There is a power that comes when Jesus becomes the focus of our homes. We experience peace, strength, courage and hope when we're most in need. But creating a Jesus-centered home can be tricky in a world full of cynicism and doubt.
Here are seven simple ways to invite Jesus into your home.
Todd Graham, head coach of the Arizona State University football team, recently told me about his mother.
"She spoke victory over us," he explained.
As soon as he said those words, the image of a mother praying, speaking victory over her son, several times a day penetrated deep into my heart. Praying for family members is a powerful practice that invites Jesus into our homes.
Set a goal to pray for individual members of your family by name on a daily basis.
2. Study the Bible
A Jewish Mezuzah is a piece of parchment inscribed with verses from Deuteronomy enclosed in a decorative case. Often the case is slanted so the top tilts toward the room into which the door opens.
The symbolism is powerful-it is a reminder that God and His word stand guard over Israel's homes.
I want the same to be true of my home. I can't help but wonder if God's word stands guard over my children, family and home. We invite Jesus into our homes when spending time in His word becomes an integral part of our daily family routine.
Choose one Bible verse to memorize as a family every month. Post it somewhere everyone can see it.
3. Honor the Sabbath
The Bible is full of descriptions of what the Lord intends for the Sabbath. It is a gift; it should be kept holy.
In Old Testament times the Sabbath was regarded as a holy day, a holiday. Think how your family celebrates Christmas-a day for celebrating Jesus. Usually that holiday includes gathering together, good food, traditions and stories about the Christ child.
What if you were to set apart the Sabbath as a holy celebration similar to Christmas? Could it become a day you looked forward to? A day when your entire focus is to celebrate Him?
Establish one tradition that will intentionally set your Sabbath apart from every other day of the week.
4. Discover grace
Instances of orchestrated grace are regular occurrences that make up the ordinary details of our lives.
Sometimes we think of them as coincidences, and sometimes they are. But there are moments when Jesus' hand is clearly at work in our lives.
These moments are found in the sunset just after your mother's funeral, the words of a song that come on the radio as you drive away from a discouraging doctor's visit and the unexpected text from a friend who felt inspired to reach out.
These are the times when the ordinary details of life remind you heaven has not forgotten you. It is important to learn to look for Jesus' simple gifts in our lives so we learn to recognize His ordinary, amazing grace.
For one week, be attentive to the Lord's goodness and at the end of every day write down in a notebook the simple acts of grace you discover.
5. Allow change
There is great wisdom in Leonard Cohen's line, "Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in."
Instead of focusing on perfection, perhaps it would be better for each of us to look harder at the cracks within us because it is within the cracks that we discover His light, discover Him. Jesus has the power to change everything He touches.
The Bible reminds us how, with love, He extended invitations that would allow people to change. In fact, inspiring people to change was one of the things He was best at.
Choose one change you can make in your life that will allow you to draw closer to Him.
6. Love well
Luke 5 teaches the importance of doing all we can to bring others who are struggling to Jesus.
In moments of great need, we can become travel guides, rather than fixers-and work to bring our friends to Jesus. We won't carry that friend to a crowded home where Jesus is teaching and break up the roof to lower him down. But we can add our faith to theirs, praying for them, serving them, talking to them about Jesus and reminding them miracles come through Him.
As a family, discuss one way you can reach out to someone you know who is struggling and lead him or her to Jesus.
7. Give thanks
My favorite people in the world all have one thing in common: they overflow with gratitude. It is almost as if they can't contain it; it spills out of them continually.
These friends remind me of Mary and her precious box of ointment. Just days before the death of Jesus, she used her ointment for a special purpose-to anoint Him but also, perhaps, to express her gratitude for the precious gift He was about to offer her. I love how John tells us the whole house filled with the fragrance of Mary's actions.
Just like a fragrance, gratitude lingers upon all who come in contact with it, leaving a noticeable sweetness. Have your expressed gratitude for Jesus recently?
Set aside one prayer today that will be filled to overflowing with giving thanks rather than asking for blessings.
The Bible reminds us that in New Testament times, "In every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:42). Perhaps the same could be true of each of our homes today. When Jesus becomes the center of our homes, our way of living will define us as true Christians-families who live the way we do because of who we are.