Jesus taught essential lessons in the actual homes of His followers. While many people think of Jesus’ ministry as teaching to the multitudes, feeding the 5,000, teaching in the temples, the synagogues, the mountainside and the seashore, many of His most personal teachings were done inside the walls of a family’s home.
In fact, there are countless lessons throughout the New Testament that Jesus taught within these walls that can guide us in making Christ the focal point of our own homes, and our daily lives.
There’s no doubt that there is a great power that comes when Jesus becomes the central focus of our homes and there is no better way to learn about building a Christ-centered home than from Christ himself. When we take the time to welcome Jesus into our homes and make Christ our focus, we experience a total faith transformation. Are you ready to invite Him in? Here are five biblical lessons that will fortify your home based on the book “The Christ-Centered Home: Inviting Jesus In” by Emily Belle Freeman.
Prayer Is Vital
It’s important that we converse with Jesus often. In Mark 9, there is a great story about a father who seeks the compassion of the Lord for his son who was beyond hope. His boy was possessed by a spirit that robbed him of speech. The father begs the Lord to heal his son, asking him if there’s anything He can do? Jesus responds that everything is possible for those who believe.
The father immediately cries out “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” Jesus then rebukes the spirit and he is healed. The disciples later ask Jesus why they could not heal the boy. His response here is key: “This kind can come forth by nothing, by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). This story teaches us an important lesson about the power of prayer.
When someone in our own home is in need of a blessing from the Lord, our prayers are not only a powerful source of good, but can also lead to miracles. Prayer is vital, not only in helping us grow in our personal relationship with God, but in terms of the protection and healing of our family members. Ask yourself how often you pray for the members of the family, and if you call them each out by name? If we want to fortify our homes, it must become a house of prayer.
It’s Important to Gather and Strengthen
We see countless examples throughout the Bible of Jesus gathering and strengthening, like in 2 Thessalonians where a group gathered together so they wouldn’t be shaken in mind or trouble (2 Thessalonians 2: 1-2). Gathering was so important, that the doctrine of unity was an essential part of the New Testament. As believers, we gather for church, we gather for meals, we gather for prayer among other things. Do you take out time to gather with your family? We can fortify our homes by creating moments where we gather together.
If you don’t already have a structure in place, set up times to gather as a family for meals, for family prayer, or in the evening to discuss sacred topics. This can also be a time to play games together and counsel each other. Through these gatherings, strengthening takes place, and this strengthening is essential for building a foundation of unity for your family.
Jesus spent the Sabbath teaching and healing. The story of Jesus lifting up Peter’s mother-in-law is a great example of how Jesus honored the Sabbath. After Jesus and His disciples left the synagogue, and went to Peter’s home, Jesus was told that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with fever. Immediately “[Jesus] came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up” (Mark 1:31).
After leaving Peter’s home, Jesus continued to lift the sick and the lowly. Our Sabbath days with our families can reflect this same pattern too. It is a gift that should be kept holy. One way we can do this in our families is by setting aside one Sabbath every month for fasting. This not only teaches our family discipline and self-control, but it can also make us more humble and help build up a more intimate relationship with Christ. This can also be a time you set aside with your family to give back to those in need.
Grace is Found in the Ordinary
We see countless examples of God’s grace in the ordinary in the Bible and in our daily lives. A great example of this is the story of the miracle of the coin in the fish’s mouth (Matthew 17:24-27). While it is one of the least dramatic of Christ’s miracles, it is one of the most instructive. Jesus knew the financial situation of the apostles, and also knew the hearts of those who came to collect.
Given this, He told Peter to go out to the sea, cast out a hook, and take up the first fish that came up. There, Jesus told him he would find a piece of money inside that fish to pay their taxes. Just as Jesus predicted, the coin was there! This is an example of Christ doing the extraordinary with the ordinary.
The story may seem like a simple conversation about paying taxes and fishing, but there’s way more to this story. Jesus knew exactly what fish was in the lake with a coin in its mouth, and that Peter would be at the right place at the right time to his hook down. This is also an example of God’s grace in action. Author Emily Bell Freeman describes grace as “the times when the ordinary details of life are orchestrated in such a way that we are reminded heaven hasn’t forgotten you.”
She explains that we’ve all experienced these moments, and they are found in the sunset just after your mother’s funeral, or the words of a song that comes on as you are driving away from a discouraging doctor’s visit. We are reminded of Jesus’ loving kindness in moments like these. God remembers us, particularly in our times of need.
Miracles Follow When We Humbly Believe
Jesus often used bread as a symbol in His teachings. For believers, when we think of bread, we often think of the Last Supper, the Bread of Life and Jesus Christ. The “breads” are frequently referred to in the Bible, particularly in Mark, chapters 6 through 8. One of these is a story about crumbs. The story begins with Jesus leaving Galilee to enter Gentile regions. He decides to rest inside a home, hoping to not be noticed, but he could not be hid (Mark 7:24). A mother whose daughter was oppressed by a demon found Jesus in the home. Though she was not of Jewish faith, she had a heart that contained a seed of faith and a desire for her child to be healed. She fell at the feet of Jesus in humble surrender.
Jesus told her to let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the bread of the children and feed it to the dogs (Mark 7:27). She responded “Yes, Lord, yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7:28). Jesus responded, “great is thy faith,” and the demon was removed. This mother so deeply wanted to experience “the bread” that she was willing to take whatever He gave her, even the crumbs.
The mother in this story is a great example of what it means to humbly surrender – to willingly believe in the Lord with only a seed of faith. Jesus gives her more than a crumb. He provides her a miracle. This is the Lord’s way, providing miracles when we humbly believe. Ask yourself what are the desires of your heart, particularly as it relates to your family? How often do we respond to the Lord: I will take whatever you will give me? Remember the faith of this mother, and trust God in these circumstances.
Please support us to reach others by sharing this article