DREAM HOME SERMON SERIES
MOVING INTO YOUR ULTIMATE DWELLING PLACE – MOVING IN
AUGUST 11, 1996
It is amazing to me that when we invite someone over to our home we naturally want to take them on a tour to show them around our place. We do this because we want to reveal to our invited guests what we have and our guests are ever so curious to see where and how we live. If you don’t believe me, ponder this thought and answer this question. How many of you have ever been over to someone’s house and peaked in a closet or a medicine cabinet? Please don’t show your hands. Prior to our guest’s arrival, what do we do? We work ourselves into a frenzy washing, scrubbing, cleaning, dusting, spraying to get everything A OK because we want to put our best foot forward. When we take our guests on a tour of our residence, little do they realize that hidden in bulging closets and stuffed underneath beds is all the junk we don’t want them to see. When you are taking someone on a tour, you always say this. “Well, we like this place. It needs some carpet here and some wallpaper there and some landscaping out front, but we enjoy it. We really like it.”
What if we had the opportunity to take Jesus Christ, Himself, on a tour of our home. What would we say and what would we do if our Lord, Himself, was right there with us on a tour, checking out the features of your home and mine. Jesus, throughout the pages of scripture, tells us that He wants to move into our lives. That is right. God, Himself, wants to make a home out of your heart and mine. Listen to the words of Christ as we talk about this profound truth in doctrine. In John 14:23 Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My father will love him and We will come to him and make our home with him.”
The Apostle Paul prayed these words in Ephesians 3:17. Paul prayed, “…may Christ dwell in your hearts through faith.” One of the most staggering Christian realities is the fact that Jesus, Himself, wants to move in to your life and mine and reside there. In other words, any person that puts out the welcome mat and invites Christ to come into his or her residence and welcome Him, He will make Himself at home. Author Robert Boyd Munger talked about this topic extensively in his classic work, MY HEART, CHRIST’S HOME.
For the remainder of this message, I am going to do something kind of different. I am going to turn into a character named Mark Metroplex. So, for the next few minutes don’t think about me as Ed Young, pastor. Think about me as Mark Metroplex. I am a salesman, a successful guy. I just moved here from Phoenix, AZ. I am going to take you with me as I invite Jesus Christ to come into my life, and as I take Jesus through the floor plan of my heart and life. I think that all of us as we watch this tour can identify and learn some things from Mark Metroplex.
Have you ever wondered what it means when someone says, “I gave my life to Christ.” Or, “I accepted Christ.” Or, “Jesus lives inside of me.” Have you ever wondered what that means? Mark and Jesus will show us.
Hi, my name is Mark and the moment that I prayed a prayer and invited the Lord into my life, my life has never been the same. I figured out that Jesus wants to be comfortable in my heart and I want you to join me as I take Jesus on this tour. The first room I want to show Jesus and you folks is the den. The den is one of my most favorite rooms. It represents my relationship with my family. I watched Jesus check it out. He smiled. Then He began to take a particular interest in the pictures on the wall. He laughed and said, “Mark, this was a great shot of you and your spouse. Where was it taken?” I answered, “It was taken over in Hawaii when I won that sales trip and hit the record in Phoenix.” He looked at me and said, “Mark, remember that the marital relationship is the most important relationship in the universe next to your relationship with Me. Make sure that you love your spouse, date your spouse, romance your spouse because this relationship sets the tone and the agenda for the entire family.” I nodded my head in agreement. Then Jesus looked at me with tears in His eyes and said, “It breaks my heart to see all the marriages breaking up. I don’t want it to be this way. Stay committed, Mark, to your spouse. Love is a decision. Hang in there.”
Then I noticed some toys left out right in the middle of the den floor. When I saw those toys my mind rushed to the fact that I had not been spending enough time with my children. I said, “Jesus, I’m sorry about the toys. You know, Lord, I have been so busy at the office lately, I am out of town three days a week and I have been neglecting my kids. I promise you that I am going to spend more and more time with them.” And with compassion my Lord said, “Mark, I know you are busy but you only have your kids for a short season. Take advantage of these opportunities.” Then He picked up a toy and said, “They don’t want toys, they want time with you. How are you doing?” I promised to do better.
Then Jesus did something that really shocked me. He walked over and started checking out my big screen television. He said, “This is a nice TV. Is it a 50 inch model? Wow. Mark, that is something.” I said, “Well, thanks, I’ve been pretty successful, You know, so I could buy that television. No problem.” Then He began to look at my collection of videos. I started feeling uncomfortable. There were some titles and some videos that His eyes were too pure and holy to see. Then He said, “Mark, television has great potential for good. However, there are some videos that you need to get rid of and there are some channels that you need to cancel. There are some things that your children are watching while you are in the room that really aren’t that great. They don’t help.” Then He pointed me to a verse in the Bible. Philippians 4:8-9. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice…” I said, “Jesus, thank You for showing me how this den should function and how I should live my life as a family man.”
