To you, home may be “where the heart is,” or it may simply be, “where you hang your hat.” You may live in the biggest house on the block, or occupy a very humble abode. Regardless of what kind of home you live in, you may be a “private property Christian.”
“Private property Christians” are those who are stingy with who they invite into their home. Although they have the facilities do so, they don’t host church activities in their home. If they do welcome people into their home, it is only very close friends and family. They wouldn’t consider housing a visiting preacher, or a Christian brother or sister with whom they’re not acquainted, for a few days.
“Private property Christians” consider people in their home, outside of immediate family and close friends, to be intruders. They would be annoyed by an uninvited visitor arriving on their doorstep. If someone does drop by unannounced, they will usually leave the television on to let the visitor know that they are not really welcome there.
I must confess, I struggle with being a “private property Christian.” But I also think I need to reconsider how I think about my home.
Here are a few things you need to understand about your home:
1. Your Home Belongs to God – Whether we are renting, paying a mortgage, or have paid for our home “free-and-clear,” we really own nothing. Everything in this world belongs to its Creator. God says, “For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine” (Psalm 50:10-12).
You may be the tenant, but the “property owner” is God. Your home, like everything else in your possession, is merely a stewardship with which you have been entrusted.
2. Your Home is a Tool to Help You Glorify God – God has allowed you a place to live so that you can use it to His glory. At times, the best use of a home is solitude, rest, and recuperation (even Jesus needed time for that). We all need a quiet place to go and “recharge our batteries,” so that we can be at our best for God. However, there are other times when entertaining others would be better than merely entertaining ourselves (Hebrews 13:1).
On the Day of Judgment, the King will say to those on His right, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:35, 40); and He will send to “eternal punishment” those who failed to do so (Matthew 25:46).
Because of your unique situation, you may not have a home in which to invite people; but I guarantee you have something with which to serve others and glorify God. Whatever you have at your disposal, is a tool to be used in the service of God.
We all must use good discernment. We must ask ourselves, “At this very moment, what is the best use of my home, my time, my talents, my energy? How can I best use all that I have to bring glory to God?” Then, whether it is convenient or not, we must do what’s best (that which brings the greatest glory to God).
3. Your Home is Temporary – Don’t get too attached to your house, eventually it’s going to burn. Everything in this physical world will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10-11). Your home is just “sticks and bricks.” If you’re a Christian, you’re going to spend eternity in an eternal dwelling place Christ has prepared for you (John 14:2); don’t get too bogged down with worries and concerns about your “cottage below.”
The Christians in Jerusalem, right after the events of Pentecost, understood these things. They understood that homes and property were just temporary tools, of which God had made them stewards, for His glory, “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need” (Acts 4:34-35).
I want to challenge us all to think about our homes differently; differently than the world thinks of homes, and maybe differently than we’ve ever thought about them before.
I love you and the God who is your shelter loves you,