[In Charles Dickens’ novel Nicholas Nickleby, Nicholas is sent to teach at Dotheboys Hall. It is a boarding school where there are no holidays, no trips home for the abused and neglected pupils of Mr. Wackford Squeers. Eventually Nicholas intervenes during one of Squeers’s beatings of Smike—a perpetually ill and dim-witted boy who befriends Nicholas—and Nicholas brutally attacks Squeers. Then Nicholas rescues the poor, afflicted boy, leaving the dreadful school:
“Smike, come; my errand here is to take
“Home!” faltered Smike, drawing timidly back.
“Aye,” rejoined Nicholas, taking his arm. “Why
“I had such hopes once,” said Smike; “day and
night, day and night, for many years. I longed for
home till I was weary, and pined away with grief,
“And what now ?”asked Nicholas, looking kindly in
his face. ” What now, old friend?”
“I could not part from you to go to any home on
earth,” replied Smike…”
As wonderful as a comfortable, safe home would be for Smike, the boy defined his true “home” as being in the company of his friend and hero, Nicholas.]
One of our friends sent me an email earlier this week to tell me a dear friend of hers had died that morning. My immediate response was: “He’s AT HOME with the Lord.”
While reading through the Gospel of John yesterday, my attention was drawn to the familiar words:
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and WE will come to him and make our HOME with him” (John 14:23 NIV).
I realized that being “at home” with the Lord is a present reality. The words “at home” connote comfort, rest, contentment, love, intimacy, and familiarity. The phrase “Home Sweet Home” comes to mind! The more conscious we are of His internal dwelling presently, the more we will be “at home” with Him.
The original man and woman were “at home” with God in the Garden of Eden. But they sinned against God and became homeless!  Through Jesus, God has brought us home to Himself, to His presence, to His love, to His Fellowship. And amazingly, we have become His dwelling place.
[“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Col. 6:19,20).
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 3:19-22).]
[Christ declared] “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20 KJV). Are you “at home” with the Lord?
 2 Cor 5:6-8
 Gen. 2, 3:8,23-24
Greg and Altha Burts served together as exchanged life counselors and trainers in California. Greg is the author of Dying to Live, and Strategic Biblical Counseling. Altha has written Come Up Higher. For an excellent Christ-centered discipleship study, listen/watch Treasures of Truth at their web site: http://www.well-of-life.org.