At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ, and many Christians give Him a gift to express gratitude. This year we want to suggest you give Jesus your home! Whether your home is a house or apartment, you probably think of it as a refuge from the busyness of the day. You may also consider your home an investment or a renovation project. But a gift?
These are words of encouragement from Bob Rasmussen, Director of Near Frontiers, an OC ministry (www.nearfrontiers.org). We asked Bob for a practical challenge this holiday season in light of his ministry experience. His exhortations come from a heart desiring to help believers and churches reach out with Christ’s love to the refugees, immigrants, international students, and under-served people in our own neighborhoods and cities.
We would like to encourage you to offer your home to Jesus as a gift in 2017, to be used for His purposes. Let your home be a place of hospitality and encouragement.
Here are some thoughts:
- Rather than meeting someone at a nearby coffee shop, invite them to your home. Serve simple drinks like tea or coffee, with biscuits or cookies. Don’t pressure yourself to put out a fancy spread.
- It has been said that the front door of the home is the side door of the church. Getting to know you in your home gives the other person confidence to accept your invitation to a gathering with more people. Begin to invite neighbors or workmates to your home. Inviting others into your living space gives them an idea of who you are. As they see pictures of your family, they see you more personally.
- Invite those from different cultures. Internationals are accustomed to gathering in homes. They are honored when invited into an American home.
- You may have relatives near or far who would love to visit if invited. There may be guests who need lodging for a night or two, if only they knew they were welcome.
- If a neighbor or friend drops by unexpectedly, genuinely invite them into your home. Even if they cannot stay, you have shown hospitality. Offer a cup of tea.
Since Jesus is Lord of all, everything we possess truly belongs to Him, including our homes. In offering your home to Jesus as a gift, you are simply giving Him access to use it in whatever way He chooses. This can become a wonderful walk of faith as you pray and watch how Jesus wants to host visitors in your home this year. Pray that He will give you creative ideas of who to invite to your home. Watch who He brings in answer to your prayers!
“Lord Jesus, this home is yours. I offer it back to you. Use it to encourage the weak, and to welcome the stranger. Though I do not always feel confident as a host, I want this home to minister to those you love. Thank you for helping me to see and welcome others in Your name.”
- Print the above prayer on some nice card-stock to put on your fridge or frame.
- Make up a nice card to put somewhere as a reminder in the home (perhaps with the prayer); “I give to Jesus free use of my home to use as He wants.” Signed _____________
- Read and use the book, “The Art of Neighboring” by Dave Runyon and Jay Pathak.
One Challenge is an international agency committed to bringing God’s transforming love and hope to all people. We identify and work to meet the physical, emotional, and social needs of individuals and communities, providing opportunities for deeper level relationships and deeper levels of change. These ministries include education, medical services, agricultural development, community development, and small business mentoring … helping local people to build a healthy community.