The Use of the Home in Scripture (ESV Bible)

A Word Study by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church, 06 Apr 2008


Prefatory Remarks


·         Deut 20:5 Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying, 'Is there any man who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. 6 And is there any man who has planted a vineyard and has not enjoyed its fruit? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man enjoy its fruit. 7 And is there any man who has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her.' 8 And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, 'Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own.'

·         Deu 24: 5 "When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.

·         Psalm 127:1 Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

·         Mat 7:24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." Luke 6:48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."

·         Neh 3:10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph repaired opposite his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah repaired… 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool, and as far as the house of the mighty men… 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired another section from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah repaired beside his own house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the buttress :25 and to the corner. Palal the son of Uzai repaired opposite the buttress and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king at the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh 28 Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, repaired. 31 After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the upper chamber of the corner.

·         May be inherited: Prov 19:14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. What inheritance are you preparing for the next generation?

·         Prov 27:8 Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home. The average American father spends 37 seconds a day with his children. (Pat Morley, The Man in the Mirror)

·         Wife – have children and manage home: Psalm 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Prov 7:11 She [the strange woman] is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home14:1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Psalm 113:9 He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Psalm 68:12 "The kings of the armies--they flee, they flee!" The women at home divide the spoil Titus 2:4 train the young women to love their husband and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 1Tim 5:14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. Management of a household (lit. “house-despot”) is a big deal considering who all was included in a household:

Extended Family:

·         Gen 14:12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way… 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.

·         Gen 7:1 Then the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.

·         Num 1:4 And there shall be with you a man from each tribe, each man being the head of the house of his fathers… 18 and on the first day of the second month, they assembled the whole congregation together, who registered themselves by clans, by fathers' houses, according to the number of names from twenty years old and upward, head by head,

·         Judgment came to the entire household, including women and children for the sin of the father: 1Sa 3:12 On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Josh 7:18 Achan, Num 16:27 …And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones…. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods.

·         Slaves: Deu 15:16 But if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you,

·         Gentiles: Deu 12:29 "When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land Zep 2:7 The seacoast shall become the possession of the remnant of the house of Judah, on which they shall graze, and in the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the LORD their God will be mindful of them and restore their fortunes.

·         Even to the Gates of Hell!: Rev 2:13 "'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

·         Maidens: Num 30:3 If a woman vows a vow to the LORD and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father's house in her youth, [the father has the authority to undo that vow.] Job 19:15 The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger, Psa 45:10 Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father's house,

·         Parents: Gen 45: 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me [Joseph], you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come… John 19:27 Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. 1Ti 5:4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God… 8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


·         In his book, The Spontaneous Spread of Home-Discipleship Christianity, Henry Reyenga writes that a colleague attended a cultural-branding seminar put on by some of the top marketing minds in America and reported back that “instead of merely selling a brand, marketers are selling the behavior that sells product… For example, a divorced home creates more business than a home where the father and mother stay together. A single lifestyle sells more product than a happily married lifestyle… and the amount of money made from those who practice the homosexual lifestyle is greater than straight singles… One of the marketing executives at the seminar rhetorically questioned whether or not it was immoral to work actively against traditional values. His conclusion: ‘I’m not immoral; I’m greedy.’” In other words, advertisers have a vested interest in steering listeners and watchers and readers away from Biblical marriage and the home because if they can steer you away, they can make more money off of you, and that is why a Biblical family is so seldom represented positively in the media. Reyenga goes on to state, “Cultural branding is not delivered to us through reasoned arguments or friendly debates on an issue. Cultural branding is more insidious. It simply wants you to assume that the cultural landscape that the media presents is normal… We create culture based on the choices we make in living out the patterns of our lives. The challenge is to become self-aware of the pattern or branding in your life. If you have to be branded with something, it should be something that you consciously make a decision to accept, not simply what the world forces on you.” “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom. 12:2) Reyenga goes on to say (p.94) that we will find it easier to succeed if we immerse ourselves in a culture that supports our Christian walk.

·         Deut 7:26 And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.

