The purchase of my first home was one of the most exciting things I have ever done. The house was not new—it was an older house and had become a little ragged with the passing of time. However, that little white nine hundred square ft. house that sat on three acres of land seemed like a mansion to me. Although it was old, we saw it as new—because Melissa and I could envision what the house could become with a little hard work. Over the next several months we painted, wallpapered, tore off the old siding and replaced it with new. We installed a new roof, a beautiful stone patio, a gravel driveway, new carpet and much more—we were set! We had turned the old house into a new home filled with love, affection, and hard work. After two years the Lord would bless us with our first child, and years later with two more—giving us the opportunity to raise a family within those walls. I will never forget our first house. I will relish all the fond memories, laughter, and tears that were created. The enjoyment of living there, however, would not have been so pleasant if we were not willing to work on the home and allow the Lord to build what was in the home—US!
We can build buildings, but only God can build believers. He can do this because He knows everything about us. God can remove all the old ragged stains of sin and shame and make us brand new—“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Listen to what Paul says in Colossians 3:15-16 – “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Two words are worth noting here:
• First, the word rule— The word rule is the term we use as “umpire.” In other words, the peace of God ought to be the umpire of our lives, helping us to discern the will of God for our lives.
• Secondly, the word dwell—The word dwell means to be completely at home.
Together, these words tell us that God’s Word should be ruling and residing within our heart. How is this accomplished? Let me suggest three starting points:
1. Confession— Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
2. Consecration— 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
3. Celebration— 1 Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Home improvement of the heart begins by—confessing Christ as Lord, consecrating your life, and celebrating His love for you. When you begin this process, you will experience forgiveness, freedom, and fellowship with God. Remember, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalms 127:1).