Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
Usually, when people are told about Jesus for the first time, they hear this question asked of them: “Do you want to invite Jesus into your heart?”
I always felt this was a funny thing to ask since I could think of other, more direct questions like, “Jesus, can You be real?” or “Jesus, can You be my Lord and Savior?” However, when I reflected on John 14:23, I realized that when a person invites Jesus into his heart, he is asking Jesus to make his heart Christ’s home.
And this, I believe, is an important thought: Are our hearts a place where the Lord can call His home?
I live in the Philippines. I stay at my parents’ house which has two floors. We have ta cozy living room, a warm kitchen, a pretty dining area, clean bathrooms, snug bedrooms, a recreational room, and even a garden where my dog can run around. My house is a haven of rest and security. It is in this house where my family shares a number of great stories and fun; here where my mother helps dry my tears and my father gives wise instruction; here where my brothers eat around the table sharing their jokes and concerns; here where I experiment in the kitchen and wash dishes, sweep floors, and hide in corners to share secrets over the phone.
My house is a place I call home. It is a place where I can safely be myself with the people who know me the most. It is a place where I can retreat to and do things I love like reading and thinking. After a long day at work, I can come home to this sanctuary where I know I can rest. It is safe. I have no fear that the people around me will suddenly attack me. No, the folks in my house— my family— are my first line of defense when it comes to evil intruders or wicked elements.
This brings me back to our hearts being God’s home. Are our hearts a place where He can safely stay? A place of His rest? Are our hearts the place where we build fond memories with God, treating Him like family and not simply as a guest? Does He know every room? He knows our little secrets, yes, but do we let him touch the corners we love hiding in—the corners where the cobwebs and the dirty grime are? Do we defend His name and His presence when evil accusations come against Him? How do we treat God? Do we like spending time with Him?
Jesus says this in Revelations 3:20 – “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” This is a clear glimpse of Christ’s desire to create a Home in our hearts. He is a gentleman. He doesn’t force Himself in. A person must invite Him in.
What will make the heart a place where Christ loves to dwell in? It is a place of love. A place where God will find our obedience when He speaks. A place where He feels as accepted and welcome as any family member would.
Are our hearts a home for God to dwell in? Again, it is a very good question to ask ourselves.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.