·         Lev 14:34 "When you come into the land of Canaan, which I give you for a possession, and I put a case of leprous disease in a house in the land of your possession, 35 then he who owns the house shall come and tell the priest, 'There seems to me to be some case of disease in my house.' 36 Then the priest shall command that they empty the house before the priest goes to examine the disease, lest all that is in the house be declared unclean. And afterward the priest shall go in to see the house. 37 And he shall examine the disease. And if the disease is in the walls of the house with greenish or reddish spots, and if it appears to be deeper than the surface, 38 then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house and shut up the house seven days. 39 And the priest shall come again on the seventh day, and look. If the disease has spread in the walls of the house,… 41 And he shall have the inside of the house scraped all around, and the plaster that they scrape off they shall pour out in an unclean place outside the city. 42 Then they shall take other stones and put them in the place of those stones, and he shall take other plaster and plaster the house

·         Defense: Neh 4:14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes." … 7:3 And I said to them, "Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while they are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their guard posts and some in front of their own homes."

·         2Ti 1:14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

A Place for Eating Meals

·         Only 34% of American families eat one meal together each day (Victor Lee and Jerry Pipes, Family to Family)

·         (Dolores Hayden, Grand Domestic Revolution, P.1) “Before the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Great Depression, three generations of material feminists raised fundamental questions about what was called "woman's sphere" and "woman's work." They challenged two characteristics of industrial capitalism: the physical separation of household space from public space [meaning private homes], and the economic separation of the domestic economy from the political economy. — They developed new forms of neighborhood organizations, including housewives' cooperatives, as well as new building types, including the kitchen-less house, the day care center, the public kitchen, the community dining club… For six decades they expounded one powerful idea: that women must create feminist houses with socialized housework and child care before they could truly become equal members of society. . . . (p.5) Their theoretic position represented the logical extension of many ideas about women's autonomy. . . Any socialist, feminist society of the future will find socializing domestic work at the heart of its concerns."

·         Former Feminist Mary Pride, writes in her book, The Way Home, “Those turn-of-the-century feminist ladies were logical thinkers. They saw clearly that role obliteration would not be possible while families could operate independently of the economy. In other words, they saw that (1) role obliteration is only possible under socialism, and (2) the stay-at-home wife is the single greatest deterrent to socialism. Private houses, private kitchens, private children - all must go.”

·         Job 1:4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

·         Job 42:11 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.

·         2Sam 12:20 Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.

·         Prov 17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.

·         Prov 31:15  She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

·         Song 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

·         Luke 14:1 One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully.

·         Mark 14:3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.

·         Mark 2:15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him…. “why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”

·         Mat 24:45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?

·         1Cor 11:22a What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?


·         Abraham with God: Gen 18:1-8  And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.  2  He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth  3  and said, "O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.  4  Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree,  5  while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on--since you have come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said."  6  And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes."  7  And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly.  8  Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

·         Lot with the Angel of the Lord: Gen 19:2 and said, "My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the town square." 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

·         Gideon with the Angel of the Lord: Jdg 6:19 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them.

·         Widow of Zerepath and Elijah: 1Ki 17:9 "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you." …15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days, [Elijah lived for some time in an upper room of her house]

·         The Shunamite family and Elisha: 2Ki 4:8-10  One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food.  9  And she said to her husband, "Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way.  10  Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there."

·         Jesus brought into homes of Pharisee, Martha, Man in Jerusalem carrying a jar of water, Peter’s Mom, and Simon the Leper: Luke 7:36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment Luke 10:38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. Luke 22:10 He said to them, "Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters :11 and tell the master of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' Mark 1:29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John…. [and after healing their mother], she “waited on them.” Mat 26:6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,

·         Simon the Tanner hosted Peter in Joppa: Act 10:6 He [Peter] is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside."

