Bible Verses About Home

  • Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV
     You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
  • 2 Samuel 7:10 ESV
    And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly
  • Psalm 90:1 ESV
    Lord, you have been our dwelling place[a]
        in all generations.
  • Psalm 127:1-2 ESV
    Unless the Lord builds the house,
        those who build it labor in vain.
    Unless the Lord watches over the city,
        the watchman stays awake in vain.
    It is in vain that you rise up early
        and go late to rest,
    eating the bread of anxious toil;
        for he gives to his beloved sleep.
  • Proverbs 3:23 ESV
    The Lord‘s curse is on the house of the wicked,
        but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
  • Proverbs 12:7 ESV
    The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
        but the house of the righteous will stand.
  • Proverbs 14:1 ESV
    The wisest of women builds her house,
        but folly with her own hands tears it down.
  • Proverbs 14:11 ESV
    The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
        but the tent of the upright will flourish.
  • Proverbs 24:3-4 ESV
    By wisdom a house is built,
        and by understanding it is established;
    by knowledge the rooms are filled
        with all precious and pleasant riches.
  • Isaiah 32:18 ESV
    My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
        in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
  • Zephaniah 3:20 ESV
    At that time I will bring you in,
        at the time when I gather you together;
    for I will make you renowned and praised
        among all the peoples of the earth,
    when I restore your fortunes
        before your eyes,” says the Lord.
  • John 14:2 ESV
    In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
  • John 14:23 ESV
    Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV
    Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
  • 2 Corinthians 5:1 ESV
    For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Weekend Walk, 11/05/2011–Celebrating Thanksgiving

Hiding the Word:

For those reading Lisa Harper’s book, Stumbling Into Grace, along with my small group, today’s memory verse will match up with chapter 11, “Empathizing With Enemies.

In her book, Lisa Harper writes, “We can become less critical by choosing to focus on the whole of other people’s stories as opposed to one irritating chapter” (p. 129).

It’s so easy, too easy really, to judge others.  That they’re flaky.  They made a bad decision.  They’re sinful.  They’re a mess. They’re rude, impatient, annoying . . .


We’re generally just masses of human opinion waiting to jump on a soapbox at the slightest provocation.

I’m so thankful God has so much more grace for us than we have for each other.

So, this week, our verse is a reminder to love one another.  After all, God has shown an awful lot of love to us.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

Celebrating Thanksgiving:

Well, my faithful blog readers, normally in this weekend space I’d be sharing with you a rerun of a post from the past.

But, I just can’t contain my excitement about Thanksgiving.  It’s far and away my most favorite holiday.  This mystifies my children, who cannot understand how a turkey dinner can compete with Christmas presents.

Yet, there it is.  The month-long inspiration to give thanks, the emphasis on family, the traditions of spending time together in the kitchen baking—it’s yummy to my very soul!!

So, when I thought about how to spill some of my Thanksgiving excitement over to you all, I decided to take one post a week in November and share some ideas on how to make my favorite holiday truly a celebration for your family.  Some of these ideas will work well with kids and grandkids.  Some don’t need anybody but you in order to participate.

I sure would love to hear your traditions and thoughts on this, too!  So, I hope you’ll hop on here and post your ideas about making Thanksgiving special.  What traditions does your family enjoy?  What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe and your favorite reason to be thankful?

The Thanksgiving Journal

 Remember the wonders he has done,
   his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced (Psalm 105:5)

So many of us go around the table each Thanksgiving day and say “one thing you’re thankful for . . . other than family.”

But it’s hard to remember year after year what that one special bit of Thanks was about.

And sometimes we really need a record of gratitude so we can indeed “remember the wonders He has done” (Psalm 105:5).

So, this year, I’m taking an idea from Focus on the Family’s magazine, “Thriving Family” in their Oct/Nov 2011 article “Turn Turkey Day into Thanksgiving.”

Create a family Thanksgiving journal.  This can be a blank spiral bound journal or even a notebook with pages that you insert year after year.  On Thanksgiving day, take the time as a family to list off the blessings and answered prayers from God that year.  Be specific.  Truly consider what God has done.

List your thanks into your family journal and say a prayer of gratitude.

For the ardent scrapbookers among you, add pictures and decorate the pages so the book of thanks becomes a true family keepsake.

Or, keep it simple!  The important thing isn’t the artistic value; it’s the giving thanks that matters.

