What do you think of when you hear that word?
If you have a good home life, it can bring to mind pleasant feelings. If you are in a troubling situation, painful feelings may be stirred up. For me the word “home” used to bring up warm remembrances of stepping through the door to my own house, being greeted by my wife and six children, and being able to relax, set down the troubles and efforts of the workday, eat a home-cooked meal and enjoy time with my loved ones. Now, as I’ve just turned fifty years old, my home-life has a different feel. All but two of my children are grown and are living in homes of their own, while my wife has a P.H.D. in geography and is working as a college professor; and we live in a rental house. The closest that I get to the “beautiful chaos” that I so fondly recall is when my children visit me on Sundays with their families. Then I get the blessing of being swarmed by eight granddaughters and that is priceless (and exhausting in a very good way) and one of my greatest joys.
As I have had to adjust to a different experience of “home,” God has recently blessed me with a new and very comforting realization. My true home is Jesus Christ.
What do I mean by that?
All of the healthy elements of a good home—comfort, safety, acceptance, etc. are found in Jesus Christ for those who consider Him their God and Lord. Everything that a true and good home is supposed to be is found on a spiritual level in Christ; and when I say spiritual I don’t just mean in some abstract, ethereal way that doesn’t affect our day-to-day life here on planet Earth.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
As I’ve done for other topics before, I am going to list the reasons that I think that Jesus Christ, for Christians, is our true home. These are in no particular order.
Jeremiah 6:16 says:
“…ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls…”
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
What does this mean? I see it from two perspectives. Internally, that is, within myself, I see it as stopping the impossible task of trying to earn acceptance from God by my performance. Jesus has done the work for us on the cross and through the resurrection. Externally, where I interact with others and my environment, I see this as an end to the pointless effort of trying to fight in my own strength against the challenges of the world and all of the destructive elements there. Jesus has defeated sin and death and I can find my life, strength, and victory over challenges in Him.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
There is the comfort found in warm blankets on a cold night or in an air-conditioned room on a hot day, but there is a deeper and truer comfort of the soul; which has to do with our eternal destiny and also matters of the heart here and now. This is something which only God can provide and He has done so fully through Jesus. We can come to Jesus for the reassurance of God’s incredible love for us and for the grace that we need to deal with our wounds and sorrows. The power of the cross to transform not necessarily a situation but our response to a situation, is amazing.
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Look at the imagery of protection in those verses: “rock, fortress, refuge, shield, and stronghold.” Yes, God can and does sometimes protect us from physical dangers (many times more than we are aware of) but there are spiritual dangers—temptations, attacks, and oppressions—which He protects our souls from. An example of this is in the verse below regarding with dealing with temptations.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
No one really knows you like your family does. Within a healthy family, which is supposed to be where the safest and closest relationships of all are, there is comfort in being known and accepted by those who love you.
We are fully known by Christ. In fact, because He is God and omniscient, He knows you better than your family does. He knows you in totality, the full essence of your personality, values, thoughts and desires. He knows you better than you know yourself, and despite a full awareness of your faults and sinful tendencies, He loves you greatly anyway.
- Our greatest treasure
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely,
Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
The reality is that none of our material possessions ultimately matter because they are all only temporary and we can bring none of them to Heaven with us when we die. I have had thieves break-in and steal my earthly treasures, and I have had moth and rust ruin my belongings; but nothing and no one can take Jesus from me or me from Jesus. That is the power of an indestructible relationship.
He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.
You may be an orphan, someone who doesn’t know who either of their parents is, but when you are a Christian, God adopts you into His enormous spiritual family which is made up of all believers around the globe and down through the ages. You have more family than you can even imagine through Christ.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus wants us to abide in Him, stay with Him, and live in and through our connection with Him. Even if we have the great challenge of having to live in a cardboard box in some back alley, we can abide in Christ. It is a moment-by-moment constant fellowship that is ever-growing when we invest constant or at least substantial effort in our relationship with Him.
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Jesus became homeless for us so that in Him we might find our true home.
The wonderful truths which this short list of verses gives us a foretaste of, should stir up within us great confidence, strength and encouragement to share the love of God with others through proclaiming the gospel boldly. We really do have the best and ultimate news to share: you can finally really come home to the one true and eternal home where the deepest needs of our life are fully met both now and through eternity in Jesus Christ.
Unless the LORD had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your love, O LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.
But the LORD has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.