·         Paul was hosted by Lydia in Ephesus, Philip and his 4 daughters in Caesarea, Mnason in Jerusalem, and Onesiphorus: Act 16:15 And after she [Lydia] was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us. Act 21:8 On the next day [Paul and Luke] departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. This man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses and we stayed there for several days. Act 21:16 And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with [Paul and Luke], bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge. 2Ti 1:16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains,

·         Refuge – cities of refuge of Num 35, Rahab’s hiding of Joshua’s spies in Jericho, Jehosheba who hid in a bedroom the future king Joash from Athaliah’s bloody hand, The Old man in Gibea who took the Levite in, the man at Bahurim who hid David’s spies Ahimaaz and Jonathan in a well: Jos 6:17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. Jdg 19:15 and they turned aside there, to go in and spend the night at Gibeah. And he went in and sat down in the open square of the city, for no one took them into his house to spend the night… 21 So [an old man] brought him into his house and gave the donkeys feed. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank. 22 As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door. And they said to the old man, the master of the house, "Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him." 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, "No, my brothers, do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. 2Ki 11:1 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family 2  But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king's sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. 2Sa 17:18 But a young man saw them [David’s spies, Ahimaaz & Jonathan] and told Absalom. So both of them went away quickly and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard. And they went down into it. Mark 7:24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.

·         Jason paid a price for hosting Paul: Risky: Act 17:5-9  But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city [of Thessalonica] in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.  6  And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,  7  and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus."  8  And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things.  9  And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

·         In her book, The Way Home, Mary Pride comments on the art of hospitality: “One biblical example of a domestic artist is the ideal wife in Proverbs 31, who made coverings for her bed and lovely garments for her family. Back in my Socialist days this bothered me a lot. How could the Bible justify wasting extra effort and materials on items that have no practical reason to be beautiful? Now I know. Beauty is practical. It is soul food that both relieves the stresses and strains of this fallen world, allowing us to function better, and refreshes those with whom we share it. Mary, the sister of Lazarus, shared the beautiful smell and feel of her precious ointment with Jesus, an act for which he commended her, overruling Judas' self-righteous insistence that the perfume should have been sold and the money given to the poor (John 12:1-8)... biblical incidents show us the value of beauty in a person's life. And not mass-produced, supermarket-style "beauty" either, but personal beauty. Edith Schaeffer, in her excellent book, The Hidden Art of Home-making, which I hope you will buy, has chapters on music, painting, sketching and sculpting, interior decoration, gardens and gardening, flower arrangement, food, writing, drama, creative recreation, clothing, personal relationships, and environment. These are all areas where domestic art is desperately needed. People today are hungry—really hungry—for personal contact with another human being who cares about them... and domestic art makes that sharing beautiful.” (p.169)


·         In the Bible, Houses are where you bring your wealth and store it. The vineyards and farmland were a place of work, but so was the house itself:

·         2Ki 4:2 And Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?" And she said, "Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil." 7  Then he said, "Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few.  4  Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside."  5  So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her.  6  When the vessels were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another vessel." And he said to her, "There is not another." Then the oil stopped flowing.  7  She came and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest."

·         Prov 31:16  She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17  She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. 18  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19  She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle… 24  She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25  Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 27  She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.


·         Before 1900, church buildings were not made with Sunday School rooms because parents instructed their children at home in spiritual matters. As American families have bought into humanism, they have shifted the discipleship of their children towards “professionals” in an institution.

·         Gen 17:12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant… Gen 18:19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him."

·         Deut 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise…. :9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…. 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant--and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery… Deu 11:19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,

·         2Ki 6:1 Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, "See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there." And he answered, "Go."

·         Prov 31:26  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

·         Mark 3:20a Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat… 7:17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable… 9:28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" … 9:33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?"… 10:10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.

·         Mat 13:36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."

·         Mat 17:25 He said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?"

·         1Cor 14:35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

·         2Tim 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it  15  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

·         2John 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,

·         Martin Luther wrote: “Though I am an old doctor of divinity, to this day I have not got beyond the children’s learning – the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer – and these I understand not so well as I should, though I study them daily, praying with my son John and my daughter Magalen.”


·         We must not forget God in our homes: Deut 8:12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them,… 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,

·         Passover was a family time of worship and had provisions for smaller families to join together: Exo 12:4 And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb… 7 "Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it… 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt… 22 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.

·         Forgiveness of sin: Lev 16:6 "Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and shall make atonement for himself and for his house.

·         Obedience: Psalm 119:54 Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.

