Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Enjoying the Lord’s Presence

(John 14:3 NKJV) (3) “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Would We Really?
If the Lord were to come and knock on our doors would we really be happy to see HIm?  Mary, Martha and Lazarus seemed to be comfortable entertaining Him. He told a newly saved Zaccheaus that, “Today I must stay at your house (Luke 19:5).”  Zacchaeus seemed happy to hear that. But sometimes I wonder how much we seek out and enjoy the company of the Lord.  Would the Lord’s actual presence be something we would enjoy if we had the opportunity to physically entertain the Lord?
In the Congregation
We often quote the verse in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  Based on that verse we assume that we are in the Lord’s presence when we gather as an assembly, particularly if we are partaking of the Lord’s Supper as part of our worship.  However, that verse has not been used in its context. The two or three are not the whole church but they are the ones dealing with a difficult issue.  This verse probably should read, “when we do what the Lord asks us to do, the way the Lord asks us to do it, then the Lord will stand behind the decision that is made.” This verse does not automatically give us the assurance that the Lord is in the presence of a group of Christians who are operating as an assembly.  An assembly is called the temple of the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16), so it should be a place where the Lord is comfortable and where we are comfortable in the presence of the Lord.  But the Lord reminds us that there are assemblies or churches where the Lord is on the outside instead of on the inside (Revelation 3:20).  Is our church truly a place where the Lord is welcome and comfortable?  
In the Home
Would we want to entertain the Lord in our homes as Mary, Martha and Lazarus did?  Friends enjoy the company of their friends even if there are dirty dishes in the sink and if any refreshments offered are simple rather than a culinary masterpiece.  I stay in a lot of homes and I love the ones where I have become family and I can truly make myself at home.  I have stayed in homes for weeks at a time when holding meetings in some areas and it is hard to hide the normal conditions of the home in that situation.  It is always nice when we find ourselves enjoying the company of our hosts without any particular fanfare being necessary.  But could we feel comfortable entertaining the Lord in our homes?  Would entertaining the Lord keep us from enjoying a lifestyle that we know He would not enjoy.  Would we just be waiting for Him to leave so we could start enjoying our self-centered lives again?
In our Personal Lives
We know that once we are saved, that is once we have really trusted in the truth that the Lord really did die for our sins and that He is coming again to take us to be with HIm for eternity, the Holy Spirit seals us and indwells us.  The Holy Spirit makes the presence of the Lord very real.  Ephesians tells us that we can either grieve the Holy Spirit or we can be filled with the Holy Spirit.  We grieve the Holy Spirit (or make him sad and depressed) when we fail to act or talk in a gracious way.  What we say to one another does count.  See Ephesians 4:25-32.
Instead of grieving the Holy Spirit we need to be filled by the Spirit which just means that we let the Spirit control us.  The Holy Spirit should fill us in the same way that a  hand puppet is controlled by the puppeteer.  The puppet has no life of its own, it can only do what the puppet master makes it do.  Is that the way we live our lives?  That is the only way we can really say we are enjoying the presence of the Lord.
That Where I Am There You may Be Also
One day the Lord is going to fulfill His promise to come again.  Will we be ashamed at His coming or will we be like Enoch in Genesis 5 who was enjoying the Lord’s presence on earth and suddenly had the joy of enjoying the Lord’s presence in heaven (See Genesis 5:24). If we are enjoying the Lord’s presence now, when the Lord comes to take us ‘home”, there won’t be much of an adjustment. 
Even so, Come Lord Jesus!
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of April 18, 2021

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