Wednesday May 2, 2018
Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - an excellent wife and an excellent home.
Before we make it all the way home (JOH 14:2), Jesus Christ put His home in their hearts (JOH 14:23). We experience our home if we love and obey Him.
Though we are not in heaven, believers have their true home in their hearts.
Christ is at home in our hearts through faith.
Home is not just a place it is a way. It is a way of life that is quite opposite of what we thought made our place in this earthen family before we came to know Christ.
No matter where we are, without Christ there is a feeling of alienation and longing for something more. Even as Christians we find this longing surface in ourselves, and when it does, we long for a closer relationship with Christ.
This is why Jesus appealed to the outcasts when He was fulfilling His ministry, the sinners and tax-collectors in Israel. He told us that if we were poor in spirit, insulted, persecuted, and outcast that we were blessed. We were blessed because He gave us His kingdom in response to our faith.
There is a story of a man walking through the desert. He is out of water and thirsty. He comes to a place where he sees a pump. He lunges towards it and grabs the handle and brings it down, but all he hears is metal upon metal; it’s dry. Sorely disappointed he notices a tin can and inside it is a message. It reads, “Dear traveler, don’t despair, there’s plenty of water under the sand here. Just follow the directions. Directly under the sand, below the nozzle, dig deep and you’ll find a bottle of water. It should be full. Don’t drink it. Empty it out into the cylinder in the pump and start pumping it. The suction system will start to work and the water will gush out and you’ll have all you need. You can drink until you’re content and fill up all your own empty bottles and be on your way. Refill the bottle you took and put it back in the sand for the next traveler. Warning: you are tempted to consume this bottle upon yourself. If you do, you will soon be thirsty and so will everyone else following this way.
This is typical of the crossroads that everyone faces when they come to Jesus, and so often it still remains a temptation for all of His children. There is the temptation to consume your life upon yourself. If you do, you will soon be thirsty. Empty out your life into His hands and He will give you the living water and you will never thirst again.
A life or a home of our own making will soon have us thirsty and hungry again.
Christ is at home in our hearts through faith. Home is not just a place it is a way. Be ready. The KOD will work hard to blind you to it.
He warned us to stop making our false homes that were based on status, power, wealth, or any other earthly things. He told us to leave them behind and follow Him.
LUK 18:18 And a certain ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
LUK 18:19 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
LUK 18:20 "You know the commandments, 'Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'"
LUK 18:21 And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth."
LUK 18:22 And when Jesus heard this, He said to him, "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
That’s what you “shall do.” If the ruler believed that Jesus was God then he would have believed that only Jesus had the words of eternal life and this cost would have been small compared to the reward. Plus, if the man knew Jesus as God, he would know that all he had belonged to Jesus anyway. Jesus knows that he doesn’t believe God is standing before him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but God alone.”
It is also significant that the 5 of the Ten Commandments that apply to our fellow man and leaves out the 5 that apply to God.
LUK 18:23 But when he had heard these things, he became very sad; for he was extremely rich.
LUK 18:24 And Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!
LUK 18:25 "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man [if a rich man considers himself rich without God] to enter the kingdom of God."
If we apply this phenomenon to our study, the rich have built for themselves comfortable and glamorous homes, and I do mean more than the actual structure of their home. They are much like the traveler in the desert. When they get thirsty for peace and joy, and they will, the expend more money and influence to fill up one more water bottle, which will soon be dry. They do not come to the living water without cost.
LUK 18:26 And they who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?"
LUK 18:27 But He said, "The things impossible with men are possible with God."
LUK 18:28 And Peter said, "Behold, we have left our own homes, and followed You."
We might give Peter the benefit of the doubt and not conclude that he was asking what was in it for him, but that he was boasting in declaring that he did as the rich ruler was instructed to do. So, Peter just may be looking for Jesus to confirm that they have eternal life. Peter, as well as all of them, have much to learn.
LUK 18:29 And He said to them, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
LUK 18:30 who shall not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life."
Our home with Christ is in essence a soul surrounded by love, power, mercy, forgiveness, peace, compassion, belonging, and without fear, worry, or want.
EPH 3:14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,
EPH 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
EPH 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;
EPH 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
“may dwell” - katoikeo = the verb “to dwell” with the prefix “down”. Literally: settle down or permanently dwell. Christ indwells all saints, so this refers to being at home.
It makes perfect sense that our relationship with Christ would be reciprocal. Jesus said in the upper room that if we love Him and keep His word then He and the Father will make their abode with us. In EPH 3:17, Christ is at home in our hearts due to our faith to walk in the plan of God. We walk with Him and He walks with us.
Paul wrote in 2Co 12 that the power of Christ would cover us like a tent if we learned to glory in the weakness that is forced upon us by persecution from the KOD. Here in Eph, the power of God the Holy Spirit is within us, granted to us through the riches of His glory. Power within, power covering us like a suit of armor made of light, and a home in our hearts, our very heavenly home, constructed by the Father and the Son and the Spirit.
There is the most precious reward for walking by faith, having the Lord at home in our hearts:
EPH 3:18 may be able to comprehend [katalambano: to lay hold of so as to make one’s own, to seize] with all the saints [for all of us, not limited to a few] what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
A lot has been done to determine the meaning of breadth, length, height, and depth. This clause is bookended by God’s agape love. “Rooted and grounded in love” … “know the love of Christ.” Might they refer to the vastness or unfathomableness of God’s love?
EPH 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
Reward of being at home with Christ in time: comprehending the unfathomableness of God’s love.
EPH 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
EPH 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Someday this whole universe will be made new and into our new home, but until then, we sojourn here, in the midst of those whom will heed the call to come home and those who will reject it, carrying within us the love of Christ and the gospel and waiting for that precious day when faith and sight will be the same.
When we can glory in the weaknesses put upon us, we will be clothed with Christ’s power. This is why we will not be excellent or extraordinary without Christ.