Whether the audience is pastors, elders, husbands, wives, fathers, or mothers; whether the venue is a men’s group, church retreat, home school conference, seminar, or denominational meeting, we continue to relish seeing individuals, families, and entire church bodies awakened, inspired, and equipped for relational ministry that strengthened homes and churches.
A thread becomes a tapestry
Through it all, there has been a seminal theme. At first, the theme was merely a thread. But over the years this theme wove into a beautiful tapestry.
The theme I speak of is a rediscovery of the gospel, in particular, our identity as new creations in Christ and how it is the oft forgotten (if it was ever fully known to begin with) key to restoring relationships in the home and the church.
Frankly, why would I be surprised that a ministry—of all things—would find this to be the case? Let’s step back.
REAL Answers to our Relationship Struggles
When there is a problem in our relationships, we often try to fix it by quickly focusing on what we are supposed to do. “I must stop doing this.” “I must love the other person.” “I must forgive the other person.” “I must help the other person!” Of course, this is right. But “doing” is only half of the answer.
By itself, “doing” leads to a legalistic and moralistic life that may have the veneer of righteousness but is void of gospel grace that defines true Christianity and differentiates it from all other faiths. It is powerless and leaves us exhausted, frustrated, doubting, defeated, and in some cases: turning away from God altogether.
Freedom Not a Straightjacket
God does not expect us—and I mean us as Christians—to fix ourselves by ginning up will-power to do what’s right. In fact, that performance-based living is repugnant to him. He hates it because it does not require Jesus Christ.
“Doing” has a vital partner!
With God’s commands to “do” (imperatives) such as “love,” “forgive,” and “serve” comes the basis and strength out of which we are to “do.” We can “do” because of what God through Christ Jesus has already “done” for us (indicatives).
The book of Ephesians is a perfect example of the relationship between what God has already done (the indicative) and how we are to live (the imperative).
The first three chapters are all about what Jesus Christ has already done for us through our union with him. We already have every spiritual blessing; a spiritual inheritance: we are holy, blameless, redeemed, forgiven, sealed with the Holy Spirit, made alive, adopted into God’s family, and citizens of heaven. These are just a few aspects of our identity as new creations in Christ.
The last three chapters of Ephesians tell us how to live for him considering what Christ has already done for us. We are to submit to one another, love our wives, train our children, and honor our employers not merely because God says to but because of who we already are! This is why Paul prays so powerfully at the end of chapter three for us to dwell on these riches which are bound up in Christ himself. They are the key to living for him!
Spiritual Rocket Fuel
When our focus is on Jesus Christ and what he has done for us, it changes our hearts to want to obey him. It gives us strength to obey him because his love compels us as Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5.
This is rocket fuel in the Christian life that passionately motivates us and directs us within renewed joyful purpose.
Through the years of helping churches and homes “do” ministry more effectively through relationships, we have been awakened to the vital but often forgotten role, the key, to that end: a continuous focus on The Gospel. This really is good news!
on Church and Communities
Certainly, churches can improve on helping homes understand and live this way. We will continue to work through churches to equip homes.
Our strategy moving forward simply makes explicit the trend we have seen taking place over the past several years in how God has used this ministry. We will now position the ministry to work more directly with families beginning with helping them rediscover and apply the good news—the Gospel, particularly, their union with Christ at home.
Homes oriented this way are in position to bless their churches in tangible ways. Home so oriented can be what God intends: conduits (not cul-de-sacs) of grace in our neighborhoods and communities so that the glory of God is seem more clearly in his church.
We are changing our name to more clearly demonstrate the work we are doing. Home In Him emphasizes our message of gospel identity applied in the home.