House dedication ceremony
(Message shared on 25 January 2016 in the house dedication celebration of Pastor Parthiban, Sunita, Luke and Grace.)
To build and own a house is a quest for many people in this world. For some, it is like the Promised Land for which they wander in the wilderness and hope to enter there. This desire is not wrong or evil. It is always a joy for families to own a house – small, medium or big; huts, flats or mansions. People prefer to live in a small own house rather than in a large rented house.
Grace of God
God’s grace is absolutely essential for building and owning a house. If and when God provides us a house, we have to be grateful for his abundance and grace. Psalmist writes: “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.” (Psalms 127:1) Human struggles, hard work, will bring result if God blesses those efforts. Ultimately, it is God who builds our houses as all resources, wealth, technology and strength belongs to him. I would suggest seven building blocks for a Christian home.
Building Block 1: Salvation
Lord Jesus Christ took initiative and invited himself to the home of Zacchaeus. It was a sweet surprise to Zacchaeus. The result was beyond all expectations. Zacchaeus repented of his sinful life and Lord Jesus gave him the gift of forgiveness. “And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9) Having a big mansion is a good blessing according to standards of the world but in God’s perspective it is different. “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Psalms 32:1, 2) Receiving the gift of salvation is more important than owning a home.
Building Block 2: Word of God
House needs a strong foundation. The Word of God is the real foundation of a home. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24) Reading, studying, memorizing, meditating and applying the Word of God in our lives is vital for a Christian home. Does the Word of God girds the whole home. When Lord Jesus visited the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus; Mary sat at his feet and listened to His teaching. (Luke 10:42)
Building Block 3: Worship and Praise
A God honouring house has worship as lifestyle. God is glorified by that worship. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24: 15) All activities in the home should be worship. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Cor 10:31) It is not just silent worship, but with songs. “Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous:” (Psalms 118:15) The upper room where Lord Jesus celebrated the Passover and taught the New covenant shows, homes as place of worship, celebration and praise. (John 13) Early Christians gathered in the homes of worship, fellowship, learning and communion. (Acts 2:42)
Building Block 4: Wisdom
“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Proverbs 24:3-4) Wisdom, understanding and knowledge are essential to establish a house and fill them with pleasant and precious riches. Lack of wisdom could bring destruction. “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” (Proverbs 14:1) God’s Word provides wisdom.
Building Block 5: Peace
In the home, we like to rest, relax and enjoy peace. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalms 4:8) Safety, security and peace is a gift from God. Even if the watchman is awake, the security if from the Lord. God’s promise is: “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” (Isaiah 32:18) When the disciples were scared and hiding in a closed room after Lord Jesus Christ was crucified; the Risen Saviour appeared to them and proclaimed Peace. (John 20:36)
Building Block 6: Blessings
God’s blessings abide with the righteous people and their homes. “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.” (Proverbs 3:33) The blessings are spiritual, mental, physical, material, social…etc. “No plague come near your tent” (Psalms 91:10) When Lord Jesus visited the home of the widow in Nain, her son was raised from the dead. (Luke 7:11-17)
Building Block 7: Home of Hospitality
Homes are place of ministry and mission. Christian homes should welcome people and show hospitality. In the modern world there are difficulties as there is lot of criminal activity like deception, burglary and looting. In spite of that, with God’s discernment we could help people. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)
We are called to minister to families. Lord sent disciples two by two and asked them to proclaim peace in the homes they visit. “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’” (Luke 10:5)
Challenge of Eternity Focus
As we enjoy our home in this world, we should not forget our eternal home. We should not be possessed by our homes, but willing to let go to reach our eternal home. Lord Jesus Christ said: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2) As long as we are living on this planet earth, we should build our homes with the above seven building blocks.