Devotional Thought for This Morning
“What It Means to Bless Others”
“To . . . Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home.”
Rom. 16:3, 5
“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. . . . Greet also the church that meets at their house.”
I have always enjoyed attending a church that met at someone’s home. For one thing, you get real food (and lots of it) after the service instead of refreshments that always leave you hungrier. To those who think church in terms of a great cathedral with stained glass windows, meeting at someone’s home for church makes little sense; this also shows their lack of understanding of what the church truly is.
While building is important since a place is needed to meet, keep in mind that “the Lord . . . does not live in temples built by hands” (Acts 17:24). What’s more important is that the believers in whom dwells the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13) are gathered together to praise God first and fellowship with one another afterwards (Acts 2:46-7). Before this gathering became too big, thereby needing a larger space, the earliest churches always met at someone’s home. Unfortunately, the closeness and personableness that one felt there did not always translate very well once the meeting took place in a large cathedral.
Can you imagine hosting a family or cell group, or a startup Sunday service at your home? If you are going to lose sleep over people spilling coffee on your carpet or leaving stains on your wall, then, I understand that you would rather not. But every good gift from above (James 1:17) comes with a purpose; perhaps the big house you are blessed to own is so that many can gather there to worship the Lord in an intimate setting. Of course, the same thought can extend to other things that we have received from the Lord; whether it is wealth, knowledge or skill, we ought to share it with others. Luke said the following about the early church: “All the believers were one in heart and mind . . . They shared everything they had” (Acts 4:32).
So, how is your generosity and willingness to share with others? In 2021, how about blessing others with your space, food, and time? Turn your home into a house of worship.
Prayer: Lord, I admit that I always want a little more than what I have. Instead of wanting less, I would like to ask for more so that I may use what you give me to expand your kingdom. God, if I start hoarding what you give me solely for my own comfort while turning blind eyes to those in need, please decrease your material blessings in my life so that I may not offend you with my inappropriate usage of them. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 23
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 10:38-41:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ 41 ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
Questions to Consider
- Martha always gets a short end of this narrative but what are some things we can learn from her?
- In light of Martha’s predicament, what are some potential hazards of hosting a cell group or Sunday service at home?
- What is the ultimate purpose of the gathering of believers whether they meet at someone’s home or in a bigger space called the local church?
- She opened her home for Jesus so he can teach and minister to others. In addition, she spared no expense in preparing many sumptuous dishes to celebrate his presence and to feed others.
- The primary hazard is this: being so preoccupied with making sure that everything goes perfect that the host of the meeting does not participate in the worship itself. The second hazard is complaining about people: Martha was piqued at Mary for not helping out. We might get upset at people for eating too much, or not cleaning up after themselves, or not saying thank you; however, let’s curb our complaint since we did it for the Lord.
- It is to draw near to the Lord while worshiping him through praising him and listening to his word.
Did you have an opportunity to be generous today? How did you fare? Were you a recipient of someone’s generosity? How did you feel? Wrap up your day around these themes. Let’s do better tomorrow.