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The Gospel

The good news of the gospel is that God sent His own son, Jesus, into the world to save fallen humanity from it\'s sin.

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

What differentiates service ministries from other nonprofits which help people? It's the gospel! For HRM, prayer is a critical component of our gospel focus. Every week, our three staff gather together to praise God and lift our requests to Him. Prayer inevitably reminds us of the wonder of God’s grace to us. Often, we pray for our clients. We also make an effort to pray with our clients as we speak with them and serve them. As we lift up our new friends and their physical needs, it's very natural to work in the greater spiritual need, and the solution of the gospel, which they may or may not be aware of.

We have also developed a pamphlet which presents the gospel, and God's love, in a short, digestible format. It gives us something to leave behind with the homeowner, which they can look over and think about after we visit, and can prompt a further discussion. Check it out

We also represent the gospel when we do our work with excellence. Matthew 5:16 says, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (ESV) By doing our work with diligence, we show the homeowner that we care about her and that God cares, too. And as we labor and serve, we often get the question, "Why are you doing this?". We love that question! Talk about a hanging curveball and a great spiritual discussion starter!

We'd love to hear from you. How does your ministry keep the main thing the main thing? Leave a comment below and let us know.



Categories: Evangelism, Outreach, The Gospel Tags:

A Lifetime of New Beginnings

Spectacular New Year's Day FireworksI think that one of the reasons why people view a new year as such a big deal is that we all long for new beginnings and a fresh start. I know I have bad and unhealthy habits I’d like to get rid of and improvements I'd like to make. I'm not alone, judging by all the resolutions people make. Maybe those resolutions are a subtle recognition that we recognize things in ourselves are not what they should be. Kind of like our relationship with God. Our rebellion (sin) has broken our connection to Him, and we desperately need that to change.

God has made it possible to have a personal relationship with Him by offering the blood of His only Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins. All we need to do is put our faith in Jesus and in His finished work of redemption for us (If you'd like to know more about how this works, please send us an email. We'd be honored to answer any questions you may have.). One of the cool things about being a follower of Christ is that he doesn't just change our relationship with Him, He changes US. In fact, the believer in Christ is being made new day-by-day. Every day truly is a new beginning for a Christian. Here's how the Bible explains it:

  • Revelation 21:5"And He (Jesus) who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true.'" (NASB)

  • 2 Corinthians 5:15"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV - emphasis mine)



Categories: Salvation, The Gospel Tags:

The Power and Hope Behind Service Ministries

The triumph over death and resurrection of Jesus is the good news that drives service ministries like ours, and many of our financial supporters, to love our neighbor in practical ways. He also pushes back the corruption of sin where houses, lives and hopes are in decline, while offering the promise of a permanent new home where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, ESV). This is good news for anyone still alive, as we have the opportunity to repent and believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and God. The resurrection does three things that can radically change our lives and perspectives:

1) It fulfills Jesus’ many prophecies regarding Himself: In the words of Matthew, “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things . . . and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Matthew 16:21, ESV)

2) The power of God over death was demonstrated: “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20, ESV). Colossians 2:13-15 says it beautifully, "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him (Jesus), having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him." (ESV).

3) We have the awesome promise that we, who believe in and follow Christ, will also be raised: “...For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.“
(1 Corinthians 15:52, ESV)



Categories: Devotionals, Salvation, Service, The Gospel Tags:

Valentine Day God's Way

Valentine's Day affords us an opportunity to consider how we are viewed by the Author of Love. Consider what Jesus’ love compelled him to do.

Crown of Thorns

Image Provided By FreeImages.com/Patrizio Martorana

The abuse before the cross was horrific and the cross itself among the worst tortures ever devised by men. But there was something far more terrible. Having to face the righteous wrath of God for our sin. My sin and yours. He suffered wrath enough to pay for every person’s sin who has ever lived. Across all time… All the pain, murder, hate, greed, lust, and more put on one man in one moment. All so that anyone who puts their trust in Him, as Savior and Lord, might be forgiven of their sins and have a right relationship with God. Or, as the Bible puts it, “...so that he (Jesus) might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27, ESV). Truly, we are loved beyond comprehension. So let love overflow to those around us as exemplified by Christ himself — all year long.



Categories: Devotionals, Salvation, The Gospel Tags:

Loving Your Neighbor Through Home Repair

Helping Hurting HomeownersPeople with a high view of scriptural authority have often been strong in word ministry but "not so strong" in deed ministry. This has often bothered me, because our example, Jesus, was mighty in word and deed (Luke 24:19). So, that is why we think a church with the capacity and with interested people should be out there helping hurting people stay in their homes.

