Read Matthew 7:24-27
‘Get your house in order.’ The phrase came to me when I was praying a few days ago. It was in a TV show I was watching a couple of nights later, and I felt a nudge about it. Then in conversation with one of you this morning, it turned out we’d both had a similar phrase come to us – so I’m thinking, ‘Okay God, I’m listening…’ We worked out that if we’re going to ‘Get ready’ for the time when lots of people come to faith, we’ll also need to get ready for the time when our faith is under fire – because those things tend to go together in church history, in many parts of today’s world, and in the book of Acts that we’re reading through together. We’re going to need solid houses with open doors.
What’s your house built on? I don’t mean physically – what is the life of your household built on? What is the foundation and core of the house of McRoberts? What is the foundation and core of the house of (insert surname here)? If it’s anything less than Jesus, then when we come under fire (or storm, wind, or whatever violent thing in the atmosphere we have to weather) then we’ll collapse. Right now, ‘get ready’ means taking stock – is your house in order? Is it founded on Jesus – and what that means in practice, Jesus tells us in Matthew 7, is not only hearing what He says, but acting on it – not putting it off a day longer.
I’ve already encouraged us to get our houses ready for hospitality. To set up to welcome people in. One of the things that will mark us out and light up Kingdom outposts in our communities is that when we’re under fire, the shutters don’t go up, but the doors are flung open. Getting ready means houses that are ready to welcome and invite in even when we hit the time that it gets harder to be known as a Christian in our world. Is your house in order? Practically, what needs sorted there? And emotionally, is there a resolute readiness to be hospitable even if/when the world turns inhospitable?
(Prayer from Donna) Father, help us to take stock and get ready. If we haven’t started, show us how to begin this process. For those of us that have begun, please give us the strength , perseverance, patience and vision to carry on with the tasks you have set. Amen