·         Sabbath Observance: Exo 35:3 You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day." Lev 23:3 "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places... Lev 23:21 And you shall make proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations…. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.

·         Josh 24:15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

·         Matthew Henry on 1 Corinthians 16:19 “Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house” “Some very good interpreters, I know, understand this of a settled, stated, solemn meeting of Christians at the house of Aquila and Priscilla, for public worship.... But others think it is meant only of their own family, and the strangers within their gates, among whom there was so much piety and devotion, that it might well be called a church, or religious house. Thus the ancients generally understood it... In this sense I shall choose to take it: from hence to recommend family religion to you, under the notion of a church in the house.” [There are four elements of successful family worship: hearing, teaching, praying, and singing... When teaching, make sure that the children are listening and understanding what is read by asking them questions.] "You must not only as prophets teach your families, but as priests must go before them, in offering the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise... And it is good... ordinarily to dwell most upon the concerns of those that join in their family capacity, that they be indeed a family prayer, nor only offered up in and by the family, but suited to it... Under this head of family-worship I must not omit to recommend to you the singing of psalms in your families.... This is a part of religious worship which participates both of the word and prayer; for therein we are not only to give glory to God, but to teach and admonish one another. It is therefore very proper to make it a transition from the one to the other. It will warm and quicken you, refresh and comfort you; and perhaps if you have little children in your houses, they will sooner take notice of it than of any other part of your family-devotion, and some good impressions may thereby be fastened upon them insensibly. —Matthew Henry "A Church in the House: A Sermon Concerning Family Religion"

·         Westminster Directory for Family-Worship 1647 “The ordinary duties comprehended under the exercise of piety which should be in families, when they are convened to that effect, are these: First, Prayer and praises performed with a special reference, as well to the publick condition of the kirk of God and this kingdom, as to the present case of the family, and every member thereof. Next, Reading of the scriptures, with catechising in a plain way, that the understandings of the simpler may be the better enabled to profit under the publick ordinances, and they made more capable to understand the scriptures when they are read; together with godly conferences tending to the edification of all the members in the most holy faith: as also, admonition and rebuke, upon just reasons, from those who have authority in the family… The head of the family is to take care that none of the family withdraw himself from any part of family-worship: and, seeing the ordinary performance of all the parts of family-worship belongeth properly to the head of the family, the minister is to stir up such as are lazy, and train up such as are weak, to a fitness to these exercises…”

Part 2: Intro

To review what we covered last week:

Today, I want to look more in depth at the Biblical basis for ministry to others centered from the home. This concept is rooted in the interchange throughout the Bible between the house of God and the houses of people. God has a house; He wants us to bring ourselves into His house, and then He promises to dwell with us in our house.

Interchange of the House of God & House of Man

·         Jacob @ Bethel after seeing the dream of the ladder and hearing God’s promise to bless him and make him and his descendents a blessing to every nation: Gen 28:17 And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven... the LORD shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you."

·         The physical temple building is a prominent feature of the Bible:

  1. First it was a tent built in Moses’ time: Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst… Exo 29:46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God. Psa 5:7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.
  2. A brick & mortar building was then built by Solomon: 1Kings 6:2 The house that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high… 7 When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built. 8 The entrance for the lowest story was on the south side of the house, and one went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle story to the third. 9 So he built the house and finished it, and he made the ceiling of the house of beams and planks of cedar. 10 He built the structure against the whole house, five cubits high, and it was joined to the house with timbers of cedar. 12 "Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. 14 So Solomon built the house and finished it. 15 He lined the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar… 16 He built twenty cubits of the rear of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls, and he built this within as an inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place… 19 The inner sanctuary he prepared in the innermost part of the house, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD... 22 And he overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.
  3. If you consider the design of the temple as described in the last 8 chapters of Ezekiel during the Babylonian exile, it had similarities to a human home with a fire, cooking facilities, bedrooms, and gathering space.
  4. I believe that Ezra & Nehemiah used Ezekiel’s blueprint to rebuild the temple after the Chaldeans tore it down. Ezra 9:9 …our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem.
  5. The book of Hebrews (8:5) tells us that all the things in the physical Jewish temple were types and shadows of heavenly things – God has a house in heaven. One of the basic features of God’s house on earth was that it was meant for people to come in to it to find fellowship with God. This is also true of the heavenly temple; it is meant for people to come into it and enjoy fellowship with God!


