From Your Pastor, July 7

From Your Pastor, July 7

My Heart, Christ’s Home         
 
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts . . .”
(part of a prayer by the Apostle Paul in Eph. 3:6)
 

This week, while preparing for a sermon on the Holy Spirit, I reviewed Robert Boyd Munger’s small pamphlet, My Heart, Christ’s Home. As a young Christian that Inter-Varsity Press booklet vividly illustrated how Christ would take up residence in one’s heart, illustrating how he might inhabit the various rooms of a house.
 
In that tract, Christ visited the library, the dining room, the bedroom, the workroom, and other portions of the house with a fictional new convert. The point was that Christ, by his Spirit, wished to dwell in us as he would reside in every individual room of a home. No quarter of life was to be experienced without Christ.
 
During times of isolation and sheltering, many of us have resolved to have a better, more consistent devotional life. Pastors struggle with consistency in this area just like others. In the Munger pamphlet, although it may be a bit convicting to review, listen in to how Christ was more than willing to meet with this new convert.
 
“We walked next into the living room. This room was rather intimate and comfortable. I liked it. It had a fireplace, overstuffed chairs, a sofa, and a quiet atmosphere. He also seemed pleased with it. He said, ‘This is indeed a delightful room. Let us come here often. It is secluded and quiet, and we can fellowship together.’”
 
Munger reported how thrilled he was to know that he could spend time personally with Jesus Christ on a regular basis. Jesus promised that he would be present in that room to meet with the new convert every morning. Munger wrote: “So morning after morning, I would come downstairs to the living room and He would take a book of the Bible from the bookcase. He would open it and then we would read together. He would tell me of its riches and unfold to me its truths. He would make my heart warm as He revealed His love and His grace He had toward me. These were wonderful hours together. In fact, we called the living room the ‘withdrawing room.’ It was a period when we had our quiet time together.” 
 
However, gradually and over time, these times of listening to Jesus’ voice in his Word began to shrink. There was no good reason for this, but this character imagined that he had too much to do to devote a few minutes to listening to Christ: “This was not intentional, you understand; it just happened that way. Finally, not only was the time shortened, but I began to miss a day now and then. . . . Then it was some other urgent emergency. I would miss it two days in a row and often more.”
 
One morning, while dashing off to work, the new Christian “passed the living room, the door was open. Looking in, I saw a fire in the fireplace and Jesus was sitting there. Suddenly in dismay I thought to myself, ‘He was my guest. I invited Him into my heart! He has come as Lord of my home. And yet here I am neglecting Him.’ I turned and went in. With downcast glance, I said, ‘Blessed Master, forgive me. Have You been here all these mornings?’ ‘Yes,’ He said, ‘I told you I would be here every morning to meet with you.’ He had been faithful in spite of my faithfulness. I asked His forgiveness and He readily forgave me as He does when we are truly repentant. . . ‘Remember, I love you. I have redeemed you at great cost.’ Don’t let Christ wait alone in the living room of your heart, but every day find some time when, with your Bible and in prayer, you may be together with Him.”
 
As we recently celebrated Independence Day, might you renew your dependence on the Lord and meet with him regularly for worship, prayer, and Scripture in your homes? And may every room of our house be Christ’s home.
 
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23) 
 
–David Hall