If you could build a house for Jesus, if He asked you to build a house for Him, what would it look like? How big would it be? What would the floor plan be like? How would you furnish and decorate it? How much would it cost you? Or how much money would you spend on His house? For us who really love our Lord, we doubtless would spare no expense to build Jesus as lavish a mansion as we could possibly afford. If money wasn’t an issue or a limitation with us, we would build Him the best and the nicest mansion that money can buy. And we’d put it on a huge estate like the ones that kings and royalties have.

What if, instead of building Him a house, Jesus wanted to come and live with us in our house. What would we do to our house to make it truly fit for a King? You’d probably spend a lot of time cleaning the place up, maybe even remodeling it, so that Jesus would have a nice, clean, house to live in. You’d make sure that Jesus had the nicest room in the house.

On somewhat of a related note, I’m one who likes to drop by unannounced to pay you a visit. I know it’s a courteous thing to call in advance and see if it’s alright to drop by. But I wasn’t brought up that way. Everybody on the island was like me: you visited family and friends without an invitation or advance notice. We valued your presence and visit! And it didn’t matter to us, or them, what our house happened to look like at the moment. We were just glad you dropped by for a visit.

Now that I’m stateside and married to a Caucasian, I’ve learned that dropping by unexpectedly just isn’t nice: it doesn’t give the woman of the house a chance to clean the place up. A woman wants to make sure her house is nice and clean when company comes. A clean house gives people a good impression of a woman as being a good housekeeper.

The point is, we want our house to be nice, clean, and presentable for company. When that company happens to be someone who’s important, powerful, famous, or rich (like a politician, entertainer, or professional athlete), we work extra hard and long to make sure our place is as immaculate as possible.

I understand that God might not be as consumed about the presentability of our house as we are. He was, after all, born in a stable. A feeding trough was His crib. In this way, He really wasn’t picky about where He was born or lived.

But I’m sure Joseph and Mary took whatever time they had to clean the stable and trough. There was no way there were going to let their newborn Baby lie in a filthy bed!

The point is, we want to make sure that Jesus lives in as nice and as clean a house as possible. No way are we going to let Him stay in a pig sty of a home!

Some of you, perhaps many of us, can breathe a sigh of relief that Jesus Himself isn’t dropping by for a visit. Some aren’t comfortable with the idea of Jesus coming to see where we live and how we live. We wouldn’t want Jesus staying too long, much less living with us, because, well, we just can’t be on our best behavior for that long a period of time! We can’t do some of the things we normally do (like watch a smutty TV show) as long as we know Jesus is around. We’d have to watch our language and cut out the profanity that comes so easily to a lot of professing Christians.

Would it trouble or alarm you if I told you that, while Jesus isn’t here bodily to pay us a visit, He nevertheless is here in Spirit to pay us a visit? He’s here not just to visit us, but to actually live and stay with us! He said in John 14:23, All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and We will come and make Our home with each of them.

The word home is an interesting one. It literally means what it means: a place to live, a home. There’s nothing cryptic about the word. What’s so interesting about it to me is it’s the same word Jesus used in John 14:2. A lot of translations say, In my Father’s house are many rooms. For those of you who grew up with the King James Version, In my Father’s house are many mansions. The words rooms, mansions, and home are all one and same word in the original Greek text of Scripture.

Let me put it together for you. In John 14:2, Jesus is going home to the Father in Heaven so that He can prepare a room, a home, or a mansion, for us. Wow! Jesus is building a place for us! Can you possibly imagine what our house or room will look like after Jesus is done getting it ready? The streets of Heaven are made of gold. The gates of the City are made of pearl. The foundations are made with all sorts of precious gems or stones. The richest people on Earth can’t hold a stick to Jesus when it comes to building the best!

While Jesus is busy getting our homes ready, through His Holy Spirit, both He and the Father are dwelling inside us. Our body is Their room, home, or mansion! Yikes! Jesus really is living with us! He’s staying in our house!

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Like a mansion, house, or Temple, our body is where the Father and Son live in Spirit.

So what does our house look like? I’m talking about our body. But not just our body, but our mind, our heart, our thoughts, desires, and passions. We said all along that, if Jesus wanted to come visit us, or live with us, we would clean house and make sure our house is so totally clean, immaculate, and nice for Jesus. Well, Jesus is living with us in Spirit. He’s living in our body. Our body is His house. It’s His mansion. We wouldn’t think of letting Jesus live in a pig sty of a house. Let’s not have Him live in a dirty, filthy body!

How does our house become dirty? We don’t clean it. We make a mess without cleaning up after ourselves. We’re not organized: we leave things wherever we want to without putting them in their proper place. We don’t wash what needs washed. We don’t take the time, some of us are just too tired or lazy, to keep our house looking nice and clean all the time. We don’t pick up, or take out, the trash. We don’t fix what’s broken. We pretty much  don’t do anything to the house except mess it up. Mostly, we don’t care what our house looks like.

It’s the same way with our body. Some people don’t care what they body looks like. They let their appetites go uncontrolled, eating a lot, eating what’s not healthy or good for the body; drinking and ingesting stuff that, over time and repeated intake, become poison. The unhealthy stuff that we eat and drink, after years of not caring or not being temperate, makes our body sick and diseased. We don’t exercise, lose weight, or eat healthy. We’re too lazy to take good care of our body. All we do is mess it up. A lot of us don’t care about what we’re doing to our body.

Then there’s the spiritual side of our body. We allow all sorts of bad, dirty, wicked thoughts and desires to enter and stay in our mind. We adopt a way of thinking that really is perverse and abominable in God’s sight. Like pigs frolicking in the mud, we like being human—that is being carnal, selfish, and sinful—that the thought of cleaning up our heart and mind, being righteous, and living a holy Christian life, just has no desire or appeal to us. We say we’re Christians. But, like our house and body, we’re too lazy to be a good Christian.

