On a recent trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, we toured some model homes in a new subdivision called The Palisades. The interior design team from Shea Homes spared neither effort nor money in making their Avalon house appealing, for one warm, inviting room just flowed into the next. We thought it stood head and shoulders above the rest, and at three stories with a bonus room, it did. However, without a family to make it a home, it was still just a house. As I thought about the concept, I remembered a television commercial by Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen. In an advertisement for Under Armour, an apparel company, he gives a rousing locker room speech, which included, "When they come in here, they've gotta play our game in our house. And nobody beats us in our house." It’s tough to win on the road, and even most NFL teams have a better record at home than away, but only one team, called a team of destiny, has had a perfect season – the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Most teams, however, just hover around the .500 mark, and all teams do lose at home.
The church is a team of destiny, as well, and our God will spare no effort, whether through encouragement, reproof, or correction, to make us more like Jesus. He has made us holy, so that we, as members of one body, could love God and people. We are living stones held together by Christ – the head of the church. As we learn doctrine in His word, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to control and empower us so we can live out the truth. Christians, like it or not, are living commercials for Jesus. Everywhere we go, we should represent Christ well, and it starts in our own house, by loving those of the household of faith. Francis Schaeffer said, “Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful – Christian community is the final apologetic.”
When we are immersed in His word, the Holy Spirit floods our hearts with His desires. When we are in the house of the Lord on Sunday, soaking up His love at home, we are weak on self and strong in Him. Praising God, singing hymns, hearing the word, and having fellowship, we seem to be a team invincible. However, as soon as we go on the road, we begin to run into difficulty. If we go on the offensive by sharing His word, we get sacked by huge lineman defending worldly lusts. Too much of that, and we resort to trick plays – programs we use to peddle a softened version of the truth. Too much of that, and we find we’re just piddlin’ around and beaten in our house. Fortunately, we all suffer defeat in the Christian life for a purpose. Sharing in the fellowship of His sufferings is one of the true marks that join us together. In that suffering, we crawl back to Abba for a halftime lift, and He reminds us of His plan and Christ’s promise: Ultimately, nobody beats us in our house!
Mountain Time Moment
In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
Ephesians 2:21 NIV
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