5 Rhythms of a Christ-Centered Home

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October 14, 2020

Wouldn’t it be nice if wishing you were in better physical shape would make it happen? We all know through experience, however, that it requires time and diligence. In the same way, you can only become more spiritually healthy if you intentionally implement new spiritual rhythms and routines.

In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

“Abiding in Christ” is the mark of a true believer and is such a beautiful aspiration for all Jesus-followers. But unless we implement specific spiritual rhythms and routines in our homes, our lives will not be centered around Christ or connected to his power. The rest of the chapter in John 15 illuminates’ certain rhythms of life we need to adopt.

1️⃣ Allow God’s Word to Saturate your Home: A Daily Rhythm

In v. 7, Jesus describes a reciprocal relationship: you abide in me, and my words abide in you. According to Webster’s dictionary, to “abide” means “to continue, stay, dwell, reside.” Just as you live in your home, Jesus wants his Word to live inside of you. Our eyes and ears are direct portals to our thoughts — what we watch, read, and listen to is what usually takes up residence inside our brains. For the Word of God to live in our minds and hearts, we need to be saturating our home environment with the Word daily.

Suggested Rhythms and Routines:

· Read a passage from the Bible each day around a meal with members of your household. Consider working through one book of the Bible at a time.

· Memorize verses of Scripture together as you take a walk or drive in the car. See suggested lists like this list of Gospel-centric verses or this list of verses to memorize with kids.

· Post Scripture verses where family members will frequently see and read them: the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator door, around the TV. Choose passages that will direct everyone’s hearts back to the goodness of God and our dependence on him, such as verses from Psalm 16 or John 15.

· Listen to sermons or podcasts that expound on the Word of God and fill your mind with Truth as you go about your daily activities.

2️⃣ Talk About and Participate in Prayer Together: A Daily Rhythm

The entirety of John 15:7 reads like this: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” The progression seems natural here — when I abide in Christ, and his words live in me, I will be moved to prayer. And God will listen! So, in addition to saturating our homes with God’s word, fostering a Christ-centered home also includes drawing our family members into conversation with God.

Suggested Rhythms and Routines:

· Talk with each other about what you are praying for and the ways that God is answering your prayers.

· Spend time praying together daily or weekly, and encourage every member of the household to pray aloud.

· Teach specific ways to pray, such as the ACTS acrostic, the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13), or praying aloud from prayers in Scripture like Ephesians 3:14–21.

3️⃣ Make Room for Rest: A Weekly Rhythm

Jesus repeats the word “abide” ten times in John 15:4–11, emphasizing that “the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine” (v. 4) and “apart from me you can do nothing” (v. 5). There is nothing that demonstrates our humility or dependence on God more than rest. When we cease doing things for God and our household, regularly choosing to be with Him and our family members, we acknowledge that He is truly the only one who can bring growth or success from our efforts.

Suggested Rhythms and Routines:

· Consider choosing a day or part of a day each week as a time of Sabbath or rest. Plan to spend extra time with God through the spiritual disciplines. Plan fun and restful activities to do with members of your household.

· Build-in some “margin” to each day — time to stop working, enjoy your family, and remember that God is the one who makes your life fruitful.

4️⃣ Commit to Fellowship in Corporate Worship and a Life Group: Weekly Rhythms

Jesus’ command to abide in him in John 15 gives way to a new command in v. 12: “that you love one another as I have loved you…that someone lays down his life for his friends.” Jesus did not intend for his “branches” to grow in isolation. The only way for us to obey this new command is to be close enough to other believers to know what they need and sacrifice for them.

Suggested Rhythms and Routines:

· Commit to attending Sunday worship service at the same time weekly, so that you will see the same people regularly and experience worship together.

· Regularly attend your Life Group functions and take ownership of building relationships with others in the group.

· Get your kids involved in the rhythms of your Life Group, whether they have buddies their ages or not. Begin to teach them early that we come to the group ready to serve, not just be entertained.

5️⃣ Serve as Jesus Served: A Regular Rhythm

Jesus concludes in John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide….These things I command you so that you will love one another.” As we learn to abide in Jesus, we realize that he has plans for us! His plans include sending us out to those in our households, communities, and world with His message of love and grace.

Suggested Rhythms and Routines:

· Start in your own home. Explicitly talk about what it looks like to serve each other and make it a regular practice.

· Serve people you have a relationship with who don’t know Jesus yet — family members, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Invite them into your home for a meal, remember their birthdays, ask how you can pray for them and help them.

· Serve “the least of these” or people who can’t return the favor. Pushing our kids outside of their comfort zones is a growing experience!

Which new rhythm can you begin to implement today to lead your household toward an abiding relationship with Jesus?