The next Thanksgiving, pull out the very same journal and look through the reasons to give thanks from years past before adding to the list for the new year.  Over time, this Thanksgiving journal will be a record of blessing, answered prayers, and gifts from God, a way of remembering all that He has done.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

What’s in a Name, Part II

In college, I took a class called “Family Studies,” which mostly focused on identifying and resolving family conflicts through counseling.  One of our assignments was to create a family tree, but not a typical family tree that confines itself to names, important dates and marriages.  Using different colors and symbols, we had to mark on this family tree all divorces, infidelity, prejudice, abuse, illegitimate children, addictions and other “isms” (alcoholism, workaholism, etc.).

Talk about depressing.  My family tree was a colorful display of what I would call “generational sins.”  There were recurring problems, hitting generation after generation and tracing back to every branch of my broken and pitiful familial oak.  Even the innocent people like my mom, who made decisions to break the hold of these sins on our family, were impacted anyway by the actions of others, wrapped up, entangled and choked through sins by association.

Then I read the statistics in the book about these hand-me-down burdens.  The numbers were clear.  My life should have been marred by abuse, alcoholism, marital infidelity, and divorce.  My marriage doomed.  My kids hurt.

Yet, God’s grace has a way of showing up in statistical anomalies.

Have you ever surveyed your past, maybe your own sins or maybe the baggage you carry from the family’s closet skeletons?  Have you looked back and thought, “God can’t use someone like me, not with what I’ve done or where I’ve come from?”

Or, have you been breathlessly in awe of God’s blessing and asked like King David,”Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me thus far?” (2 Samuel 7:18, NIV).  That’s my whispered prayer sometimes as I thank God for a husband so faithful, kids so healthy, life filled to the brink and overflowing with God’s goodness.  “Who am I and what is my family?”

Some women are loathe to abandon their maiden names when they marry.  They hyphenate or simply decline to visit the Social Security office for a name change, wanting instead to preserve their own family heritage or identity.  That wasn’t me.  When I married, I was eager to take on a new name, to be grafted into a new heritage and allowed to flourish as a branch on a new family tree, so simple and beautiful in its unbroken state.

One of the first things I did as a newlywed was carry my marriage license and birth certificate to the Social Security office and wait in an unending line for one man in a little window to process my paperwork.  Finally, they called my number.  I hopped up and smiled as I pushed across my papers.  This balding little man glanced up at me and said, “Got married, eh?  What did you do a stupid thing like that for?”  Ignoring his jibe, I waited patiently for him to finish and then triumphantly walked away from his desk with a new name (and saying a few prayers for his wife!).

Here I sit today at my kitchen table, Bible open once again to Matthew 1 and it strikes me that Jesus’s family tree was no impressive oak, stately, strong and unharmed by conflict and sins.  Instead, like mine, his genealogy is the story of redemption poured out one generation after another.

I survey the names, their stories so familiar.

  • Tamar, who dressed up like a prostitute and tricked her father-in-law into sleeping with her (Genesis 38).
  • Rahab the prostitute (Joshua 2:1).
  • King David himself, adulterer and murder (2 Samuel 11) and Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, the adulteress.
  • Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, who “did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites . . . He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger” (2 Kings 21:2, 6).

That’s not exactly a family tree to tack up over the mantle piece with pride.  Unless . . .

Unless you’re God, who wants to remind us:

  • That He has “called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light” (2 Peter 2:9).
  • That “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.  The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).
  • That it is a “great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1, NIV).

God does not define us by statistics or confine us because of our sins. He is forever making us new, redeeming and restoring what has been broken and destroyed.  Through our salvation we are removed from heritages of sin and brought into a new family.  Slaves no longer, we have been adopted as sons and daughters into the family of Christ.  The genealogy that Matthew ended with 42 generations connecting Abraham to the Messiah, now continues on with us.  Our names now listed in the line of Jesus, our stories now entwined in the heritage of grace.

So, we struggle against sin, taking a stand for holiness and refusing to allow shame from our past or brokenness from our family tree to impact our children and continue unhindered through the generations.  By this struggle and through His grace, we overcome and we are promised in Revelation 2:17, “To him who overcomes, to him I will give  . . . a new name” (NASB).  This time, it’s a name we don’t have to stand in line for or receive from a crabby man at the Social Security office made tired by government bureaucracy.  No, this new name will be bestowed on us by God, marking us as His own special and beloved children.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

What’s in a Name, Part I

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

It’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, but there’s one scene I’ll never forget.  Overweight, middle-aged, unhappy housewife Evelyn Couch finally has had enough of letting people walk all over her.  Two young and sassy women zoom their sports car into the Winn Dixie parking space for which Evelyn was so patiently waiting.  Laughing to themselves, they yell back at her, “Face it, lady, we’re younger and faster.”   At first, Evelyn looks like she’s just going to drive away and allow herself to be beaten down once again.