So let me ask you in closing. Since Jesus is living inside you, in your body, how are you taking care of your body? What are you doing to your body? Are you cleaning it up? Are you content to let Jesus live in the pig sty that you’ve made for yourself?

I hope not. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He’s fit to live in the nicest, cleanest, most beautiful house that money can buy and that men can build. Take a good, long look at your body, your appetites, the way you treat, or mistreat and abuse, your body. Look at how you’ve furnished your body—all the thoughts, desires, and ambitions that you’ve put in your heart and mind. Don’t you think it’s time, in a manner of speaking, to clean the place up, maybe even build Jesus a mansion that’s worthy of Him? Like Paul said in Romans 12:2, And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.

Does God find your house, your body, acceptable? See your body as Jesus’ mansion. If you want Jesus living in the mansion you’ve got, fine. But, in your heart of hearts, if you haven’t taken the time to clean the place up, make it beautiful, and appealing to Him; then start right now with the demolition and remodel. Build Him a home that He’d love to stay in. Build Him the best because He’s worthy of the best. Besides that,  He’s building the best for you.


There’s a verse of Scripture in Galatians that puzzled me for the longest time. I mentally understood the words. I knew what they meant. But I just couldn’t see the spiritual meaning or sense of the verse. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t know why God said it the way He did.

Not too long ago, the light came on. I just love it when God does that! He gave me a peek into His brain and He explained why He said it just the way He did. And I marvel, once again, at the awesome wisdom that our God possesses.

Okay. Here’s the verse. God, through the apostle Paul, told us in Galatians 5:24, They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. God’s telling us here how we can know if we belong to Christ. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with all of its carnal passions and lusts.

The present perfect tense, have crucified, is what threw me off for the longest time. I knew that a lot of us Christians, myself included, weren’t crucified. Like most everyone else, we were living for self. The only time we’d crucify self was when we heard a particularly convicting sermon and our conscience wouldn’t stop badgering us until we dusted off our cross and reluctantly climbed up on it, screaming and arguing. Even though the cross was mostly nowhere to be found, yet we were, we are, we considered ourselves to be, Christians. We belong to Christ! Because we’re saved! We’re Christians!

If it was up to me I would have written the verse this way:  They that are Christ’s will crucify the flesh. Or, they that are Christ’s are going to crucify the flesh. Or, they that are Christ’s need to crucify the flesh.

But the Lord pointed out that, by making crucifixion something that needs to be done in the future makes it likely that it won’t get done. Have you ever told your hubby you were going to pay the bill, but forgot to?  Ever told your sweetheart you were going to stop and pick up a jug of milk, only to forget and come home empty-handed? Remember all those life goals and New Year’s resolutions that never made it past January or February? Doubtless, you know what I mean. Putting crucifixion in the future—like putting a lot of things—makes it likely that it’s not going to get done.

Okay, Lord, I said. If that’s the way it is, then, at the very least, I would have written Galatians 5:24 this way, They that are Christ’s are crucifying the flesh. Ahhh, I said in contentment and delight. This is a fool-proof way to say it. Christians are crucifying the flesh. They’re doing it! It’s in the process of getting done! What could possibly be wrong with saying it that way?

Well, that’s not what God said. That’s what’s wrong with making crucifixion a present tense, on-going thing.

Have you ever started a project you didn’t complete? Did you ever leave something undone? Are you getting the drift here?, the Lord asked me. Yeah, it’s a great thing to get started on crucifixion and to be actually doing it. Great job! But starting the job doesn’t mean it’s going to get done. Every one of us has started to do something, only to quit before the job was done.

So, while crucifying our flesh right now is truly a good and commendable thing, it’s not enough. God wants the crucifixion done. He wants the selfish will killed. He wants the carnal, sinful lusts dead. And, seeing how crucifixion is painful, knowing how hard it is to die, there’s no guarantee we’re going to stay on the cross until we’re dead. We’ve all come down from the cross before death set in. We’ve all walked away from the cross, bleeding, hurting, partially crucified. But with selfishness still alive.

That’s why, God said, I made crucifixion present perfect tense. Have crucified means My children not only went to the cross, they not only got on the cross, but they stayed there until the mission was accomplished. Until death set in.

So do you want to know if you belong to Christ? It’s simple. Are you dead? Are you dying? I’m talking about what you’re doing with self-will, selfish desire, carnal, sinful lusts. Are they dead? Are they in the process of getting nailed and dying? Or is the cross even around? Is it anywhere in sight? I see the flesh. But where’s the cross?

Now just so you know, I know there’s a lot more to salvation than just the cross. Galatians 5:24 may be in the Book, but so in John 3:16. I know that. I’m not out to tell you you’re not saved. God forbid! I want you to be saved! You’d better be saved!

All I’m saying is, don’t stop there. John 3:16 is a start, but Galatians 5:24 comes after it. After faith comes the cross. Let’s not get so focused on believing that we forget all about dying to self. Galatians 5:24’s in the Book and we ought not forget it. We ought not forget our cross.

YOU CAN’T BE CHRIST’S WITHOUT YOUR CROSS. YOU CAN’T BE HIS IF YOU’RE YOURS. IF FLESH OR SELF IS ALIVE. They that are Christ’s crucify their flesh and they keep on crucifying it until they’re dead. They don’t get off the cross when it gets too hard. Too painful. Too personal. Too costly. They stay put on the cross until the desire for sin is killed and gone and the hunger for holiness brings them to life. That’s the mark of a true Christian. That’s how you tell if you are Christ’s.