September 1, 2013

Many rooms and house cleaning

The idea of “many rooms” puts images in my head. I think of an office full of cubicles, or a building full of offices, or even West Edmonton Mall with more than 800 stores. This also reminds me of a large mansion like the Biltmore house with 250 rooms, yet from what I know about the size of the family of God, these are small numbers compared to the dwelling places in heaven.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2)

This should encourage all who are afraid concerning their eternal resting place. The Lord says, “Whosoever will may come…” and He is making certain there is accommodation for all. He is preparing many rooms and created heaven as an everlasting dwelling for all who love and follow Him. This is a vast multitude. Some say tens of thousands in East Asia are coming to Christ each day. This makes my images of mansions puny compared to what He is building for His people.

Thinking back, these words were first spoken to disciples who were poor, sinful people. I wonder what they thought when they heard it. What could they imagine from “many rooms”? Did they have any inkling of what their small band would become? Did they have a clue that one day we would live in God’s many rooms, rooms enough for millions of His children?

Knowing something about the heart of God, I’m sure there will be sufficient and suitable accommodations for all sorts of persons as well. People from every nation, condition and circumstance, great sinners and moral people, weak and strong, babes in Christ and those more mature will have an eternal home. As today’s devotional reading says, there is in heaven enough for the happiness of everyone who hearkens to the call of the gospel.

For those, there are two promises regarding a dwelling place. Heaven is the eternal result for those who believe in Jesus Christ, but there is more. In doing a simple Greek word search, I discovered that this verse uses the same word as the one translated, “rooms”….

Jesus answered 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)

The Father and the Son, also the Holy Spirit are looking for many rooms in many hearts, yet this is a personal invitation to anyone and a statement about what happens to those who love and obey Jesus: That person is loved by God and becomes a room, an abiding place, a home for Him!

Now how is all this practical? I think of the many rooms that I have been in and how they affected my life. I also think about the many people I’ve met and know, and how each one affects my thoughts and actions. This verse about God making His home in me must be taken literally. When I let that impact me, then I cannot go anywhere or be with anyone without being aware that I am the dwelling place of God. That changes my life and so it should.

I’m also convicted that Jesus is preparing a place for me, but what kind of place have I prepared and maintained for Him? He lives here in my heart! Without trivializing this astonishing reality, it definitely makes me want to take out the garbage, clean up the clutter, polish the remaining contents, and freely offer them to His use. 

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