Sitting with the Shepherd
John 14:1-2 NKJV
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. (2) In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
John 14:23 NKJV
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
There is a lot of talk about the mansions that we will live in when we get to heaven. Much of it is speculation about whose mansion will be the biggest. It is only natural to want to know where one will live for eternity. The word that is rendered "mansion" in some translations and "rooms" in others is monai which is the plural of monen, a word that is translated "home" in John 14 verse 23. These are the only two places this word is used in the New Testament. So rather than focus on where we will spend eternity, something that we have little or no control over, let's give our attention to where Jesus will live today.
I imagine that Jesus, much like you and I, would not choose to live where He is not welcome. So He makes it clear that He and His Father desire to come and return the love of those who truly love them. That only stands to reason. Obedience to Jesus' words is more than just a requirement, as some would see it, but it is the natural outflowing of the love in one's heart. 1 John 5:3 says "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome." And isn't it true that the greatest obstacles that are overcome and the greatest achievements that are accomplished are done in the power of love? Jesus is not saying here that you have to earn the right to have Him and His Father to come and make their home with you. No He is saying if you love Him it will be evident by your obedience.
There are people who say that they are willing to die to be with Jesus in heaven, but aren't living for Him on this earth. They imagine that they have received a "Get Out of Hell Free" card but no significant change of heart has ever taken place. I've heard it said that "a sinner in heaven would be as out of place in heaven as a fish in a tree." If we are to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus it is only logical that our heart will be a suitable home for Him here on earth.
Luke 17:20-21 NKJV
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."
"God is especially present in the hearts of his people, by his Holy Spirit. Indeed the hearts of Christians are truly temples; and, in type and shadow, they are heaven itself. For God reigns in the hearts of his servants: there is his kingdom."
Harrison, Nick (2010-12-21). His Victorious Indwelling: Daily Devotions for a Deeper Christian Life (p. 312). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. What are your thoughts about the mansions in heaven?
2. Does Jesus come with the Father to live in us because of our obedience? Why or why not?
3. Why would a sinner not be at home in heaven?
My Father in heaven, my God how truly amazing You are. Your words are like soothing balm to a troubled soul. In Your presence there truly is fullness of joy. Thank Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You Father God. Thank You Holy Spirit. Thank You Holy Trinity for making Your home in my heart. Amen