Many of us have a mat that sits right outside our front door with the word “Welcome” on it. This mat symbolizes the fact that the occupants of the home will be hospitable towards visitors. The welcome mat is not for the residents of the home. It is for guests. Whether a person is visiting for a few minutes or for a few days, we welcome them into our home with the expectation that they will be leaving our home at some point in time. If people stay at our house too long, we may put the welcome mat inside the house, inviting them to explore life on the other side of the door.
I believe this idea of welcoming guests carries over into our spiritual lives when we speak of welcoming God into a place, space, or life. We tend to speak of God like a guest instead of a resident. We even make Christ a guest at His own church! We welcome Him into the worship service, as if He needs an invitation. Instead of welcoming His presence, we should acknowledge His presence.
Jesus did not live, die and rise so that He could visit us. He conquered death so that He could live with us! In John 14:23 Jesus says, "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” (NKJV). God wants to take up residence in our lives. He does not want to be a visitor. He wants our hearts to be His home!
When God is at home in us, it transforms what we welcome into our hearts. Not everyone and everything should be welcome. The works of the flesh shouldn’t be allowed to visit us. If you want to change the atmosphere of your home, abide in Christ and He will abide in you. Don’t invite Jesus to be a guest. Allow Him to be who He is: Lord!
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.