But, then she remembers that she didn’t want to be Evelyn anymore.  She wanted to become “Towanda.”  A new name for a new boldness about life.  Exotic and exciting, the name Towanda empowers Evelyn.  Instead of driving away and letting the girls have the parking space without a fight, Evelyn smashes into their car over and over and over again.  When they come out screaming, she says, “Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.”

Now, it’s no doubt that she went a bit overboard with the “Towanda power” and for the sake of your car insurance rates, I don’t recommend enacting vengeance on any parking space thieves you encounter.  Yet, one thing is certain–there’s power in a name.

That’s why instead of glossing over Jesus’s genealogy in Matthew 1 (like I usually do), I recently took the time to read it and ponder each of the names listed there.  Essentially, the Bible is the story of God’s activity among humanity, but it is told in the individual stories of people—broken, messed up, sinning people just like you and me.  As we learn about these people, we ultimately learn about God.  Eugene Peterson wrote:

“The biblical fondness for genealogical lists is not dull obscurantism, it is an insistence on the primacy and continuity of people.  Each name is a burnished link connecting God’s promises to his fulfillments in the chain of people who are the story of God’s mercy

As I read through the list of Jesus’s earthly ancestors, there are names I readily recognize, such as Abraham, King David, and Solomon.  These are the flannel board characters that made it into the Sunday School curriculum in my churches growing up.  The famous ones with stories we’ve heard hundreds of times.

Then, there are a few names I only remember because I recently read through the books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings and the Chronicles.  Not-quite-so-famous guys, their stories are in the Bible, but they don’t typically get covered by preachers or teachers in the Biggest Hits method we often use to teach Scripture.  These are guys like Asa, Hezekiah, and Josiah.

Finally, there are the names on this family tree that I simply don’t know anything about at all.  Who are Azor, Zadok and Achim anyway?  How do these men fit into Scripture and into the heritage of Christ?  What part do they have to play in the greatest ministry of all—the bringing forth of our Savior and Messiah?  Maybe the scholars know and have written commentaries and heavy academic books about these mystery men.  But, a simple Jesus-girl like me, sitting at the kitchen table with my Bible?  No, they are empty names to me.

But, they are not empty names to God.  God values the famous platform ministries that reach thousands of people seated in arenas and the millions of people who read the Christian books on the New York Times Bestseller lists.  He blesses their service and receives glory through their efforts.  They are the well-known ones, who might have ended up on a flannel board had the Bible been written during our lifetime.

Yet, in our small churches across the country, whether urban or rural, there are people serving every day who may never achieve the worldly definition of ministry success.  Nevertheless, their every act of self-sacrifice and the pouring out of themselves for the sake of others is witnessed by God and is valued by Him.

I recently saw a well-known speaker at a women’s conference.  Her speaking and teaching that weekend blessed me and assuredly ministered grace and encouragement to the sanctuary full of women who had gathered to hear her.  During the question and answer time at the end of the weekend, someone asked her, “Do you ever meet one-on-one with women, especially to mentor them?”  With so much grace, she said no.  Between her precious family and the already pressing demands on her time, meeting one-on-one wasn’t possible.  But, she shared with them her website and her blog and newsletter and encouraged them to connect with her that way.

God calls some people to minister from afar to the masses.  Others he calls to meet face to face with family, friends, community and church members because God loves individual people with unique needs that can sometimes only be met by personal contact.  Someone needs to actually cuddle the babies in the church nursery.  No bestselling book can replace a nursing home visit.  The Christian rock bands at music festivals cannot have lunch at the high school with some teenagers who need a positive role model.

No ministry is too small to matter to God.

Hidden away in another genealogy in 1 Chronicles 9:31, we read that “a Levite named Mattithiah, the firstborn son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with the responsibility for baking the offering bread” (NIV).  A one-liner in Scripture.  His chief job was baking bread to be used as an offering in the temple.  Others in this long genealogy were gatekeepers, guards, officials in the house of God, and caretakers of all the holy instruments used in worship.  But, Mattithiah was a simple baker who was “entrusted with a responsibility.”  And what he did mattered.  Without Mattithiah, the offering table would be empty of an element of worship.  His ministry, however small, was essential to his faith community.

God has entrusted all of us with gifts, talents and passions that He’s called us to use for His glory and as a blessing to others.  He has uniquely designed us for these jobs and placed at our feet opportunities to serve, whether in our own homes, our churches, or neighborhoods.  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

And so we must “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2) and remember that “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:23).  We might never make it onto a flannel board, but God’s definition of success isn’t how famous we were or how many people we touched.  Instead, He simply desires for us to obey and serve Him where He has placed us with the gifts and passions He has given us.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

A Blameless Heart

“I will walk in my house with a blameless heart”
Psalm 101:2

Yesterday, I went to a funeral home where family and friends gathered around a casket that should just be too small to exist.  A slide show displayed pictures of the sweetest little baby girl, enjoying her first birthday, meeting Chuck E. Cheese, looking no bigger than my youngest daughter—and a few feet away was this baby girl’s casket.