He said, “I would love to see the kitchen now.” “I was hoping you would ask because our kitchen has just been redecorated in black and white with some accents of red and purple and You’ll really, really like it, Lord.” The kitchen in my life represents my attitudes and desires, things I love to feed on. I pointed Jesus to a glass kitchen table and invited Him to sit down. “You are lucky. We are having a great meal today. We are having money and power on pasta, with fame and fortune for dessert. This food is so good.” I began to dive in and eat fast and furiously. I noticed, though, that the Lord wasn’t eating. Then I asked if we had overcooked the food or if perhaps He would prefer some angel food cake. He said, “No, no thank you.” “I love this money and power and fame and fortune because it builds self-esteem, it builds self-worth.” He began to smile and say, “Mark, that is fine and dandy for you to be successful but it doesn’t give to you soul satisfaction. I want to show you some true soul food here. You see, your food should be to do the will of my Father.” And then He put out some food on the table for me, Mark Metroplex, to dine on. It had to do with the Word of God and I began to taste it and it satisfied my appetite and desires. I learned to put God’s desires above money and power and fame and fortune stuff.
Then Jesus looked at the refrigerator and I saw His eyes look at a calendar posted on the refrigerator. He got up from the table and scrutinized the calendar. He seemed especially concerned about the weekends. He said, “Mark, I see penciled in on the weekends, Cowboy games, hunting trips, tee times and soccer tournaments but where is the time to get together with other like minded brothers and sisters in My name and worship? Mark, the Bible says in Hebrews 10:25 that we are never to forsake the gathering together with other Christians. I command it, I demand it because it will serve you well. You see, Mark, you have been successful and where do you think your success has come from. I have blessed you.” And Jesus told me, “I have seen this so often that when I have blessed someone, especially in the financial realm, they begin to think that they are self-sufficient. They might buy a boat or a lake house or this toy or that trinket and slowly they begin to ice out the church. They begin to sleep in now and then. Church is not a priority any more. But one day when their world caves in, Mark, they have no place to turn. How are you loving My church which happens to be my bride?”
Then I suggested that we move to another area of the house. He asked if I had a laundry room. I knew what He was thinking. “Laundry room. You don’t want to see that. That is kind of personal.” But, OK, I took Him by the laundry room and opened the door very quickly. There were piles and piles of laundry, soiled and stained by sin. There was laundry that I tried to take care of myself but I couldn’t do it. It kind of multiplied over and over again. I said, “Jesus, I am going to take care of that sin, I am really going to take care of that attitude, that habit.” He laughed and said, “Mark, relax, chill, I’ll take care of it. I will sort it, I will wash it, I will dry it, I will fold it and put it away if you will let Me.” And I am so very, very happy that I gave Jesus the laundry room.
Then He said, “I would like to see your bedroom now.” I was really nervous when He brought up the bedroom because I thought about sex. I will be honest with you. When we walked into the bedroom, Jesus said, “Mark, I know what is going through your mind. I know what you have been struggling with and I understand. You have been struggling with My teaching on sex. You have been wondering, Mark, if sex is really reserved for the marriage bed or if it can be practiced outside of marriage.” Then He sat on the side of the bed and began to explain to me how great sex is when it is practiced within the equation of marriage. He said, “Sex is multidimensional and multifaceted. It is physical, it is spiritual, it is emotional and psychological and it is to be practiced in a lifelong commitment called marriage. When it is practiced that way, it is great. When it is practiced outside of marriage there is guilt and shame and remorse and confusion.” He continued, “If you have messed up in this area, if you have sinned, I will forgive you, I will love you, I will rebuild you. I can remake and remold you and let you use this desire for My glory.” I said, “OK, Lord.”
The tour didn’t stop there. He then asked if I had a game room. I didn’t want to talk about the game room because the game room represents my fun and fellowship, my social life. One night I was leaving the house and I walked by the game room. Jesus was standing at the door. He asked, “Where are we going tonight, Mark?” I said, “Jesus, You know, where I am going tonight with the guys, You can’t go. Tomorrow night I am going to a Bible Study at the Fellowship of Las Colinas and You can go with me. But not tonight.” He replied, “I thought that when I came into your life we were going to do everything together. I thought that we were inseparable. I thought that I was an invited guest.” I said, “Not tonight.” I left and during the next four hours I had some miserable moments. When I returned home I saw a light on in Christ’s room and I went up there and began to cry. I said, “Jesus, I will never, ever leave You or forsake You like that again. I want to go places where I will feel comfortable taking You along.” You know what Jesus said? He said, “Give Me the game room, give Me the play room.” For years I thought that Christians couldn’t have a good time but when I gave Jesus that room, He put something in my life that words cannot explain. He gave this verse to me, John 15:11. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” I learned that day in the game room what it really means to laugh and have fellowship. He brought new relationships and new avenues of relaxation and fun into my life that I never dreamed of.
