Every year when I arrived at my grandmother’s house, I was greeted with the inviting smell of baked cookies. Her deep, Southern accent welcomed us with open arms and an excited, “Hey y’all!” Her house was a warm place of joy and comfort, and the layers of the love I felt there enveloped me like the huge quilts that covered her beds. In the faraway memories of my mind, I recall a white framed sign that had the embroidered words Home Sweet Home, and that’s exactly what it was . . . a sweet home. The word home is a lot warmer than the word house, isn’t it? My husband and I have bought houses in the past, but not until we hung curtains and our daughters had tea parties by the fire did those four walls go from being a house to a home. Abiding there is what made it a home.
In John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and will come to him and make our home with him.”
The God of the universe making His home with us? That, my friends, is an incredible statement! My first reaction to God coming into my house is to want to straighten up the family room and fluff the coach pillows, to quickly load the sink full of dirty dishes that I haven’t gotten around to doing. But from what I read in the Bible, He is knocking at the door and will come have supper with anyone who opens it. He doesn’t require us to have our act together. It warms my heart to know that when Jesus walked this earth, He was spending time with the sinners and showing them how to follow His teachings. When we love Him, we obey out of that love.
When God resides in us and abides with us, He is now our home. He is our comforter, our safe place to rest, the layers of memories of faithful history shared. He is the warm, familiar, strong voice that directs our days.
So how about it? Let’s fling open the door to our hearts—even the back rooms that we want to keep shut off—and allow Him to make His home within us.