THE CHRISTIAN HOME
The book of Acts concludes with Paul dwelling in “his own hired house” [Acts 28:30]. Although his freedom was curtailed, it must have been a pleasant two years for Paul. Since becoming an evangelist for Christ, he had wandered across the lands of Asia Minor and other countries preaching the word of God. He never had a home of his own until he was placed under house arrest in Rome. His humble rented home in Rome became a Bethel to many a weary soul.
What a blessing a Christian home is. It is an oasis in the desert of a wicked world. It is a shelter from the turbulent storms of modern life. Truly there is “no place like home.”
Let us pause and give thanks to God for the blessings of the Christian home, for godly fathers, devout mothers, spousal love, children, and a hallowed place where we can close the door on the world, its cares and enjoy the sweet fellowship of family and friends.
Paul was not allowed to go out to the highways and byways, but the door of his home was open for all who came with a variety of concerns and burdens. He graciously received “all that came in unto him.” There he preached the kingdom of God and taught the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, and, despite his prisoner status, there was none to hinder him. Even under arrest, God opened a door of opportunity for Paul to witness.
Is your home open to the weary soul? Is it a place others are glad to enter because the conversation is uplifting and centres on Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God?
THE BIBLE STANDS
The Bible is a treasured possession that we should cherish and heed. Although God’s Word is precious to us, history records countless attempts to destroy it.
Sinners have ignored it; philosophers have speculated against it; scientists have tried to disprove it; theologians have attempted to explain it away; church hierarchies have burned it and martyred those who sought to spread it. Man has been able to destroy the parchment and paper on which the Scripture has been written, but neither man, the church, nor the devil himself can destroy God’s eternal Word. The Bible stands forever.
The Bible says that “the name of the wicked shall rot” [Proverbs 10:7]. But the Bible stands. Let us be careful never to turn a deaf ear to its eternal message. Let us read it, learn it, and live it. [M.B].
THE PALM TREE CHRISTIAN
The Christian is likened to the palm tree. [Psalm 92:12]. It is a good likeness.
It is upright. Canadian trees come in all shapes and sizes – bent, knotted and twisted with many branches. By contrast, the palm is upright, the stately sentinel of the desert. Wind or weight cannot mar its uprightness. The righteous are to stand tall for the Lord.
It is unmistakable. Many trees are hard to identify, but not the palm. Do we live unmistakably Christ-like lives?
It is useful. It is called “nature’s living supermarket.” Its fruit is used for food, its sap for drink, its fibres for rope, its trunk for wood, and its seed for animal food. It begs the question, what do I do for the Lord?
It bears its fruit high. Most trees like the apple, peach, and orange hang their fruit downwards for all to see and admire. The palm lifts up its fruit heavenward as it were for God. What a lesson for us. We should lift up our fruit for the glory of God and not self.
It is evergreen. Neither the height of summer nor the dead of winter can hinder the palm. Likewise, the Christian is to be “Instant in season and out of season” [2 Timothy 4:2].
It has overcoming power. The palm frond has been a symbol of victory from Bible times [Leviticus 23:40] to the present. The Lord wants us to live victorious lives for Him.
It ushers in good news. The classic example has the weary traveller crossing the parched desert, dying of thirst. He sees a palm tree in the distance. He is encouraged for “water is to be found there.” The classic warning. The weary traveller sees a palm tree, but it is not real. It is a mirage. It has the appearance of hope, but closer inspection reveals nothing.
What does a closer inspection of our Christian testimony reveal? Hope for the hopeless? Am I a palm tree Christian or a fruitless and empty mirage?
THE MODEL CHRISTIAN
Most homes have ornaments. They look nice, but they don’t do anything. Some Christians see themselves as “Model Christians.” Pity they aren’t working models.