From the game room, we moved into Christ’s most favorite room, my little study. It was a study where I would conduct some business. It has a computer, a fax machine, beautiful shelves. It even had a fireplace. When Jesus saw the room, He said it was the best room in the house. “I love the color, the warmth, the atmosphere. I can’t wait to meet you here every morning. Spend some time with Me because I want to spend some time with you. When you meet Me here, I will go to the shelves and take a book of the Bible out and open it and I will explain it to you. We can pray and share. I will guide you and counsel you. It will be incredible, Mark.”
I was a new Christian, I was fired up. So every morning I would wake up about twenty minutes early, bolt down to the study, sit and talk and spend time with Jesus. I can’t tell you what it did to my life. But, I became busy and hurried and, although it wasn’t a deliberate decision, I slowly backed off from that time until I found myself not spending any time with Him. One morning I was rushing off to Denny’s to meet someone for a breakfast appointment and I saw the study door open. A fire was in the fireplace, Jesus was sitting in one of my overstuffed chairs with a cup of coffee. I asked, “Have You been here for awhile?” He said, “Mark, I have been here for the last three weeks waiting for you.” I felt terrible. Then He said, “Mark, for all these months you have been thinking that spending time with Me was a means to your spiritual maturity. And that is partly true. But remember, Mark, it means a lot to Me. I want to express My love to you even if you don’t want to meet with Me. I want to meet with you because you were bought with a price, I redeemed you. You are mine. You are one of a kind. Meet with Me, Mark, please.” That has done more for my spiritual development than anything. The concept that Jesus, Himself, is missing out when I don’t give Him my time.
From the study we moved to the garage. For some reason, Jesus was really into working, and places like Home Depot. I remembered that He used to be a carpenter. He said, “This is a nice workbench you have here. It is pretty well furnished. Show me some stuff you have made.” I showed him a few things and He kind of smiled and said, “What do you think about those things?” I said, “Well I am not that talented and I am kind of clumsy.” He asked if I would like to do better and I readily agreed. He said, “Sit down at the workbench.” So I sat down and here is what He did. He put His strong arms around me and inside my arms and He began to work through me. Miraculously and supernaturally I began to build things and do things for the kingdom of God that I never thought possible. Now and again I would say, “Let me do it.” But I would always mess up. I learned that day that Jesus wants to use my little talent and multiply it exponentially if I will let Him.
A couple of days ago I came home really late from work and opened the front door. Jesus was standing in the entryway. He said, “There is a horrible odor in this house. It is terrible. I know where it is coming from. It is coming from this closet upstairs that you have under lock and key.” When He said that, in a nanosecond I knew what He was talking about. He was talking about that closet that I didn’t want Him to see. I was talking about those sins from my old life that I wanted to keep for myself, that no one knew about except me. Jesus said, “The odor is terrible. In fact, it is so bad that I am going to have to move my bed from the upstairs to the downstairs.” Have you ever felt in your Christian walk, when you are not obedient to the Lord, how He can withdraw His fellowship from you? It is amazing, the lengths that human beings will go to in order to rationalize and trivialize and deny sin. We will explain it away. We will pretend it is not there instead of owning it, repenting of it, facing it and receiving God’s amazing grace. Jesus led me up the stairs and said that He wanted the key. I said, “No way.” I got angry with Jesus. “Jesus, give me a massive break. I have given You the kitchen. I have given you the laundry room, the den, the calendar. I have given You, given You, given You even the game room. And now You want the closet. Come on. I can handle it myself. I can do it. I can take care of it. I am strong. I am resourceful. I am a self-made man.” He said, “You can’t do it. You can’t deal with it. You don’t have the power. Let me take it.”
And with trembling fingers I took out my keys, took the key to the closet off the key ring and put it in His hand. He opened the door and got that junk out of the closet. He cleaned it and then a new and fresh fragrance, feel and smell permeated throughout the house. Then it finally dawned on me, Mark Metroplex, what the problem was. It finally dawned on me. I said, “Now I get it, Jesus. I have been trying to do everything myself. I was trying to clean up the den. While I was cleaning up the den, the laundry would pile up. I would get to the laundry and the game room would get messed up. I want to give You my house. I want You to take it.
Jesus said, “I can’t. I can’t right now. I don’t have the authority to do it.” I rushed over to the drawer where I keep confidential things, opened it, took out a file. I removed the title deed and placed it on the glass kitchen table and signed it over to Jesus. The moment I did that, my heart became Christ’s home.