Coming from the other direction, just fixing houses isn't enough. If the work does not address a person's greatest need, redemption from sin, we haven't "loved our neighbor as ourselves". One reason I like home repairs is that people are inviting us into their homes. We're not selling anything, and by the way, "Do you understand why were are helping you? We're telling God, 'Thank you', for redeeming us from sin through Christ, alone".

Isaiah 58 talks about ending religious posturing and getting practical enough to help real people in real need. Verse 10 says, "if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday." Our world desperately needs such light.

How about you? Does your church have someone who loves to fix things and could start a team (it can start very small)? Our ministry exists, in part, to help you start or grow your team. You'll find a wealth of information in the resource center and ministry library. Sign up now at no cost!



How You Can Engage Your Community - Part 3

This blog continues the series on how churches, outreach teams and service ministries can impact their communities.

Disaster ResponseNow, let's look at another way a church can actively engage with, serve and love their community (as well as their congregations). Disasters can upend almost everything - family, home, job, way of life and more. Churches can help with response and/or rebuilding after a disaster. Isn't that practical?

And doesn't it offer a striking parallel to the gospel? We reach the point where our sin ravishes our lives, and we find ourselves desperately needing help outside of ourselves. As Jesus rescues repentant sinners from our self-inflicted disaster, perhaps your church can provide a representation of that to your community by responding to disasters. How might that change the cultures view of the Church and our Savior?

One nice thing about disaster response is that it probably won't require a regular time commitment (with a possible exception in long-term rebuilding projects). Your team can respond as need arises. In fact, starting a home repair team in your church might be a great way to prepare your volunteers for a disaster and even start your team. If you're looking for some resources on how to start a home repair team, we've got a no-cost ministry resource library. We hope that you'll check it out.

Rebuilding after a devastating tornado - Here's one example of how eight churches, Home Repairs Ministries and nonprofits/agencies responded and partnered together to help a Palestinian widow rebuild.

If you missed earlier posts in this series, you can see them here -

Part 1 - Repairs and Accessibility
Part 2 - Advocacy
Part 4 - Forming Partnerships



Categories: Disaster Recovery, Service, The Gospel Tags:

Passing it On

1969 was a big music year. The Beatles "Yellow Submarine" was released and the Woodstock concert was held on a dairy farm in the Catskills. The same year, a song called “Pass it On” (copyright Bud John Songs, Inc, Words and Music by Kurt Kaiser) entered the church. The song began, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going . . . . that’s how it is with God’s love, you want to pass it on”.

Serving homeownersFor those of us in Christian ministry, the song embodies what we're going for - sharing God's love with others. That love is often expressed in meeting someone needs. But it can also be expressed in teaching someone a skill so that they can deal with future problems themselves.

A home repair ministry gives us an opportunity to do both. We can often relieve a pressing problem for the homeowner, but having worked in inner-city ministry for many years, my mind immediately focuses on making ministry developmental - giving people skills & knowledge to improve their situation rather than keeping them dependent on us. The last thing we want to do is hurt the people that we’re trying to help. In fact, that’s the central theme of Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett’s book, When Helping Hurts. We actually got to meet and talk with Steve at a church conference we went to in June, 2013. He gave us some great ideas and challenged us to make sure that we don’t ultimately hurt the people we serve.

What about situations where it either isn't practical of possible to pass along a skill, say because of age, safety or complexity? Even in situations like this, we have much more to offer - the Gospel! It came to me freely, by God’s grace, and the expectation is that I won’t keep it to myself, as though it isn’t worth sharing or that I’m hoarding it. 

Passing the Baton

from freeimages.com / Michal Zacharzewski

Perhaps it’s like a relay race, where, unless there is a successful ‘passing’ of the baton by the lead runner, the race is over for a team. Like that runner, my job, as one who has benefitted from the promises of God in Jesus, is to offer the Gospel in an engaging way to someone else (who will then carry it to others). 

On the flip side, if we make appealing attempts at spiritual discussion and the person we are serving doesn’t want to receive “the baton”, we don’t force it on him or her. We can’t make others receive Jesus. At some point, the person we just served may be ready to receive the offer of eternal life in Christ from someone else.


Home Repairs - The Gospel in Word and Deed

People with a high view of scriptural authority tend to be strong in word ministry but "not so strong" in deed ministry. This has often bothered me because our example, Jesus, was mighty in word and deed (Luke 24:19). So, that is why we think a church with the capacity and with interested people should be out there helping hurting people stay in their homes.

Harvey and JohnnyComing from the other direction, just fixing houses isn't enough. If the work does not attempt to address a person's greatest need, redemption from sin, we haven't "loved our neighbor as ourselves". One reason I like home repairs is that people are inviting us into their homes. We're not selling anything, and by the way, "Do you understand why we are helping you? We're telling God, 'Thank you', for redeeming us from sin through Christ, alone".

