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Friday, December 12, 2014

The House of the Lord--Would You Feel at Home There?

In his Shepherd Psalm David says he will be happy to "dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23:6). Sounds nice in a poem, but would you find such a life rather boring if it went on and on? No unhealthy food or beverages, no video games or violent movies--no selfishness of any kind. Instead there will be genuine love and gratitude for the gift of eternal salvation. Would you feel at home there?

The Bible represents God's eternal kingdom as a place of complete liberty. No one is forced to be a citizen against his or her will, but no one who could be happy there is kept outside. In fact, there is the constant invitation, "Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17). If anyone should feel that he or she has been unfairly kept out, God will open "the books" wherein are "written" all the secrets of one's life (20:12). The idea is not that one will be surprised to see or hear things he didn't know were there; the final judgment will be simply a final moment of full consciousness.

David himself, who wrote the 23rd Psalm, will be there rejoicing that his terrible sins of adultery and murder were forgiven when he confessed them. He will be grateful that God did not "take [His] Holy Spirit from [him]" but "restored unto him the joy of [His] salvation" (Psalm 51:11, 12). "Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin," he says (32:5).

If you can put yourself in David's place, you can understand how he will never feel that he deserves to "dwell in the house of the Lord forever," but you will sense how he will be forever grateful to a Savior who bore the guilt of his dark crime and "restored" his soul. He will meet his victim, Uriah the Hittite, in the resurrection day, and will beg his forgiveness for murdering him. His most profound meeting will be with the Savior who died his second death.

Eternity will not be long enough for David to express the gratitude that will flood his soul as he dwells in God's "house" forever. Is that same gratitude beginning to blossom in your soul today?
--Robert J. Wieland

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