We all know the difference between a house and a home. A house is merely a place to live. It becomes a home when those who live in the house add love. It doesn’t have anything to do with the things we hang on the wall, the family room furniture, or the living room’s soft lighting. The proverb says, “Home is where the heart is.”

Today we receive a two-fold gift:

“I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.” (Ephesians 3:16-17, NCV).

Paul prays for the Church here, that Believers may be strengthened by the Holy Spirit so that Christ may dwell in their hearts. The Greek word he uses for “dwell” means to “always be present.” Is there a greater gift to receive than this? Christ Jesus. Living in our hearts and in our life. Built on the foundation of love and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Always present.

God can and does give us many, many things … every spiritual blessing. (Remember the first gift in this Advent study?) John Eadie, a Scottish theologian from the mid-1800s, suggests that God is not being frugal here. “His bounty proclaims His conscious possession of immeasurable resources. He bestows according to the riches of His glory — His own infinite fullness.”

God gives us His all, strengthened by the Holy Spirit so that Christ may dwell in our hearts. God no longer dwells in a building that man has made, such as the tabernacle that Moses set up in the desert and moved from place to place. No.

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.’” (Revelation 21:3, NASB).

Jesus is the new tabernacle! And He dwells within us! Jesus stresses the benefit of abiding with Him.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV).

That’s powerful!

Now, does Jesus physically get small and live inside the muscle and tissue that is our beating heart? No, but a life that has Jesus centered in the core of our being that beats and pulses continuously with His love and grace is a life of purpose, priority, and order. It is our life! As God’s children, we are given everything. That is represented in today’s Gift — Jesus dwelling in our spiritual hearts.


Father God, thank you that you no longer live or dwell in man-made buildings or temples but that Jesus lives in my heart. Make my heart a loving place where He can live. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


This advent devotional can be found on the YouVersion Bible App here.

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