Isaiah 58 talks about ending religious posturing and getting practical enough to help real people in real need. Verse 10 says" "...if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday." Our world desperately needs such light. Can your church bring some light to a dark world? We have some no-cost resources for churches and organizations to start or grow their own home repair team. We'd love to help you get started. If you have questions related to a home repair ministry, please leave a comment or send us an email and we'll follow up with you.


Confessions of a (Very) Unskilled Laborer

Hi, my name is Jim and I have a confession to make. I am the second employee at Home Repairs Ministries, and I don't have the slightest clue how to fix much of anything. I once told my boss that I would provide the best assistance I could for a project... by not coming. Oh, the irony of my job (I handle operations, communications and fundraising). God indeed does have a sense of humor.

But a funny thing happened last month. My boss had an urgent project that he needed to get done fast. He needed to get a concrete walkway poured and smoothed for a homeowner who's 88-year old father-in-law was coming home after having an aneurism (we shared this full story in our February 2014 eNewsletter). He asked me if I could help. Obviously, he was completely desperate. A trip out of the office sounded nice, so I accepted.

Pouring the walkway 2I joined with three other guys and Harvey, our Executive Director. Harvey had a concrete business back in the day and was in familiar territory. The other four guys (including me) didn't have much of a clue. By the grace of God, the project actually went very well. Having one guy there who knew what he was doing and giving good instructions made all the difference. We set up the forms (wooden posts that hold the concrete while it forms and dries), poured, leveled and smoothed the concrete (a process called screeding) and finished the edge. Voila! God provided the concrete - it was donated by Ernst Concrete (the company the homeowner had worked with for many years).

We also got to share a bit about why we came to help the homeowner - to say "thank you" for salvation through faith in Jesus (the Gospel). Cool!

So, back to the moral of the story and being unskilled. Even if you are not a carpenter or construction guy, you can still help and serve homeowners around their house. If your church has a home repair team, they probably could use someone to run supplies and help keep the site clean. And they may very well have tasks that you don't have to be very experienced to do. As an example, our ministry sometimes does yard work for elderly folks, which doesn't really require a great deal of technical skills. So, if you like to help in a tangible way for folks in need, there are ways you can serve even if you're mostly clueless like me!

Video - Pouring the Concrete Walkway



God is Not Fair, and Why That Should Make You Very Glad

In the Bible, in several places, it’s mentioned that “…cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree.(Deuteronomy 21:23, Galatians 3:13). And several evil men received just that punishment:

“And afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees. And they hung on the trees until evening. But at the time of the going down of the sun, Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and they set large stones against the mouth of the cave, which remain to this very day.” (Joshua 10:26-27)

“…So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.” (Esther 7:10b). “A decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged.” (Esther 9:14b)



The hanging and cursing of the guilty makes sense to us, even if it might seem a little brutal now. But what about something like that happening to the innocent? That wouldn't seem very fair, would it? That makes the following all the more shocking:

“So he (Pontius Pilate) delivered him (Jesus) over to them to be crucified, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.” (John 19:16-18)

and

“Christ (Jesus) redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree...” (Galatians 3:13).


Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son and the only truly innocent and righteous person who has ever lived, took a shameful, scandalous and gruesome punishment, that every one of us deserves, to save sinful people. Broken, alienated, shameful, rebellious people, like you and me. We're all guilty. In fact, the Bible says that "...all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) and "None is righteous, no, not one..." (Romans 3:10)

What would have been fair is for all of us to receive the punishment Jesus did, and be separated from God forever (Hell), for turning away from the holy, righteous and loving God. But God chose not to be fair, but merciful, giving us a way to have a restored relationship with Him, which promises us an abundant life here on earth (John 10:10) and eternal life in paradise (Heaven) with God when we die (John 3:15). This is the good news (the gospel) of Jesus Christ!

If you would like to be forgiven of all of your sins and know and have a relationship with God, all you have to do is ask Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior. You can pray a simple prayer like,

"God, I know that I am a sinner and fully deserving of your wrath and punishment. I know that nothing I do could ever make me right with you, so I put my full faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His completed payment for all my sins on the cross, and commit to follow You the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me."



If you prayed that prayer sincerely, you are now saved and called one of the "...children of God" (John 1:12). The prayer itself doesn't save you, but it does declare your heart's intent to follow after God under His leadership. So, what do you do now that you are saved? If you are not in a church, or are in a church where the Bible is not taught as the infallible Word of God, it would be very helpful to find a Bible-teaching church. They can help you on your new journey with Jesus. If you are not sure how to find a good church, please contact us through our website. We would be honored to help!

God is not fair, and thank God for that!

*Note: All Bible references above were taken from the ESV translation.


Categories: Devotionals, Salvation, The Gospel Tags: