More Than a Mansion

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“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for You.” John 14:2

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Lord, I really want to understand You here. Because, actually, my idea of a present day mansion isn’t so warm and cozy. It isn’t a very “personal” place. Yes, it’s big, with lots of rooms, and wealth, and probably whatever a person would want. But I think of long tables where some guests are really far away from the head of the table. I think of rooms far separated from the master bedroom. I think of formal servants and protocol and, well, not much time available to spend with the owner. It actually makes me feel lonely. So, either I have the wrong picture here or this isn’t what You are talking about.

Sometimes we sing a song in church. And it makes me think of this idea. Turthfully, I have trouble singing it. I’m sorry if this is someone’s favorite song, and I’m sure all the heart intentions were good but I just really struggle with it. Here it is, “I’ve Got a Mansion.” Let me share the lyrics:

I’m satisfied with just a cottage below
A little silver and a little gold
But in that city where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one that’s silver lined

I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
And some day yonder we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold

Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely
I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound
I’m but a pilgrim in search of the city
I want a mansion, a harp and a crown

I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
And some day yonder we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold

I want. I want. I want. I’m satisfied with a little silver and a little gold. Well, what about the millions who don’t even have that? Would I not be satisfied? I want a gold cottage that’s silver lined in Heaven? I’m sorry, isn’t that materialistic? It’s fine to look forward to walk on streets of gold but something is missing from the lyrics. We are pilgrims and we should be Heaven bound but then it really bothers me again for me to sing that I want a mansion, a harp, and a crown, even if a mansion and crown are promised. But a harp? Is that the sitting on a clowd idea popping in? But here is my real problem, when in this whole song were You ever mentioned?

The whole emphasis is on getting rewards, like earthly rewards. But that’s not the point. Heaven is glorious because You are there. Heaven is where I want to live because it’s in Your presence. The mansion is only inviting because You have prepared it and You are in it. Walking the streets of gold are only glorious is I’m walking with You. Forget the harp altogether. The crown is only special because it’s a “well done, good and faithful servant” from You.   I mean, even those worshipping around the thrown care more about You than their crowns. “The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the thrown, saying, ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11,12)

But now, I need to move away from a song written by a person and I need to move back to Your Word. Would the disciples have been thinking those things about Your Father’s house? I don’t think so. You just finished telling them, “Don’t be all twisted up inside worrying and doubting because of all these things I’ve told you.” (My paraphrase.) Well, what had You told them? You were going to be killed; rought days were coming for You and for them. You were leaving and they couldn’t follow at first. I don’t think they cared about a mansion or streets of gold. They just cared about You leaving. They cared about being separated from You.

“Trust Me,” You said. “All this “bad” stuff is going to happen but I’ve already got it all under control. It’s all part of my preparation to keep You with me throughout eternity. I’m working on the forever part now. And once I’ve done it, THEN we’ll be able to be together forever.” (O.K., so this is another paraphrase.” But let’s look at why I say this.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions…” The Greek word for mansions is “mone.” Strong’s Concordance gives this definition, “a staying, that is, residence (the act or place):- abode, mansion. Now, John uses the verb form “meno” a lot. And whenever He does it is referring to abiding in/with the Lord or having His Word abide in us. Also, at the time when the KJV Bible was written, “mansion” had a different connotation. It meant “dwelling place” so it wasn’t as much a gigantic, rich person’s house. Here’s another interesting thing, the Greek word for “house” is ” oikia” which can mean “residence, or abode.” There’s that word again.

So, let’s think of this verse in those words. “In the place where My Father resides, lives….In the place where My Father abides…” See the emphasis isn’t on what things are in Heaven for me, but that God is in Heaven, that You are in Heaven. This is Your dwelling place. This is the beauty of Heaven. You are there.

“In the place where My Father abides, you know, where His presence is, there are lots of dwelling places! There’s lots of room for You to abide with us!” He was leaving but He was making a permanent dwelling place for me. But I have to keep listening. “I go to prepare a place for you.” “I’m providing and following through with all the conditions that will make this possible for You.” This is just another allegory, another “parable.” It’s not really about a house with rooms. He’s preparing a place for me in Him, in the presence of the Heavenly Father, in the presence of the Son of God!

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” “If I go?” Your point here is that this has to happen. You have to prepare things. You have to leave.   You have to be tortured. You have to give Your life on the cross. You have rise again. You have to prepare the way so I can abide with You, so that I can dwell with You, so that I can walk with You. But it’s not just about Heaven.

“…I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Now, You often refer to more than one thing at a time in Your Word. And I do think that this does refer to Your second coming. But I think it also refers to Your “present” coming. When Your rose, You returned. Yo came again. You received Your own unto Yourself. That was the beginning of the preparation in abiding in You. That was when the disciples got it. That is when I got it. That is when the abiding, the personal relationship with You began. This is when You really took us unto You and we became associate with You personally. This is when all had been done to make us Your own, to make us one with You. Because being one with You doesn’t just happen in Heaven.

“[T]hat where I am, there you may be also.” Are You only in Heaven? Absolutely not. I can look all around me and all over the world and see You everywhere and in lots of people. You are preparing many dwelling places and it starts now, here on earth, and continues into Heaven. It’s not just about Heaven. It’s about Your dwelling place; it’s about whereever You and the Father are. And You are continually opening new dwelling places in the hearts of new believers. Because that’s where You are!

You are the dwelling place. You are the preparation. You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I don’t want a mansion. I want to dwell in Your presence. I don’t want a crown. I want be in Your presence feeling the delight of having delighted You. I don’t want to walk on streets of gold or streets of dirt unless I walk with You. I don’t want silver and gold. I want to be rich in Your presence.

Thank You, Lord, for every dwelling place You prepare. Thank You for making me a dwelling place of the Most Holy, of You.   You will never leave me. You will never forsake me. You are with me until the end of the age. And then, we will still remain united throughout eternity in physical and spiritual nearness.

I’m satisfied here because now I know
It’s not about silver and it’s not about gold
Because You suffered You make me to shine
You dwell within me, till the end of time.

I’ve got a home and it’s in You
You brighten forever and make it true
And in Your presence, I am walking forever
All streets are special because I’m with You

Don’t think me weird or sacrilegious
I’m lovin’ Heaven, it’s where Your found
And I am a pilgrim in search of my Master
I want Your presence, more than a crown

I’m satisfied here because now I know
It’s not about silver and it’s not about gold
Because You suffered You make me to shine
You dwell within me, till the end of time.

By the way, in You, there is no end of time! What a happy thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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