A church at home
And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 1 Corinthians 16:3
The final chapter in 1 Corinthians has Paul’s closing remarks to the Christians at Corinth. They apparently asked a question about giving and he gives them instruction on collecting and delivering their offering. He goes on to tell them his plans for visiting and where he will be until then. He talks about some of his friends and ask that the people be encouraging and receive them when they come to Corinth. This chapter seems to only be relevant to the current day when it was sent.
Verse 19 is where I find something that can be related to today’s world. It says: The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
I don’t think we fully grasp the concept that the first churches were in people’s homes. Maybe it’s just me, but I have to remind myself of this fact often when I am reading the New Testament books. I have to remind myself that they didn’t have church buildings they could go to for worship. They were not welcome to worship the Lord Jesus at the synagogues nor was that the place they could tell the good news that Jesus came to save all people. The first Christians met in homes, and it was usually the home of the people leading the group.
This is what makes small groups today so inviting. When you host a group in your home, you can invite neighbors and friends in that may not already know the Lord Jesus. It is one of the greatest ways to reach those who would not consider going into a church building. Yes, there are actually people out there who feel that way. However, small groups are widely frowned upon in many churches today because of fear that people will leave their church community, when the truth is that small groups can actually grow a church or help people to connect in a large church.
By gathering in groups in your home, you have the opportunity to encourage and grow with those who want to live their life by faith. You can watch videos on certain subjects in God’s word that you want to understand better that may not get so much attention in your weekend service. You also gain a sense of accountability that others are there to walk with you through life and to help you overcome things you are struggling with. It is the coming together during the week that fills the churches on the weekends. It can be easy to lose those who only come together once a week or even once a month.
Lastly, we come to Paul’s farewell, verses 20-23. If he were signing off his message today, I believe it would look like this: #Allthebrethrengreetyou #Greetoneanotherwithaholykiss #Thesalutationwithmyownhand—Paul’s #IfanyonedoesnotlovetheLordJesusChristlethimbeaccursed #OLordcome! #ThegraceofourLordJesusChristbewithyou #MylovebewithyouallinChristJesus #Amen.
Today I want to encourage you, in all seriousness, to consider leading a group of people in your home to help strengthen their relationship with their heavenly Father. Put together a study on the things you are interested in knowing more about to grow in His love for you. It could even be an activity group that you meet up to hike or play games, just add a time of devotional and some prayer with it and just like that, you have a church in your own home to get you through the week until the next service meets at the building. We need to stay connected and encouraged all week long, not just on the weekends.
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 16