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My wife and I have friends who are living in their existing home as they build a new one. They must continue the upkeep and maintenance on one, while constructing the other. Both houses require their attention. In a similar fashion, you and I are living in a temporary home here on earth until we move into our Heavenly home. We must tend to the constant needs of this home until God calls us home to the next. Both homes require our full attention? Please read more.
Our friend’s home building project brought to my mind the reason that over nine years ago I chose to name this new ministry, Broken Door Ministries. At that time, the Holy Spirit had just inspired me to write The Parable of the Broken Door. The meaning behind the parable was simple. You and I are broken doors. Jesus, on the other hand, is the perfect door that leads to the Father. Jesus dwells inside of us. Even though as doors we squeak, have rotted spots and are out of square, people can still make their way inside, albeit through a broken door, to encounter Jesus Christ within us.
Our challenge is to not wait until we, as doors, are perfect before inviting others into our life to meet Jesus. As doors we will always need repair. The weathering and deterioration of sin is constantly causing new damage. The good news is that Jesus calls us, even in our broken condition, to help build His new Kingdom on earth.
It has been said that constant repair is the privilege of home ownership. Some repairs are optional and others essential. Changing paint colors, flooring, or countertops are arbitrary decisions and the time to make these changes is rarely urgent. Other repairs, like a damaged roof are essential. Just this past week my wife and I had a new roof put on our home to repair the damage caused by a recent windstorm. Delaying this roof repair would have caused even more damage to the interior of our home. Immediate action was required.
The same can be said of our spiritual life. Some repairs are optional and others require immediate attention. For example, we might wait until another day to change the time, place, or type of our daily prayer. We might deliberate for a while before going on a retreat. But if we have some area of recurring sinful damage in our life, we need to take immediate action to correct it.
It is sometimes tempting to delay our needed spiritual maintenance. We might be tempted to pray a prayer like St. Augustine did. You see, in his youth, St. Augustine lived a sexually active, hedonistic lifestyle. He needed to take immediate action. But during this time, he prayed the words of his now famously insincere prayer, “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.”
When our sins are causing damage to us and those around us, we must act quickly to take corrective steps. We cannot afford to delay. Just like with a home, denial of the need for immediate repair, does not make the need go away.
Equally as important as taking immediate corrective action, is the recognition that we will always have some part of us in need of repair. Therefore, we cannot wait for personal perfection before responding to our calling to build the Kingdom of Christ on earth now. As with my friends who are building their new home, we must always be working to build God’s Kingdom, even as we do the ongoing maintenance that our souls require now.
Our life in this home is temporary. Our next home is eternal. There are two old Southern Gospel Songs that address this reality. The group Ernie Haase and Signature Sounds have performed both songs.
The first song, This Old Place contains these lyrics:
Remember this is not our home, we just lived here for awhile
A place to live and laugh and love making memories as a child
Our real home waits on the other side where our treasures lie in store
No need to grieve for this old place… for Heaven holds much more.
The second song, This Old House, contains these lyrics:
Ain’t a-gonna need this house no longer
Ain’t a-gonna need this house no more
Ain’t got time to fix the shingles
Ain’t got time to fix the floor
Ain’t got time to oil the hinges
Nor to mend the window-pane
Ain’t a-gonna need this house no longer
He’s a-gettin’ ready to meet the saints
Both songs are the copyright of Ernie Haase and Signature Sounds and can be purchased on Apple Music.
The first song makes clear that our home on earth is temporary and the second song points out the urgency of getting ready now. We can’t delay our needed repairs. If we don’t do these necessary repairs now, we may never be able to move into a home on the other side and we may never get the opportunity to meet the saints.
There will always be a need for constant repairs. I close by leaving you these questions.
- What urgent repairs are needed in your spiritual life?
- Do you give your future home on the other side the attention it deserves every day?
- Do you allow others to enter through your broken door to encounter Christ within you?
- Are you actively at work building the Kingdom of God?
Heavenly Father, Your Son Jesus is the great carpenter. Everyday I need His help to repair the damaged areas of my soul. Send forth your Holy Spirit to point out everything in my life in need of immediate attention. Amen.
As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.
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This hits the nail on the head for me. Am full bore on a slew of home maintenance projects after which I must bite the bullet on ridding of stuff in order to move someday. That will take the max of Spirituality and thoughts of the afterlife to move me. Have you done a 4th Day Letter on getting rid of “precious stuff” and in my case inherited from my dear family?
Hey Brian…we just did the new roof thing last summer so we related to the analogy on both levels..my wife is now an admirer of your reflections and we listen to them and discuss on our way in to Trinity High every week! Peace..Bill
It is good to know we both have had our roofs repaired. But as you know, personally, we will always need more repairs! I am glad you and your wife are enjoying the messages. God bless!
Great analogy Brian. It really helps me to have a framework for thinking about my relationship with God and others- very clear that if you let the little repairs go too long, they can turn into major problems. Thanks as always, Jim
You are most welcomed. I am glad this Holy Spirit inspired message touched you.
We thank you for your reality letter to us! God’s blessings be with you!
Thank you for your kind post. Have a blessed day!
Thank you for this. I intend to use the closing prayer as part of my daily prayers.
I am so happy to hear that that those words in the prayer touched you. I am blessed to know that you will make them a part of your prayer life. God bless!
Thank you for sharing and bringing reality into our prayer life.
Thanks for your post. Let’s give thanks to the Holy Spirit, who I firmly believe gives me the inspiration for these messages.