·         The basis for fellowship with God was in what men brought to the temple: Their sacrificial animal, their income, and their own selves:

  1. Sacrifices for atonement for sin:        
  2. Income to offer to God our substance:
  3. Yourself:

·         When we do this, God promises to make His home with us

1.      God’s house is now made of Flesh and Blood instead of Brick and Mortar:

§         14:23 Jesus answered, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

§         1Tim 3:15 says that “the household of God… is the church of the living God...”

§         1Peter 2:5 explains further: “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

2.      One way God makes His home with us is through the church. Listen to the many times in the New Testament that the church is equated with a household:

§         John Mark’s Mom’s house was a central point for believers in Jerusalem: Act 12:12 When he [Peter] realized this [that he had been delivered from prison], he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. Act 2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

§         Col 4:15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

§         Phil 4:22 All the saints greet you, especially those [the saints] of Caesar's household.

§         Phlm 1:2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:

§         Rom 16: 3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,  4  who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. 5 Greet also the church in their house1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.

3.      This relationship of God making His home with us is eternal:

§         Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

§         Isa 56:5 I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.

§         Zec 2:10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD. 11 And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.

§         Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.


Because God has invited us undeserving offenders into His house, we follow His example in using our homes as centers for ministry to those who are needy. The Bible specifically mentions using our homes to minister to the sick and the poor.

·         The sick: Luke 8:51 And when he came to the house [of the girl who had died of a sickness], he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. Mat 8:6 "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly." … 14 And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever.

1.      Please note, I have not been selective in choosing only Bible verses related to health care in the home and excluding others. There simply are no hospitals mentioned in over 4,000 years of Biblical history! I’m not saying that hospitals are necessarily bad – most hospitals were started by Christians as mercy ministries, but I am saying that it would be worthwhile to consider the use of our homes especially for sick family members.

2.      Example: Edith Schaeffer had a daughter with chronic rheumatic fever, and a son with polio, both of whom she cared for personally. Sometimes visitors to L’Abri got sick; sometimes even her helpers got sick, and she had to nurse them. Then for years Dr. Schaeffer's aged mother lived with them. Mrs. Schaeffer literally nursed her mother-in-law back to life after the doctors had given her only a brief time to live. Dr. Schaeffer developed cancer in his old age, and again Mrs. Schaeffer helped relieve his pain by her ministrations. When the time came for Dr. Schaeffer to die, Mrs. Schaeffer and her children brought him home. Dr. Schaeffer, like so many of us, didn't want to die in a noisy, neon-lit intensive care unit, sedated to the point of imbecility. He got his wish. The family made up a bed for him in the living room, where he could look out the front window and see the sky, and nursed him themselves in his last days. He died right there, in front of his own fireplace, in the arms of his wife. Could you do this? Could I do this? ... (Mary Pride, The Way Home, p. 193)

3.      Is Home-based health care possible? Yes, Americans are seeing the home increasingly as an alternative to the hospital: According to Naisbitt’s book Megatrends (p. 136), In “1981 home health care was a $2.5-billion-a-year business, up from a $500-million-a-year business in 1970. And its future looks bright. By 1990, sales should reach $10 billion...” He was right, Healthcare Financial Management Association published findings in 1999 that it was up to 42 billion! Naisbitt, also mentioned a “pilot project in New Jersey sponsored by the Veterans Administration [which] is fostering home care, contrasting the high costs of hospital care with $15 per day for home care. In Connecticut, Blue Cross/Blue Shield will offer home care for the terminally ill. Again, because it is cheaper. As the VA goes, so might go the country.”

4.      For more thoughts on caring for the chronically ill as a church, take a look at the article titled “When God won’t heal” in the March 2008 issue of By Faith Magazine.

·         For the Poor: Prov 31:20  “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
For the Homeless: Isa 58:7 “…share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into a (your) house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”

  1. 1Tim 5:9 indicates this should be a norm as it sets the standards for who qualifies for financial support from the church: “Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband,  10  and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work…
  2. Don’t leave it to the government. The Social Security website has been warning for years that their system will not work for much longer. This is because the system is not operating like a savings account, but rather relies upon current taxpayers to pay for the retirement and unemployment benefits of others, yet increasingly more people are trying to draw money from the system than are paying into it. Our government’s system of caring for the poor is a disaster waiting to happen. Many people will be left hurt when the Social Security and Medicare systems crash or get revamped.
  3. The welfare state is a poor substitute for the personalized ministry of Christians. Stephen Clark wrote in his book, Man and Woman in Christ, "An approach which makes the family a center of care and service has two particularly significant benefits. First, it will usually improve the quality of the service. Childrearing, charitable works, hospitality, evangelism, and many other services are best performed within a network of committed personal relationships rather than through special institutions. Secondly, the woman's domestic role will become more significant in the community as the responsibilities of the household increase…”
  4. Is this Possible? Is the thought of filling your bedrooms with street people overwhelming? Don’t start with that; start with the little opportunities God gives you. Les Gioja of Illinois wrote: "‘Ministry’ is a frustrating word for many Christians—especially those with small children, and especially the mothers of those children. We think we should be serving God by ministering to others, but we just don't have the time or energy to get involved in ministry programs. The real problem, however, is that we set up getting involved in these programs, rather than ministering to others, as the goal. Jesus does not want us to be inseparably linked to some committee with that committee's survival as our goal, but rather to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to minister out of this love. (See 1 Corinthians 13.) Ministry is simply loving and helping other people with the physical and spiritual resources God has given us in order to assist in bringing them closer to God. Period!! You do not need much money to give to the truly needy nor do you need a degree in evangelism to lead someone to Christ. It does not even take much time and energy to make someone else's day special. You merely have to stop, identify the needs of those around you, and match your available God-given resources to their needs…”
  5. If you are not aware of needs right off-hand, let me know if you would be interested in helping me respond to someone who calls our church phone number asking for money. We get these calls from time to time, and we need people in the church who can give their time to personally respond to the needs of these people.


·         Henry Reyenga The Spontaneous Spread of Home-Discipleship Christianity (pp.53-56) – “Most modern evangelism is event-based… where a potential believer is invited to a single evening to hear an often spectacular preacher share… The greatest deficiency of event-based evangelism concerns the nature of how someone hears about Christ. How people come to Christ forms a specific ‘DNA’ that has lasting impact both for their spiritual growth and how they minister to others… Since people have been reached by events, and their walk with God is event-driven, many are continually looking for [events] which reach the specific profile of their life and family. Church communities form less around encouraging each other in a full-orbed walk with God, but more and more around what the church… offers. And when people lose interest in that church… they must look for another. That is in their DNA. In home-discipleship evangelism, the costs are minimal, the staff is minimal, no specialized knowledge or extraordinary speakers are necessary. It’s simply one family sharing with another family what it means to walk with God together… When a person’s introduction to Christ happens in the context of a friendship, over a period f time, with exposure to the basic habits of Bible reading and prayer and a life among a community of believers, then it sets a DNA of direction, steadiness, wholeness, growth, connection, and commitment.” How does this play out in scripture?

·         1Ki 10:4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 5 the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the LORD, there was no more breath in her., and she said… “Blessed be the LORD…”

·         Go Home: Mark 5:19 And he [Jesus] did not permit him [the Gerasene demoniac who had been delivered and wanted to stay with Jesus] but said to him, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." (cf. Luke 8:39 "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.) Mark 8:26 And he sent him [the blind man at Bethsaida] to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village." Mat 9:6b he then said to the paralytic--"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." Why send them home? Because their families needed to hear the Gospel first.

·         Jesus’ Example: Luke 5:29 And Levi made him [Jesus] a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today."… 9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. Jesus got to know new people by visiting the houses of friends and sharing His message there in his friends’ homes, then He told His disciples to do the same:

·         Jesus’ Instructions: Luke 9:4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart… 10:5 Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house… 9  Heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' (cf. Mar 6:10; Mat 10:12-14)

·         Apostles’ Practice: Act 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

·         Peter: Act 10:22 And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say."

