“All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and We will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love Me will not obey Me.” (John 14:23-24, NLT) Today we continue this special tour of Christ’s home – your heart – as we move into the “Living Room.” This is the room where the intimacy of our Christian relationship is experienced with one another (i.e. our family, friends and house guests). This room is to be the place where we share in both our common and our unique experiences from our life journey with Christ. Here we are encouraged by our relationship with the Lord and in turn “encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25). In the Living Room, we see the deep, sweet fellowship develop through time spent together, made possible through the shared connection of His Holy Spirit (‘koinonia’ – “fellowship, sharing in common, communion”). The Biblical blueprint for this room’s purpose reads: “They broke bread in their homes and ate together (in fellowship) with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” (Acts 2:46-47) Next we move with the Lord into the “Recreation Room.” The word ‘recreation’ means “rest / refreshment of one's mind or body after work.” The Biblical blueprint for this room’s purpose reads: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) God knows that we all need “true rest” in Him – it is so important that He actually set aside one day of every week to be a “day of complete rest dedicated to the Lord” (Exodus 20:10, 4th Commandment). In today’s time-driven, schedule-filled culture, this room in our heart is often neglected and is rarely used for the original purpose for which God lovingly designed it for – the restoration of our mind, body, soul & spirit. The last room on our tour today is the “Kitchen.” This is the room for which we are carefully prepared, like special holiday meals, for His chosen service for His kingdom. The Biblical blueprint for this room’s purpose reads: “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10, NLT) The kitchen is a room of service – and just as we all have different palates (tastes / appetites), we all are given different spiritual gifts for use in our kingdom service to others. Like our tastes for various foods may change over our lifetime, so too can our spiritual gifts change under God’s leading for different seasons of life that we journey through. Understand that spiritual gifts are not ‘an object to be receive,’ but a personal “manifestation of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:6-11) through each of us which were created unique in Christ. This room sees a lot of hard work in preparation for a special service(s) for our Lord. In this room we find the ‘oven of life’ – a “furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10) for which we spend time that has been sovereignly set by God. This is where the heat (trials, tribulations & testing) is increased so that the impurities (sin) in our life can be ‘baked out’ of us so that we can be made ready to serve. It is a place that few ever enjoy, but all who will yield to the divine working will find that the final product of our character / witness will more closely reflect that of our Creator. One final note about this particular kitchen - there are no microwaves (no shortcuts) allowed! We must persevere through our seasons in God’s oven for His Word reminds us, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial (‘doesn’t quit when the flames / oven of life gets very hot’), because when he has stood the test (‘endured through the time of divine baking’), he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) So today, ask the Lord to help you spend some time examining the Living Room, the Recreation Room and the Kitchen of your spiritual heart. Be responsively obedient to any changes (redecorating suggestions) which He directs you to make to any / all of these three areas which we have addressed today. And then be eager to complete this special tour through the rest of His home – your heart – next week! … Selah!
Today's Spirit-led video is by CCM artists Hillsong and can be viewed by clicking on the on the same song title as Pt 1 of this mini-series, "My heart, Your home" - G3 for His gift of ministry thru Christian music!