I’ve been back on the island for a little over a week now. I can’t begin to tell you how much I missed this place. Kauai is where I grew up. My roots and childhood memories are here. It’s so nice to see familiar faces and be able to reminisce and talk about the old days.
As I look around and think about being back, some thoughts run through my mind. “Bringing Jesus home” has been the theme. What do those three words mean to you? Here’s what it means to me...
The first is that in 1995 God changed my life on Kauai. Being a “union” carpet layer I left the island and relocated to work on Oahu a few months later. While on Oahu I became fully wrapped up in God, the church family and His word. That’s when God impressed on my heart to work in the church and pursue a ministry education. So I laid my tools aside and pursued different kinds of tools. The journey has been wild but awesome. I found my wife in the process and now finally after twenty years God is settling my family and I back in Kalaheo, Kauai. I like to see it as I’m “bringing Jesus home.” Bringing Him home to the place and people I truly know; my family and friends that I went to school with and my dad and the house I grew up in.
Secondly, if home is where the heart is then “bringing Jesus home” is allowing Him into your heart. This is the foundation of Christianity. I can be anywhere on the planet (even in space for that matter) and Jesus can be “at home” with me. I can be surfing, hunting, hiking, shopping, driving, or even in prison, it doesn’t matter where I am, if I’ve invited Jesus into my heart then He will be with me. Have you brought Jesus home? Have you “invited” Him into your heart? If you haven’t then He’s not “home” with you. God is not going to force Himself on you. He wants you to choose Him (John 1:12; Romans 10:9-10). When you choose Him you are saying “yes” to Him and “no” to the world. Basically, you are committing to follow Him and His ways by faith rather than leaning on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). You’re saying come and live in me to guide me every step of the way. Then when you commit to follow Him as the Lord of your life you receive the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) who is none other than God Himself living in you to give you the power and will to do what He asks. Granted I still fail Him and lack obedience in many areas but I am growing in discipline and have conquered many bad habits and addictions with God in me but that’s another story. The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is a seal guaranteeing your place in heaven. There’s so much more to this that I can’t get into right now, but the whole purpose of my life is to share this message of hope with clarity and love so that all people will have an opportunity to “bring Jesus home.”
Thirdly, we are starting Bible study groups on Kauai. These groups can eventually take on the characteristics of a church. Whenever we talk about “church” quite often we’re thinking about a building. However, the Bible shows us that the “church” is a gathering of people who are following Jesus; people who are learning about Jesus, growing in their faith and doing life together as a family. In this family of believers we learn how to love, care, share and encourage one another as we meet together and commit to follow Jesus. So you see, church has really nothing to do with a building. We can have church at the beach, in the mountains, on a plane, on a surfboard, wherever! A house church is just that. A group of people loving and learning about Jesus that meet in homes. Too often we see church as a weekend event. A place we go to. But church is 24/7. It’s not a place, it’s who we are. Too often we go to church and we leave Jesus there, then we get on with our week and go back to church on Sunday to meet with Jesus again. Bringing Jesus home is quite the opposite. It’s doing church at home, where it matters most; sharing first and foremost with your children and family members, learning and growing in the knowledge of Christ through Bible studies at home. When moving into a new home its not uncommon to give a blessing on the home. However, we can bless the home all we want but if the home owner has never allowed Jesus a presence in His home then all the prayers are worthless. A blessed house is one that is saturated with Jesus rather than drugs, pornography, adultery, stealing, lying, swearing, etc., etc. Bringing Jesus home will change everything. That’s where the blessings flow.
So there you have it from my perspective. What about you? What does “bringing Jesus home” mean to you? Please feel free to share.
May God bless you deepening your faith and knowledge of Him and enrich your life as you diligently seek Him. <><