·         Paul and Silas in Philippi: Act 16:31 And they said [to the jailer], "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

·         Act 18:7 And he [Paul] left there [the Synagogue in Corinth] and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. Paul, as a single man was able to travel and conduct ministry out of other people’s homes. (The Ethiopian Eunuch is another example of an effective single evangelist!) These are special roles that single people can take in sharing the gospel with households. But what about families, can they do it too? Henry Reyenga shares in his book, The Spontaneous Spread of Home Discipleship Christianity, how this can happen:

·         The Story of Jason and Ashley: “As children they rarely attended church. They were each raised by a father and mother who both had to work, and Jason and Ashley both wanted careers as well. They got great jobs right out of college, Jason as a sales manager and Ashley working for a prestigious law firm. They bought a modest starter home. Jason and Ashley planned not to have children right away but to wait about 7 years, so they could become well established.
“Shock would be an understatement: Birth control did not work. Ashley was pregnant after eight months of marriage, and was soon overwhelmed by little Amber. A neighbor with eight children offered to help out, and Ashley was amazed at what she saw next-door. One child felt daunting, but the Lockheeds seemed so happy with eight. Sarah Lockheed taught Ashley the secrets of mothering, and Sarah's daughters attended to Amber whenever they got a chance. Ashley thought of a great idea: After her pregnancy leave, she could pay the Lockheeds to take care of Amber. [When she pitched the idea to the Lockheeds,] Sarah said that taking Amber would be no trouble. She also said, ‘Forget about giving us any pay.’
Ashley was intrigued by the Lockheeds' vision of the world. John Lockheed worked hard to support his wife and children. John was a gracious and visionary guy. Ashley could tell that John and Sarah had a great marriage. Ashley had to admit to herself that at first she did not believe that traditional families still existed.
“Ashley loved picking up Amber after work. She loved seeing the family in operation; she liked what she saw in the Lockheed children. Those children loved being with each other, and they really had joy. She started asking Sarah about her opinions: Why are you having so many children? Why did you decide to be a traditional family?
“Sarah explained that when she and John first married, she firmly believed in women's lib, and John was a ‘forward’ thinker who loathed anything to do with family values. After living together for a couple of years, they decided to get married because they both liked a particular house and they figured that getting married would allow them to afford it. After a year of marriage, they were at the verge of splitting when they heard the message of Christianity. They both turned from their lost ways and followed Christ…
“One day John and Sarah invited Jason and Ashley to dinner. Something unusual occurred: After the meal, the Lockheeds opened the Bible and read it for a few minutes. They also spent five minutes memorizing a Bible passage. Much to their surprise, their daughter Amber was saying the passage out loud with the Lockheed family. Impressed, Jason asked some questions about the Bible. John answered as best he could and invited Jason and Ashley to their church's hymn sing. They asked permission if Amber could accompany the Lockheed family in reciting a Bible passage. Jason and Ashley agreed. The meal concluded with a hymn that Amber sang along to. Jason and Ashley watched. At the hymn sing, Jason and Ashley saw many other families recite Bible passages. They saw adults and children singing hymns. They sensed the presence of God in the eyes of those participating.
“Jason and Ashley asked John and Sarah many questions about Christianity and soon decided that they wanted to begin a relationship with Christ and practice home discipleship with Amber… Ashley quit her job to stay home with their next addition. Jason and Ashley joined the Lockheeds' … church, and they are now telling their family and friends about a … relationship with God.”
It started with an intentionally-built home and small kindnesses to a neighbor, then the hospitality of inviting them over for a meal, which led to the opportunity to give an answer for their faith when the neighbors asked questions. Taking them to church happened later on. I think this is the kind of pattern we can expect.


·         Each of us is building a house. We need to build it with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to give it a firm foundation. He will dwell with us when we do this.

·         We need to look for the expansion of our house to embrace children, parents, employees, and others.

·         We need to vigilantly defend the purity of our homes.

