Monday, December 1, 2008

House Church

In the era in which I grew up, it was not uncommon to see a HUGE family bible (free gift with purchase of encyclopedias) being displayed on the coffee table in the "living room" or the place where you would receive guests. Being there on the coffee table served as a badge of honor that (1.) the family placed high regards and was mindful of the importance of higher learning and education (it indicated encyclopedias were in the home) and (2.) the family was a bible believing Christian family. One of my weekly chores was to dust that area. I am confessing, for the first time (before God and Mama) that I NEVER removed that big bible before dusting the coffee table. I just dusted around it :-). We as a family never had family devotion using THAT bible. From time to time my parents would gather us together to review the Sunday school lesson or just share stories from the bible. There was no doubt to all friends and family that we were a staunch church going bible centered family.

The first time I entered my in-laws small home, stairing me in the face, was their wood framed family altar. On top was placed a beautiful silk scarf with gold fridge and their family bible. As a young teenager, courting their son at the time, I was truly impressed by that. It scored points towards my goal of a potential "Christian" husband which had always been my desire. I wanted someone as much like "my" Daddy as possible. As a daughter, I realize how blessed I am to be able to say that and to also have received. Since then, their home has been beautifully renovated and it's more than doubled in size. All the children are gone and the family altar as well. We have never come together as a family there without prayer and devotion of some sort.

This causes me to there a church in your house? Are family, friends, neighbors members of it, or are some still not saved? This was a desire of Philemon but yet he had a wicked servant. This servant did wrong towards his master and ran away. As the story goes the prayers of Philemon followed his servant, (as I'd hope my prayers would always follow my children). The servant eventually heard the preaching of Paul. He not only returned to his master with a changed heart but also a beloved brother and another member to the church in Philemon's house. I LOVE THIS STORY!

I realize that I can move ALL common affairs into my home with deliberate holiness, diligence, kindness, and integrity. More is expected of a church than an ordinary household. Internal love must be warmer and unbroken, and external conduct must be sanctified and Christlike.

Let us pray that He will give us grace to go forth from our "House Church" and shine in this world to the glory of His name.

"The Church In YOUR House"
__Philemon 2
God be Praised!