Another Front Door to Home

Another Front Door Fall

The welcome mat, with faded hues of color from years of collecting sunshine and enduring the scuffing of shoes is there, in front of a threshold. Another front door to home. A new home. A wonderful home.

Whenever I think about “home,” I have a visual reminder of the many places we have lived and recall the hundreds of times we have opened the front door to our home to welcome new friends, first time guests, and family members that have traveled long distances to visit with us.

Home is here. This is where we are. wherever we live, we purposefully say the words, “This is home.”  It’s not a house where we live. We are home.

Do we miss the place where our family first began? Of course! Does my heart long to go back to that place where I feel most connected? Yes, I feel the tug.

But I don’t call the place that tugs on my heart as “home.” It is a place I visit.

Where I live now is home. This is the right place for us to find community.

Our home is filled with peace, love, security. A place to escape and retreat from the chaos of work and conflicts. Home is the place to meet Jesus. Home is a place to write memories and journal the adventures. This home is where God has us.

If only a welcome mat could talk!

I treasure home. I love thinking about the many times our front door has opened. I love experiencing a new community of friends and especially experiencing God’s love and His incredible plan for us to have another front door…to home!

In Pursuit of a Gospel-Centered Community

The following is a few thoughts from my Sunday devotional: In Pursuit of a Gospel-Centered Community. Where is this community? Wherever I work, live and play. There is nothing deeper and stronger than the gospel on which to build community.

Let Love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13 ESV)

Let love be genuine: True gospel-saturated community is authentic.

Abhor what is evil: A gospel-centered community will embrace people in their brokenness while making war on sin. Don’t abhor people but abhor evil.

Love one another with brotherly affection: A Jesus-centered gospel calls us to possess a deep brotherly love as we would for our own family, this is a familial affection.

Out do one another in showing honor: Affection for the Lord leads to affection for others, resulting in out doing one another in honor. [1]

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord: Relationships go deep when arms are linked in a great cause that you are ready to lay down your lives for. Stir up zeal for God and for the cause of God and truth and life. Be passionate in your spirit. [2]

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer: When life is hard, we can either give up on hope or get it from joy. Tribulation drives the roots of joy down into hope  and fight to be constant in prayer, God acts when we pray. [3]

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality: Lavish mercy, give from your wealth, mentor others, teach a skill, open your lives and the doors of your home.

Being in pursuit of a gospel-centered community is a “forever journey.” The only way that we are able to do any of this is answered in Romans 12:1 (The Message)

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

[1] Matt Chandler, Creature of the Word, page 59    [2] John Piper:  Be Strong and Fervent in Spirit,  ❘  [3] John Piper: Happy in Hope, Patient in Pain, Constant in Prayer