·         We need to eat meals and live in our homes and create a culture in our homes that reflects the nature of God.

·         God shows us in scripture to use our homes as ministry centers where

o       hospitality is offered,

o       the sick are cared for,

o       the poor are provided for,

o       the homeless and lonely find family (“He sets the lonely in homes” – Psalm 68:6),

o       the Gospel is proclaimed,

o       and above all, God is worshipped.


·         I want to close with the latest newsletter of some missionary friends in Indonesia that my family has supported in prayer for about 20 years. They provide an example of ministry based out of the home:
“How can we describe what we do? 9 to 5 job? Hardly! We are gospel planters. Leaders of a team of other gospel planters (5 Indonesians and 1 Canadian). Trainers. Coaches. Sharers of love and truth to Muslim friends. Disciplers of Muslim-born followers of Jesus. Much of what we do and share flows unscheduled in and from our home. Open porch, open door. We try to ensure that our home is a place of light, warmth, spontaneous prayer, counsel and spiritual nurture. What does a "typical" day of flowing with God in our context look like? On February 27, 2008 Jamey journalled some of his day's activities to open a window to you so you can appreciate what God is doing here and also pray for us with understanding. Here is Jamey writing:
Pre-dawn: It's not yet 4 a.m and I am wide awake, earlier than normal. A neighbor at a nearby mosque invites the faithful to come to early morning subuh prayers. I brew my one-a-day of Arabica, sit at my desk and open to Philippians—in English and in [the local language].
7 a.m. A Muslim neighbor, "Mary", stops by. We discuss how to provide a job for Mary's relative, a woman we have lovingly called "Lamb." Lamb's husband, Jake, died suddenly two weeks ago from an asthma attack. Now Lamb faces the challenge of providing for her four children without her husband's help. Mary animatedly tells me how her husband (Lamb's brother) was... overcome by a spirit being on the night following Jake's death. He and Mary had been staying with Lamb and her children at their small house. In the middle of the night, Mary's husband "started talking just like Jake!" They were convinced it was Jake's spirit manifesting. I begin to consider a Bible story that I might share later with Mary's family.
7:45 a.m. Tim, Julia, Cindy and I gather for "devo." Sometimes our devotional time is leisurely with Bible stories and music. This morning it is more focused as I share something God has been speaking deep in my heart concerning my own growth in the love of God. I pray a special prayer of blessing over [our children].
9:00 a.m. I'm sitting in the car en route to the Immigration Office to renew some documents. Our employee-driver, Andy, had overheard the earlier conversation with Mary. I ask, "Andy, what would you do if you faced a person who was 'spirit-possessed?'" A lively discussion ensues. Before getting out of the car, I open the glove box and pull out a... New Testament. I leave Andy to read Colossians 2:15 and the great drama of Revelation 12 (both passages describing Satan's defeat).
11:00 a.m. Our teammate Mark phones, "Could I drop by and introduce two Canadian friends who hope to move to Indonesia? I'd like for them to meet you."   I consult Cindy, then answer, "Sure! Come for lunch!"
11:30 a.m. Our Dutch neighbor, Peter, parks his sandals on our porch and calls out. I invite him to sit down. Peter wants to help our local community leader start a small brick-making business to assist the unemployed in our neighborhood. I leave Peter briefly, telephone a friend, then network Peter with an Indonesian businessman who is qualified to evaluate the feasibility of this idea.
12 noon Mark arrives with his Canadian friends. Over lunch Cindy and I have a delightful conversation with this couple who are preparing in faith to step into the next phase of God's calling upon their lives. We talk about language learning, about the importance of "bonding" to Indonesians in love, about being rooted in God's love, about TCKs (third culture kids) and schooling options for their 9th grade daughter.
2:30 p.m. An Indonesian colleague phones. "Can I drop by later? I need to borrow some materials for teaching church people how to reach Muslims in a culturally sensitive way. I'll come in the late afternoon."
And the day flows on. The Lord replenishes our peace even as it flows from our home to our neighbors and colleagues. Our open door has often invited strenuous challenges, but there is grace and joy to match it all. We live "in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest" (Isaiah 32:18). Praise to God!