A moment like that is a terrible shock for someone like me.  I’m a to-do list maker, a go-getter, a get-things-done kind of person.  There are days when it probably seems to my daughters that since Candy Land isn’t on Mommy’s very official to-do list, we can’t play.

Yet, last night I saw an unmistakable reminder that people are ever so much more important than any deadline or production goal.

It’s very easy for me to let external priorities take precedence over my relationships with people.  Over the years, I’ve had to slowly learn not to begin conversations by going directly to “business.”  God has taught my heart how to truly mean it when I ask someone, “How are you doing?” and to linger there in the relationship time before moving ahead to any items on my agenda.

From God’s perspective, people are always top priority.  His entire goal from the creation of the world was to build relationship with us.  When Adam and Eve’s sin caused a breach in that precious communion with God, He immediately began planning a way to reunite us, ultimately sacrificing His Son all because of His great, enduring and passionate love for us.  Relationship with us was always part of His plan.

If God loves people that much, then we should reflect His heart by loving people also.   In his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson writes:

People are at the center of the Christian work. In the way of pilgrimage we do not drive cumbersome Conestoga wagons loaded down with baggage over endless prairies.  We travel light.  The character of our work is shaped not by accomplishments or possessions but in the birth of relationships.

When the Psalmist writes in Psalm 127:3, “Children are God’s best gift,” it reminds my mommy heart to value God’s greatest gifts to me by prioritizing time with my children over my work.

But this verse isn’t just for parents.  It shows that God’s focus is always on relationships over tasks, people over productivity.  Eugene Peterson wrote, “We invest our energy in people.  Among those around us we develop sons and daughters, sisters and brothers even as our Lord did with us.”

In our efforts to love people, though, sometimes we fall into the trap of “ministering” to people and “serving” in the church, but never really loving anybody!  Even ministry—the programmed and scheduled kind of ministry—can get in the way of actually ministering to people.  Are we too busy attending meetings to take dinner to a sick friend?  Are we on so many committees we no longer have time to meet another woman for lunch and encourage her?

And then there are the times when loving and serving people means “other people” and not those in our own homes.   We’re “showing God’s love” to the neighbor, to the single mom at church, to the child in our Sunday School class.   Yet, sometimes the people we love the very most can get the worst part of us.  We can be gentle with anyone but our kids.  We can be encouraging to everyone except our husbands.

In one of my most favorite books, Bleak House, Charles Dickens described Mrs. Jellyby as: “a lady of very remarkable strength of character who devotes herself entirely to the public. She has devoted herself to an extensive variety of public subjects, at various times, and is at present (until something else attracts her) devoted to the subject of Africa”.

Just like me, Mrs. Jellyby was a get-things-done kind of woman, but her eyes were so fixed on saving orphans in Africa, that her own children were starving, dirty, uneducated, in rags, and totally unloved.

Mrs. Jellyby is an extreme, but it’s not difficult to see how we can get our priorities scrambled at times.  I had a friend who had some special recipes that her family loved,.  More importantly, though, the people at her church loved them.  So, she would fix them for church potlucks.  After all, everyone wants to have the empty dish at the end of the covered dish meal!  But when her kids would come home and smell the delicious cookies baking, she’d say, “Those are for church!”  Then, one day she was reminded that she should cook the special dishes and treats for her precious children also—not just for the people outside her home.

I love what Paul wrote in Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is Christ whom you serve.”

In the past, I’ve taken that verse to mean that I should work hard at my job, give my best effort in ministry, and just generally DO stuff for God.  Yet, I have no greater work or ministry than serving and loving my husband and my children.  After that, my top priority should be relationships with the other people God places in my life.

That means: Being patient with my daughter as she learns to tie her shoelaces.  Taking a break from work to play Candy Land.  Fixing my daughter the pasta salad that I normally reserve for church potlucks.  Writing a note to my husband, not just the ladies in my Bible Study.

I do all of these things “as for the Lord rather than for men” because “it is Christ whom I serve.”   We will get no earthly recognition, plaque, award, or productivity bonus from loving people.  In fact, if we love as we’re supposed to–humbly, quietly, and sacrificially–no one may ever even know it’s happening.  Nevertheless, God always sees our actions and heart when we, like Him, make people our priority and  He will give us “the reward of the inheritance.”


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King