands out of our love for the Lord. If you have a problem with submission or even disagree, email or message me and let’s get together and talk about it. I remember the first time it was brought to my attention, too. I was offended to think that I was supposed to just lay my life down before the same man who aggravated me to no end sometimes. What about him? What about the way that he is supposed love and treat me? When I finally accepted my role and submitting my life to my husband as God intended, our marriage prospered. God didn’t leave man out of the equation, he has a different kind of mandate. Husbands are to love their wives like Jesus Christ loved the church. Jesus died for the church. He was filled with endless compassion, forgiveness and overwhelming love for us all. Ephesians 5:25-28 carefully details the Love of Jesus for us and its influence on the way husbands love their wives. It is a high standard. Yet one empowered by the Love of Christ and faith in God’s Word, every man can fully accomplish. When a husband loves his wife like that, He begins to love himself. It is in our partnership with Christ that we become effective parents. I know that not everyone is married with children. Some have children outside of marriage or become the product of a broken one. I was one of the above. Children are to obey their parents. This falls on us all. We are to love, instruct and discipline our kids. This takes our full attention and constant effort. It doesn’t end until adulthood even though they look like little adults or act too big for their britches – we are ordained by God to be responsible for them. If we live in love with Jesus and maintain godly order in our home, we will see salvation take over as hearts and minds fall into one accord and totally in love with Jesus. Home is where the heart is. When Jesus is at home in our heart, it becomes a sanctuary that worships as we walk through life.
Titus 2:1-10 (NKJV)
But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
Jesus in our heart and established at home will change every other atmosphere and environment in our life. Working as unto the Lord and not other people changes our perspective in life. We no longer are trying to live a life of dog-eat-dog, climb the corporate ladder, running in the rat race, and chasing the American Dream. No our hearts are content in Jesus Christ so we become faithful and focused employees, supervisors, managers, and presidents of every kind of company. We are to impact those we do life with according the One who has made His Home our heart.
I am moving to the “Titus woman” stage of life. I am now classified as one of those “older women” that is spoken of. I have experienced life. I have encountered Jesus. I have learned many valuable lessons to be shared with the younger women in life. Those who choose to follow Jesus go through many seasons of life just living their life. If our intent is to know Him more and honor the Lord with our life, we will be given precious wisdom to share with others. Is our life an example of Jesus? Well, it is pretty clear in Titus 2 there are certain qualities exemplified by those who love the Lord. Our life as a disciple of Christ is not marked by how many times we go to church, how much money we give, how many times we pray each day, how many times we have read the Bible cover to cover, or any other religious thing that we do. It is doing life as Christ would. Taking every advantage to share His Love. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My Disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) All the qualities of love are carefully delineated in I Corinthians 13. We can know what kind of love to strive for in life. The one who truly desires to please the Lord will be the one who takes love to the next level. First, allowing Jesus to be at home in our heart. Welcoming His Spirit into our heart and mind to fill our soul with good fruit. We will make Jesus the head of our home no matter what the structure and build our life of faith and confident hope in His Love. Finally, His Love pouring from our heart into the world will be the light that allows other to invite Jesus into their lives. Greater love begins when we lay down our life for Jesus, lay it down for our family and friends, and finally, it is fully manifested by surrendering our life in love with the world and all its people.
2 Corinthians 5:5-8 (NKJV)
Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
This world is not my home. I am just temporarily passing through on my way to my forever home in the Kingdom of God. Why not invite someone to go with me? God has prepared us to be ministers of His Love. Jesus filled us with His Spirit to equip and empower us to love more than a human is capable of. If we walk by faith and not by sight than situations, circumstances, conditions or even consequences should not impact how we live, love and treat other people. That is, if Christ is at home in our heart. Others will feel the difference when they enter our homes, and want the same peace in their dwelling. Those who meet us in life will want the freedom that allows us to give in excess and love unconditionally. I want to be a disciple. It begins in our heart and home. Home is where the heart is and Jesus is the heart of our home.
John 14:1-6 (NKJV)
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”