Welcome to the house of God

(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)

Every house has its own character, and it speaks something of the people who live there. We were having dinner with some friends a few weeks ago when one of them prayed and gave thanks that we were able to worship in the house of God together. As we prepared to share the meal, I felt the significance of God’s house dawn on me. How incredible it is that God, the King, would invite us into His house, call us His friends, and show us His glory as it is displayed in every corner of heaven and earth!

We are invited.

Ephesians chapter 1, verse 3 speaks about how God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” We have a God who welcomes and invites us into His house; who wants us to experience everything He has, so much so that He has saved an inheritance for us as co-heirs with His own Son, Jesus Christ.

He invites us into the abundance of His love (Ephesians chapter 3, verses 17-19), to drink from the fully satisfying well of His living water, His life (John chapter 4, verses 13-14), and to taste goodness from His table (Isaiah chapter 55, verse 2). The feast that God sets before us is incredible; it is eternal, and it is His gift. We do not pay to enter the house of God; it is a free invitation, signed grace, with the blood of Christ.

He calls us His friends.

Perhaps God would save us, even allow us to step inside His household, but call us friends? Yet, this is what He does. God, the Creator of the universe, who made the heavens and the earth, calls us His friends. Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, calls us His friends.

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John chapter 15, verses 14-15)

Why? Well Jesus says He shares His heart with friends; our obedience is not blind, but compelled out of understanding the love of God, and knowing His will. We have a good time with friends – we share together, laugh together, eat together and serve one another joyfully because we have a relationship, a friendship. Jesus, our God and our Lord, is King, but He is also our friend – approachable, compassionate, and loving. He wants relationship with us – to share His thoughts with us, and have us lay our burdens on Him.

He shows us His glory.

I love seeing the way people decorate their homes. It reveals so much of their personality, their tastes, the things they like. Often there are pictures or paintings they may have done themselves, perhaps even a story behind that picture or painting. In the same way, God’s house is a revelation of who He is. His stories, His desires are plastered everywhere for us to see, and as we explore His house, we explore more of His glory.

What glory do we see in his house? There is the visible and invisible authority of God; that all things are created by and for Him (Colossians chapter 1, verses 16-17). There is the beauty of the church, His bride (Ephesians chapter 5, verses 25-27). There are the countless testimonies of His love shown in how we love one another (1 John chapter 4, verse 7). There is the glory of God shown in the magnificence of creation (Psalm 148).

His house is right here.

God’s house is right here; it is here on earth, and it is here with us. The house of God is His presence, and His presence is with us.

1 John chapter 4, verse 16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

So our home is in God, and God’s home is also in us. Quite simply, God’s house is the place of worship; a life lived loving Him continually, filled with His presence, carrying that presence on this earth, wherever we might go.

Welcome – to the house of God.

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