Have you ever had a guest stay in your home? How did they act differently from your family? How did they act the same as your family?
Being a Christian means much more than just being saved from your sins, and death, and hell. Of course that is a wonderful thing, but there’s more, way more, that God wants for you. He wants you to know Jesus and to experience Jesus and his love in a very real and personal way.
Listen to how Paul prays for the Ephesian Christians. Listen for how he talks about Christ (Jesus) and his love:
Ephesians 3:14-19. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his gloryhe may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Right in the middle of this amazing prayer Paul says these words – “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”
But doesn’t Jesus already live in their hearts? Why is Paul asking for Jesus to dwell in their hearts if he is already connected to them?
When I was a kid my best friend’s house had one of those living rooms that we were never allowed in. It was always neat and clean and perfect looking and we were not allowed to sit, eat, or watch TV in that room.
Do you have a room like that in your house?
Or think about when people come over to your house for dinner or for a party. Sometimes people come over and you don’t know them very well and so they eat in the dining room (not the kitchen, and they ask permission to use your bathroom, and they would never go in your closet, or attic, or basement.
But then there are people that you know so well that they just make themselves at home in your house. They can go in the fridge. They just use the bathroom when they need to. They might even be allowed to walk around freely in your house. Do you have any friends like that?
That’s what Paul is trying to say to us in his prayer. He wants us to let Jesus not just into our heart house, but he wants us to let Jesus do whatever he wants in our heart house. Jesus can go into any room of your heart. He can open any closet or cabinet he wants. He can clean out your drawers. He can change the channel when you’re watching TV.
Does Jesus have access to everything in your heart? All your worries and fears? All your thoughts and dreams? All your anger and pride? All that you love and want?
But why should we let Jesus have control over our hearts like this? Because he loves us. And that’s why Paul also prays that we would “know the love of Christ.” Because when you know that Jesus loves you no matter what, it will never be scary to let Jesus take control of your heart.
Because of Jesus we have all the love of God living inside of us.
With Jesus we can allow Jesus to take control over our hearts.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Walk around your house together and talk about what it would mean if Jesus were allowed in that particular room. Then make sure you also talk about the “rooms” of our heart house (worries, fears, decisions, loves, hates, etc.) Talk about what it would mean if Jesus controlled each of these spiritual rooms too.
And here’s a fun commercial where a kid lives in a house without permission – is that how Jesus is in your heart?
Make yourself at home in my heart. I know you love me and I trust you with everything that I think, and feel, and do.
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