If Jesus came to your house

Published 9:00 am Friday, September 8, 2017

By Al Early

Last week I posed the thought that you could see your home as a metaphor for your life, and learn a lot about yourself.

I closed with this scripture from Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…”

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I’d like to explore this idea more deeply this week.

I am reminded of an old song by Red Sovine called “If Jesus Came to Your House.” In the song, he asks a lot of really difficult questions that can help you decide if Jesus is welcome in your home and therefore, whether He is indeed building your house, as the scripture challenges us to let the Lord do.

We think to ourselves, “Of course I would welcome Jesus into my home!” We would give Jesus the best room in the house, make our best meals, be on our best behavior and reassure Him that we were overjoyed at His presence.

But would we have to change things before He arrived? When we greeted Him at the door, would what we normally wear be appropriate, or would it be somehow offensive to the Son of God? Would the magazines and other decorations in your home be appropriate? Are there any copies of the Bible out where Jesus could see them? Do the sounds and pictures coming in from TV and Radio (and computer) honor Him, or would you be embarrassed if Jesus saw any of them? Would you have to change the way you talk? Perhaps you might need to clean up some of your language.

Could you just let Jesus walk in at any time, and not be apologetic for what He sees and hears in your home?

What if Jesus said He wanted to stay more than a few days? Would you have to change your routine a lot, or is the lifestyle you lead congruent with the faith you profess? Would family conversations flow just as easily? Would you share table grace more often than you do right now? Would you sing the songs you always sing and read the books you always read? Would you be comfortable letting Jesus see you live your life as you always live?

Would you take Him to all the places you go? Would you introduce Him to all your friends, or hope some don’t show up until Jesus’ visit ends? Would you be glad to invite Him to stay forever, or be glad when He leaves?

That last question is really the key question. The answer to that question is the answer to whether you allow the Lord to build your house, or do you labor in vain to build it?

One of the worst things someone can accuse us of is being hypocritical. In this situation, that means that behind the closed doors of our home we treat our family and ourselves one way, but in public we want everyone else to think we are someone else.

Let me reduce the tension right now by stating that Christians and non-Christians alike struggle with hypocrisy. I don’t like to admit it, but there are times I would not want you to see me, the way I act or the person I can be behind closed doors in my home. That goes double for not wanting Jesus to see me at my worst. However, I have invited Jesus to be with me always, and He is! That means I cannot hide from him like I can from you behind closed doors (see Psalm 139).

But I also know Jesus’ forgiveness is never-ending, and I want to be congruent, that is, I want to live the same behind closed doors as I do in public. When I fall short I quickly confess my sins, and pray for more strength, courage, or wisdom to live that congruent life.

Jesus does not desire to catch us at our worst, and point the finger of hypocrisy at us. Jesus wants to inspire us to live for a higher calling, to be better than we are right now.

He loves us too much to leave us where He finds us. He really doesn’t care what we think others think of us, but He wants us to care about what He thinks of us. Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). It is not that we will ever achieve perfection, but by the grace of God we can always live more faithfully, that God is glorified.

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see www.lagrangepres.com.