Commentary by Walter Albritton


November 13, 2005


The Spirit Moves Us to Share Our Lives with Others

Acts 16


Key Verse: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home. – Acts 16:15

          In 1960 my wife and I built a small house (600 square feet) in Elmore County. It was our hideaway in the woods, our place of retreat from parsonage life. We called it “The Cabin.”

          For the past 45 years we have slowly enlarged the cabin so that it now has about three thousand square feet. Our son Steve, a contractor, added on a new, spacious room just before we retired. The room has a high ceiling and is larger than the original house. We dedicated the room to the Lord and call it “God’s Room.”

          We have found great joy in sharing the room with others. Three churches have used it for small meetings of groups. Family members have used it for small group meetings. One church Council on Ministries used the room for an all-day planning retreat. We have used the room for sewing groups, prayer meetings, suppers, and staff meetings.

          Offering the room to others is one way we are sharing our lives with others in the name of Jesus. As a pastor and preacher I have been blessed repeatedly by the gracious hospitality of people who opened their homes to me.

          A Christian’s home is, in fact, a wonderful tool of evangelism. David met Larry in the gym where both men were working out. David invited Larry to his home to meet a few other men. These men have met at David’s home for a Monday night Bible study for years.

          Larry came to David’s home and was touched by the welcoming spirit of the men. Hungry for a personal relationship with God, Larry soon gave his life to Christ and became a new man. He gave up singing in night clubs and began singing in the praise team at David’s church. Now he is a devout and growing disciple of Jesus who is using his musical gifts to serve the Lord.

          The significant element in this story is that the door to the Kingdom for Larry was David’s home. There he encountered not only the hospitality of Christian men; he was accepted “just as he was” and not condemned because he was different. The genuine acceptance he received motivated him to fall in love with Jesus Christ. The home of a Christian man made a difference.

          Make no mistake about it: God guides people into our lives. We are not like oak leaves adrift on the sea of life. God arranged the meeting of Larry and David in that gym. Their meeting was not happenchance but a divine appointment.

          Luke makes it clear that the Spirit was guiding Paul and his friends. They were forbidden to go one place; they were not allowed to go to another. Then in a dream God gave Paul a vision of going to Macedonia to help people who were calling for him. Paul went and it was there in Philippi that he met Lydia.

          The wealthy Lydia must have had a lovely great room with a cabin on the back, perhaps much like our cabin. She first offered herself to Christ, and then offered her home to Paul. Lydia’s faith attracted others who believed and soon she was hosting the new church in her home. Thus did the home of a Christian become the door to the Kingdom for many new believers.

          As we grow in reflecting the image of Christ in our lives, we discover that there are lonely, hurting people all around us who need desperately the hospitality of God’s people. Many people have reached out to us over the years, inviting us into their homes as well as their hearts. Have we not all been richly blessed by the gift of hospitality freely given to us by friends of Jesus?

          Imagine a Bible study meeting in your home. Consider what could happen to a small group of believers who met regularly in your home to seek God and share their struggles. Seekers can often meet God more easily in a loving home than at a church altar. Church furniture and stained glass windows cannot save us; God alone saves us.

          If your home was dedicated to the Lord, and you had a Bible study group meeting with you, you might meet a Larry – at the gym or perhaps the grocery store. You could exercise the gift of hospitality and invite him to your home.

          Then it might possibly be said again that the home of a Christian became a door to the Kingdom for someone seeking to know Jesus. When we fall in love with Jesus, the Spirit moves us to share our lives with others.  Paul did it. Lydia did it. We can too.

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