Sunday, August 7, 2016

Home Improvements of the Heart

Daily Gratitude Year 4- Day 218: Today, I am grateful  for the difference that home improvements make. 

We have enjoyed home improvement shows since before they were "cool". Did you know that "This Old House" has been on PBS since 1979, but we started watching it around 1989. 

In the late 1990's, there was a series on HGTV called "Dream Home" that showed the renovations of an old stone blacksmith's shop into a home with modern amenities. Bruno Reich, an architect, took painstaking care to pay salute to the history of the home as well as making it breathtakingly beautiful. No detail was missed. 

We are a culture that is very serious about making our houses into homes. Our current favorite is "Fixer Upper". It is fun to watch and to see into peoples homes as they dream and build those dreams into reality. 

If we have homes, we must not forget the blessing of that good thing. This world is full of homeless and refugees. If we live comfortably, we likely have a list of home improvements we would like to make. We do. One renovation can lead to another, so many never begin. 

This scripture grabbed me this morning. "Then Christ will make his home in your hearts..." The NLT translation is not my usual, but for this passage, it was like a light went on in my head. 

If we knew in a month, Jesus was coming to dinner, there would be repairs made, carpets scrubbed, decor freshened and cleaning in the scariest places where dust and cob webs collect. Knowing that he lives in our hearts is a reason to work steady at "home improvements". 

If our hearts are Christ's home...then how do we make him feel at home? What ways, thoughts or behaviors make him feel awkward and uncomfortable? These heart conditions are far more important than new dishes or new towels. 

"Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." -Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)

The love of Christ looks past our outdated decor and need for new paint. What he looks for is the open door that invites him in and wants to make him welcome. In fact, he finds some or chips, dings and marks in the wood reminders that we have lived. Life doesn't come without struggles, challenges and imperfections. 

His creative nature wants to rebuild and restore our lives. Sometimes, he allows the scars. He, too, kept the scars. Imperfection is covered in His love and His blood as he makes all things new. As a parent, we look at scars and see God's protection where an accident could have been so much worse. We see healing. We find hope. 

Home is where we put down roots.  Deep roots. It makes us strong. Christ, at home in our hearts, is exactly what gives us strength enough for this day. Our heart improvements are His home improvements. 

Today, I am grateful  for the difference that home improvements make in our daily lives and in our hearts.

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