The birth of Jesus is the story of the Christ coming as a baby searching for a home…
- in the book of Luke, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem because of a government censes and they search for a place for Mary to give birth. The only room is a stable for the animals and a feeding trough for a bed… in search of a home…
- in the book of Matthew the story is told of the wisemen going to King Herod in search of the child. When Herod hears of the news at a King has been born he is angry, so Joseph, Mary and their child Jesus escape to Egypt. Jesus is driven from his home….
- As a grown man much later when Jesus is with his disciples at one point he declares, “The son of man has no place to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). No home. The Lord Jesus came to earth in search of a home…
Everyone needs a home ~ a place of rest, a place of belonging, a place of peace… Jesus Christ is looking for a home. The humble stable is a fitting place for Jesus to be born, for he came to serve and to save, he came to die on the cross, the stable is humble, not desirable, but the stable is not his ultimate home. He came searching for a home.
The Home Jesus Christ is searching for is YOUR HEART! Ephesians 3:14-19 makes a wonderful Christmas prayer, for it speaks of Jesus Christ searching for a home. The way it says it in the NLT translation: “Then Christ will make a home in your hearts as you trust in him.” The rest of the prayer is the character of the home he will create as we invite him in/trust him. Christmas is about the coming of a savior, in the video we saw of the children reciting Luke 2:11, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord.” I underline the word “Savior”, because that is the purpose of the coming of Jesus. Dying on the cross and the forgiveness of sins is the means of saving us… His life teaching, his miracles are arrows pointing to salvation… The way the prayer says it in Eph. 3: 17, “Then Christ will make his home in your heart as you trust in Him.”
Everyone needs a home of peace, a place of rest… which means surrounding yourself with people you love, people that care about you…. Our hearts/spirit/inner beings are created to be a home for Jesus Christ… the indwelling of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit is the only way for us to find the peace that is promised by God. The purpose of Christ is to be a savior. Salvation comes when I give Christ a home in my heart. Invite Jesus to dwell in your heart and make your heart His Home. Jesus Christ was searching for a home when he was born and he is still searching ~ He desires to live in the human heart…
Eph. 3:14-19 makes a wonderful Christmas prayer for it describes Jesus Christ searching for a home…The prayer first speaks of Jesus’ great desire for a home ~ amazing that of all the greatness, of all the possibilities, his great desire is to live in your heart. Christ’s passion is your heart ~ to make a home in your heart is the reason he came. To have a wonderfully intimate loving relationship with you is his greatest purpose.
Paul’s introduction to this prayer begins in a word of amazement: 14 When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the father, the fact that we can know God’s greatest desires, his wisom, his plans is astounding… the revelation of Jesus Christ being born as a baby, should never be taken for granted. God reveals to us what makes His heart beat… “I fall to my knees…” because to have a glimpse of God’s plan is too much to fathom. This verse is similar to the great passage of Isaiah 6 when the prophet says, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and lifted up”… Isaiah goes on to say he should die because of the revelation…” Paul experiences the same amazement as Isaiah when he realizes he is given a vision of God’s passion ~~Paul considers God’s plan, and he falls on His knees… May the meaning of Christmas be an overwhelming realization… Jesus Christ, God Almighty, is born in the flesh…and for those who have eyes to see the vision of God’s plan is made visible in Christ.
v. 15, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. This spotlights the astounding revelation to know God, to know his purpose/plans. The one who is high and mighty has revealed his plans to us. The reason we can know God’s plans is because he chose to reveal Himself…The obvious question is why me? Why does Jesus want to make his home in my heart? Kris Kristofferson’s song, “Why me Lord,” speaks for many people who cannot believe that God, “the creator of everything in heaven and on earth” has chosen me:
Why me Lord, what have I ever done/ To deserve even one
Of the pleasures I've known/ Tell me Lord, what did I ever do
That was worth loving you/ Or the kindness you've shown.
