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F a i t h   M a t t e r s  with Dr. Ken Lovelace


HOME: The Effect of Faith on the Home
Hebrews 11:9-10



The importance of the impact of faith on home cannot be overstated. John Harper had a wonderful home, a place where faith impacted every decision he made and every member of his family. But in a strange turn of events, his wife died and he was left to raise his daughter alone.



Today, in a village near Glasgow, Scotland, you can find Harper Memorial Church. It's named after its founder, John Harper. This Baptist minister felt the call to preach at the age of seventeen. For nearly six years after his calling, he worked in a paper mill during the day and preached wherever he could find an audience at night.



In his early twenties, Harper became a full-time pastor and started several churches. He later moved to London and enjoyed such success that he was invited to preach a revival meeting at Moody Church in Chicago during the winter of 1911. The meeting went so well that he was invited back the following spring. On April 11, 1912, Harper boarded the S.S. Titanic to return to Moody Church. The thirty-nine-year-old widower traveled in second-class with his six-year-old daughter, Nana. When the ship's fate became evident, Harper wrapped his daughter in a blanket and made certain she got on a lifeboat. He then began calling out, "Women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats first!" He took off his life jacket and gave it to another man.



A man who was later saved by the S.S. Carpathia gave even greater detail to the faith of John Harper. He said he saw Harper struggling to stay afloat. The minister called out in the dark, "Are you saved?" The man replied, "No." Harper then quoted Acts 15:31, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved." This survivor gave no response and the waves soon separated the two men. Shortly thereafter, the currents brought them near each other again. Harper repeated his question, "Are you saved?" The man declared, "No, I can't honestly say that I am." Harper once again quoted from Acts before the two drifted apart in the sea. Not long afterwards, Harper sank to his death.



This man who had encountered the sheer strength of Harper's unfailing faith said, "There, alone in the night, with two miles of water beneath me, I believed. I am John Harper's last convert." May such bold faith be found in us all! (Baptist Standard, June 3, 1998, p. 12).



Faith's impact on family is tremendous. But what makes a family? Let me ask you this: Just because two parents live in a house with their three children, does that make a family? Yes, by the technical definition of a family, I suppose it does. But it doesn't necessarily make a home. In the previous article (click here to read) we explored the foundation for our homes. We learned that the home that honors the Lord is built on the sure foundation of the Lord God, has as its blueprints His Word, is set on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ, and will, if it is a God-honoring home, rise up as a temple unto the Lord. Today, we add to our understanding of the home as we consider why home works and how it is impacted by faith.



In Heb. 11:9-10, we find tucked away in the hall of faith a little verse with a big punch. The Bible says, "By faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."



That the Bible would tell us this is so very significant. I mean, here it is, the establishment of a home included in the hall of faith, one of the Bible's most exclusive lists.



There are four aspects of this verse that have a bite to them. Think with me about the first one today.


The Making of a Home



Consider the phrase "by faith he made his home." Now, as it relates to home, why is there a connection to faith? It doesn't take faith to make a home, does it? Non-believers do it everyday and they don't have faith. Does it take faith? For the believer, yes!



We have to pray about everything, especially as it relates to home. Why is faith such an important element in the establishing of a home? Because the approach you take to faith and its inclusion or exclusion in your home will determine, not only the environment your family will live in, but also the persons they turn out to be. Faith is that important.



Faith is central, faith must be central, to everything we do as believers. We've got to get out of bed by faith. We've got to have our appointments with God by faith. We've got to put on the full armor of God by faith. We've got to eat and drink and walk and drive and work by faith. Why? Because, as the Bible says, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." And we've got to especially make our homes by faith.



Have you ever walked into a place like Olive Garden and the smell of Italian food permeated every square inch of the place? Your mouth watered and your stomach growled as you anticipated eating a dish of your very own. Just like that smell permeated the entire restaurant, so faith must permeate your whole being until there's no room for anything else. It's not enough to say our home is a home of faith, each person must be permeated by faith in order for the home to be permeated by faith. Otherwise, we'll have areas void of faith moving here and there in our homes creating a faith-vacuum that's not easily overcome. By faith, Abraham raised his children and provided for their needs and… introduced them to the Father.



Next time we'll consider the second one. Until then, give some thought to the place you have given faith in your home. Is it prevalent? Is it primary? Is it bold? Does it permeate everyone and everything? If not, why not? Ask God to show you today.



Copyright © 2010. Faith Matters by Dr. Ken Lovelace. All rights reserved.

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