This week while I was reading I came across a section of scripture in Deuteronomy that was instructions for Israel’s future kings. There are instructions for lots of things in Deuteronomy and sometimes it gets rather tedious, but this really jumped out at me. It was Deuteronomy chapter 17 verse 14, “When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ and you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. . .” God goes on to say that the king should be one of them, not from somewhere else, he should not have too many horses, or wives, or even excessive silver and gold, so that the king’s heart would not turn away from God. But verses 18-20 were the ones that struck me,
“18 “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.”
I loved these verses because God is telling the future king it is imperative that he knows God’s word. He had to write it down, make sure the priests verified what he had written, and read it every day. Why? To know God, to keep humble, to follow God’s commands, to be an example to others. Even the King was not beyond reading the Word daily! It was a great encouragement for me to stay committed to reading God’s Word as a regular part of my daily rhythm.
Since Jesus came and established a New Covenant with us, one that says that we have the Law of God written on our hearts, the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us helping us know God, know right from wrong, and follow Him, the idea of knowing His Word becomes even more exciting for us. We aren’t just reading to know His rules and HIs ways, we are reading because we are a part of Him and He is a part of us! Our souls come alive when we nurture them with His Word.
Now, there is not one way to get into God’s Word, or get God’s Word into you. There is no prescription from God or mankind telling us how to do this, and I know a lot of people that enjoy learning about the Word in a wide variety of ways, ways that I would not resonate with, but that work for them, so I though it would be interesting to start a conversation here about how you, yes you (don’t just read this and move on!) spend time reading, listening, meditating or whatever else you may do to get into His Word. How do you do it? Where and when do you do it? If you don’t, maybe the ideas or methods you see here may encourage you to start. Regardless of where you are in your process, my hope here is that you too would be encouraged to get into God’s Word regularly, so you too may know God more and deeper, keep humble, follow God’s commands, and be an example to others. Get into God’s Word, and get God’s Word into you!
10. The House Church’s Informal and relational setting leads to more authentic questions that we all learn from!
You know what this means; we have all been the one afraid to ask a question that may reveal our lack of knowledge or understanding on a subject. No one wants to feel stupid when asking something but in an informal setting the pressure is off, all questions are fair game! From someone seeking more information, to someone revealing something deeper in their heart, and even the pushback skeptical question, they are all welcome when we are all “in this together.”
9. I LOVE eating dinner with friends!
Since we do meals together before our service every week we not only get a chance to catch up on each other’s weeks building fellowship and relationship, but also get to share delicious homemade meals (okay sometimes purchased and heated) with each other.
8. I love the rhythm our Sunday evening service sets up!
Not only does the “weekend” seem to last longer, the evening rhythm better prepares me to step into my week refreshed, filled, and passionate about God. Mondays are hard, but Sunday nights strengthen me for them.
7. Worshipping with our children!
I started full time ministry in the Children’s Ministry. I learned there that the future of the church is highly dependent on how we teach and lead our children now. Having them in service allows them not only to learn along side their parents, but watching their parent’s worship and learn about God plants in them a foundation to build on. Children are naturally inquisitive and will ask their parents about things they don't understand in the service during the week allowing more spiritual conversations in families and that makes me happy too...
6. Sharing our insights with one another!
Much like the questions in the previous section, a group discussion about the scriptures being studied allows people that have insight or experiences with the scriptures to share those with the group, inspiring others to trust the Word, to see how others have responded to it in their lives, and to learn additional things about the scripture from the one sharing. I think a group collective enhances the experience and is often better than one person talking the whole time.
5. Friends like a healthy Family!
In our House Church we have seen people loving and serving one another in ways that go way beyond expectation. We are generously and enthusiastically there for each other no matter the time, place, or need. We have prayed fervently for one another and would bleed for one another, without complaint. We love enough to confront, and when we are confronted in love we are more responsive to God’s truth.
4. Provides plenty of time to unpack whatever we need to unpack!
Instead of rushing out to whatever is next, we have the time to deal with important things. Whether it is a challenging scripture, a situation shared that needs prayer, or a worship time that is prolonged, the ability to stay as long as necessary is a wonderful thing. Our world has enough rushing and hurrying and hustling, being able to sit and soak in the moment with our church family and our God is a beautiful antidote to our hurried schedules.
3. NO Early Mornings!
Since I am not a great morning person, not rushing to get up and out to church is awesome!
2. No places to HIDE!
An authentic and transparent community contributes to people knowing me well. My good and my bad, my personality with all its quirks. If I can be loved, in spite of all my downside, I can more easily accept God’s great love for me. By revealing my good and bad parts to people they are able to lovingly help challenge me, hold accountable, and also encourage, support and help me walk with God. This one often scares people off, but their is great freedom in this kind of community, we don't have to play games or be hypocrites, because being real is better for our spiritual well being. I trust these people with my brokenness because they love me and have my best interests at heart.
1. When I invite someone to House Church, I do so knowing what I am inviting them to!
I know my House Church will love the people I invite like they love me. I know my House Church will teach the truth. I know my House Church will adopt them in as their own family. I know my House Church will be there for them like they have been there for me. I know my House Church is not perfect, but are trying to be like Jesus in every area of their lives.