(Chorus) Lord help me Jesus, I've wasted it so/ Help me Jesus I know what I am
Now that I know that I've needed you so/ Help me Jesus, my soul's in your hand.
Tell me Lord, if you think there's a way/ I can try to repay
All I've taken from you/ Maybe Lord, I can show someone else
What I've been through myself/ On my way back to you. (Chorus)
(NOTE: YouTube Video of "Why Me Lord" is added onto the bottom of these notes)
I know who I am…a sinner, not deserving the fullness of God…I am not worthy of Christ making his home in my heart! Even if I was, I don’t know how to make it happen. The good news: God gives us the strength to approach Him and invite Him in: Eph. 3:16: I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. Even the power to invite Christ to make His home in my heart comes from God!
Inviting Christ to make his home in my heart using his power is similar to the way I learned to give to God financially. When I was young, and the offering plates were passed, my mother would shove a quarter, or a nickel in my hand to put in the offering plate. It wasn’t my money. It was my mother and father’s money. But it was my money. Somehow the act of placing the quarter in the offering plate was a gift from me, the act of letting go for God to bless the money for his glory. I think something like that happens when we invite the Lord into our hearts. We don’t even have the wisdom or the strength or the courage within ourselves to invite Christ in, so God give us His Holy Spirit even to invite Him in…yet it is us… It’s God giving to us the power within… It’s him, but it’s us. It was my parents quarter, but it was mine…
Open your heart for Christ to make his home in you! Jesus was born searching for a home ~ he is still searching. He gives you the Spirit, yet you still need to trust… When you invite Christ in, the invitation is a growing relationship. A newly married couple has an instant home as they begin life together, yet as time goes on they learn more and more what it means to be family, to love one another. That’s the way it is with inviting Christ to take up residence in your heart…. The more time he spends, the more familiar you become… Eph. 3:17 says, And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him.
Some people give up on Christ too soon, they want him, or they think they want him, but they have conditions that are not met immediately and don’t understand the depth of love… just as a newly married husband and wife must learn to trust one another, so too must we learn to trust Christ to live in our hearts, that he will not abandon us even when life goes sour, that he is still there even in the dark night of the soul, that our feelings of distance are not the final verdict of the nearness of God. Trust is to be practiced, to be experienced… to give everyday in every situation. May Christ become more and more at home in your heart, comfortable, lovingly challenging, holding you accountable so even when he annoys you he is still at home…
Christ at home in your heart is ultimately about love…. If you don’t have love you have nothing in this world. Eph. 3:17b-18…May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, how deep his love really is. To invite Christ into your heart is a desire to be loved by Christ and to love Him. The nature of love is that it goes beyond definition, but you know what it is even when words fall short. How do you describe love? What is love? Hard to describe, but you know it when you live it. To receive love is hard for some people because they don’t think they are worthy. To receive love is something some folks implicitely think they need to earn… to gain the favor of others through doing good things… To receive Christ into your heart and to be loved by him means to let go of the conditions of love, to simply accept with no logical explanation for why… The prayer continues: 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. The truth is that I can’t even understand why Sally loves me! How much more God. Yet he sent Jesus Christ as a baby searching for a home, search for me, searching for you. Searching for a home where love is central. Invite him into your heart.
The last line of the prayer: Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Sounds like a contradiction: first it says in v. 19 you’ll never fully understand the love of Christ, but then it continues, “ you will be filled with the fullness of life and power.” We do not need to fully understand the love of Christ, we simply need to accept it… live it… embrace it…. Be amazed by His great love.
Invite Jesus Christ to make your heart his home. This is why he came. He was born in a stable but that was only a temporary home. He was driven out of Israel by Herod. He was born into a world searching for a home. The home he wants is your heart. It is astounding: The Lord of all the earth and heaven wants to make his home in your heart. He desires above all else to be with you. He wants to make a home of love, acceptance and forgiveness as much later he goes to the cross, dying in our place so that our sins would be wiped away. Jesus did not come to stay in the stable ~ he was born to make his home in your heart. Amen.