“Then Christ will make His home in your hearts, as you trust in Him.” With these words, Paul continued his prayer for the saints at Ephesus.
We who are Christians are familiar with these phrases–“Invite Jesus into your heart”, or “Jesus lives in my heart.” But I think we have never really grasped the staggering implications of these statements, nor will we ever fully understand the limitless love, abounding grace, and matchless humility of the One Who at first desired to live within us, and then brought it about.
Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is the Creator of all, that nothing that exists was created by someone other than He. As the Creator, He has His pick of places to live, as well as His choice of companions. His Heavenly home, we read, is glorious and brilliant beyond anything in our earthly experience. There He lives with His Father in perfect harmony, with thousands of mighty angels waiting for His slightest word of command.
And yet, He left all of that to come to this dark planet, to live among men who had sold out to His worst enemy. Instead of being welcomed as a liberator, however, He was rejected by the religious and political powers of the day; ultimately, He was executed as a criminal, in the most humiliating and painful death imaginable.
Raised again from the dead, by the glory of God the Father, Jesus Christ made a staggering offer to mankind. “All that I went through on earth, I did for you. If you will believe in Me, and receive what I have done for you, I will give you a brand new life, with Me, forever.”
The new life that Jesus offers is not a new set of rules to live by; it is Jesus Christ living His own life within us. More than that, as we see in this prayer, He will “make His home in our hearts.” One can live in a place that is not home; one can even “feel at home” in a place other than one’s home; but when a person “makes his home” somewhere, we find a deeper level of commitment, a growing comfort with his surroundings and neighbors, and an investment of his time and effort to make his home a better place. When Jesus makes His home in us, in response to our faith, He moves in for eternity; and He immediately sets to work, making us more and more like Himself.