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Collision insured

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. (I John 2:15-17)

I'd like us to consider something today which may be a little "revealing". Where do we feel most "at home"? Stop - really stop for just a moment to really consider this question. Where is it - or with whom or perhaps what - do you feel the most comfortable, able to be the freest, and where or with whom can you really let your hair down? Is it a place? If so, what are the characteristics of this place? Is it quiet, filled with comforting things like a warm rug, cup of coffee and a good book? Is it a person? If so, what is it about this person that actually makes you feel "at home" with them? Being 'at home' carries a different meaning for all of us, doesn't it? One thing in common in all things that make us feel 'at home' or 'at ease' is this concept of love - the lifting to a place of elevated importance in our lives of that thing or place or person.

For a moment, consider "being at home" as coming into your place of residence. You arrive after a day's work, or some venture out into the community to run your errands. What do you do first? For me, I put my purse away, kick of my shoes to allow my feet to breathe, and then make myself even more comfortable by changing out of the clothing I wore to work so that I am now wearing something I can really relax in. Imagine you coming into the house with me right after we both got off work. Would I do the same things? Likely not. Why? Simply because you are a guest in my home - you don't live here. So, I don't change - although I might kick off my shoes! Why is it we act differently when someone else is in our house? Isn't it because we don't have the same level of comfort or "intimacy" with this individual? It it was my BFF who was the one coming home with me, I'd go about my "regular" routine - simply because we have that level of comfort I am speaking about.

My thoughts gravitate to the "comfort" we have in the presence of our Lord - the one we have put in that place of elevated importance in our lives. I wonder if we invite him into our lives only at specific times, really not all that comfortable with him seeing us "as we are", but more as a guest in our home? Truth be told, we might just treat him this way more than we know. If we were really as comfortable in his love as he desires us to be, we would not hesitate to "let our hair down" with him. How many of us struggle to be totally honest with him, fearing he might actually discover something we don't want him to know? Jesus reminded his disciples that day so long ago of a very important point we should not miss this morning. We "make ourselves at home" IN his love or in something we love in this world. It is LOVE place in the right person that makes us "comfortable" to be open and honest. Jesus also says we are "at home" in his love when we are keeping his commands. Jesus actually gave very few "commands" - really two stick out above all the others. They are to love God with our whole heart and to love our neighbors.

Why are we "comfortable" with some places in our lives versus others? It is because they have become familiar to us. We are acquainted with the place because we have a "frequency" of association with the place. Why are we more "comfortable" with some individuals than others? It is because we have a frequency of association with them, as well. How do we get comfortable with the love of God? Isn't it by learning to turn our hearts to God more and more each day - by choosing to elevate him to that place of ultimate importance in our lives? Isn't is also by learning to be embraced by his love? His commands have an "embracing" effect - they don't constrict as much as they "comfort" us. They provide a place of security and safety. When Jesus told his disciples to remain intimately at home in his love, he was not suggesting a casual acquaintance with himself. He was revealing the sustaining power of being "comfortable" being who we really are with him - not worrying about being judged harshly (as his grace is sufficient for even our biggest sin), or being rejected by him (as his love for us outreaches any imaginable "argument" to the contrary our minds can imagine).

The words of a song I listen to frequently come to mind - the words describe the "hurting" and the "healer" colliding. There is nothing more that can be said about "coming home" to Christ's love - to having him elevated to the place of ultimate importance within us! It is there where our hurting and his healing "collide"! The self-imposed stress, and the cares of this world, melt away when we "collide" with the love of Christ. When two people "collide", what happens? There is CONTACT! So, if we want to get "more at home" in God's love, and less at home in the love of this world's things, we need to make CONTACT with in more often until it becomes a place of "comfort" to us! Just sayin!

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