House or Home?

When does a house become a home?

At the end of a vacation, or in a time of crisis, or at the end of a long day, we don’t normally say, “I’m going to the house.” We say, “I’m going home.”

A house is a building suitable for providing shelter. A home is a place where people actually dwell. A house can be empty. A home, no matter how humble, is never empty.
Home denotes a place of safety, comfort, security, and unconditional welcome. It’s the place where you know you belong. But it’s not a house, or a physical address, or the place where you spent the most time as a child. Its where you sleep in peace, where you don’t have to ask permission to use the bathroom, or get a drink, or find something to eat in the fridge.

Home is where you are loved and where you learn to love others. It’s the place where forgiveness flows freely, where there is always another chance to succeed. It’s the place where, although there are expectations,  there’s no fear of rejection if we fall short.

photo by boxlace

Churches are often referred to as the “house of God.” Solomon built a house for God in the Old Testament, and God turned around and filled that house with His presence. In other words, God moved in and set up housekeeping.
But in the New Testament, every person who believes in Christ Jesus is called the house of God, and God wants to move in and make a home with that person. The “church” is not a building, not a locale, not an organization, but the individuals who have opened their hearts to God and allowed Him to move in. 
Isn’t that amazing? God Himself, the creator of all things, wants to make a home in us, and not just in us (because that reminds me of those weird parasitic alien movies) but with us. God wants to move in with us, wants to be as integral a part of our household activities as every other member of our family. He wants to bring His stuff with Him: redemption and peace and healing and grace and mercy… no ratty armchairs that smell like grandpa’s head. God has good stuff. Such good stuff that we might be persuaded to get rid of some of our junk to make room for His furnishings!

As a believer, I have to ask myself, have I allowed God to make a home within my heart? A place where He is welcome at all times, free to relax, comfortable with whatever is going on around Him, knowing that He has free access to everything within? I want Him to be at home in my heart. Don’t you?
Did you grow up in a house, or a home?

What makes a place “home” for you? 
Today’s post is brought to you by the letter H, courtesy of the a2z4u and me meme (and that rhymes with theme). For more helpful, hopeful, hilarious, hearty posts sponsored by the letter H, click the picture below!

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