“I had an interesting conversation with one of my neighbors last night,” Stan commented one morning.
“About what?” I asked.
“Their guest room,” he replied.
“Guest room? What was that about?”
“It seems that for years they have had a guest room in their house. It’s been used by lots of people, including his parents, but the neighbors are going to convert it into a permanent room for his dad who is coming to live with them.”
“Why’s he doing that?”
“The neighbor’s mom boarded the train a few months ago, and his dad is not doing real well living by himself. They are going to have him come and live with them.”
“No longer a guest, but a permanent resident,” I commented.
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And I saw the same sort of thing in Mark’s gospel the other day. A story about Jesus being a guest, and how it applies to my faith walk.”
“Where was Jesus a guest?” I asked.
“There are lots of places in the Bible where Jesus was a guest, but the one I was focusing on was right before He went to the cross. While getting ready for the last Passover meal, Jesus sent a couple of His disciples to find a guest room where they all could have the last meal.”
“And,” he continued, “Jesus was looking for a guest room because He was just passing through on His way to the cross, not looking to live in that room permanently. This is in stark contrast with the fact that He wants to live in me, not as a guest, but as a permanent resident.”
“Not as a guest, but as a permanent resident,” I repeated. “How’s that supposed to happen?”
“Accept Him as such,” Stan said. “Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God has given each person who accepts it by faith, His free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when it is time. In addition, there is the eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son in an ever-deepening personal relationship on this side of eternity.”
“And,” I commented, “He is to be accepted as a permanent resident, not just as someone or something that is only passing through.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And that’s what discipleship is all about! A permanent and full-time commitment for as long as God chooses to keep me on this side of eternity.”
Bible verses to consider:
And He sent two of His disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ Mark 14:13-14.
. . . so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; . . . Ephesians 3:17.
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 abode with him. John 14:23.
Prayer: Thank you. Father, for the free and gracious gift of life eternally with you when it is time. Thank you, too, for the gift of the Holy Spirit to live within me on this side of eternity to help me with an ever-deepening personal relationship with you. I confess that too often I treat Him as a guest who may not be staying, rather than as a permanent resident who wants to be involved with every aspect of my life. Please forgive that foolishness. Please help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest and closest relationship with you that is possible on this side of eternity. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you see a difference between treating Jesus as a guest rather than as a permanent resident? If so, what are those differences? If you sense you may need to make changes in how you view Jesus’ role in you through the Holy Spirit, how are those changes going to happen? Are such changes something you want, or are you more comfortable viewing Jesus as a guest who is not a permanent resident? If so, why?