If you’re like me you’ve probably noticed how the economy of the United States has transformed over the past two years. It’s noticeable on many fronts. The price of goods at your local grocery store have probably increased. A trip through the local drive thru can cause a quick double take as the price of food combos has reached double digits. But the place where you’ve probably noticed the change more than others is at the gas pump. A gallon of unleaded gasoline has doubled in two years. When I see the price of gas I have to remind myself that I don’t live on the West Coast, that’s just how high it’s gone up. I’ve found myself over the past few weeks “engaging” in conversation with my fellow “sufferers” as we try to make sense of all this. We usually begin by pointing fingers at others and then offering up solutions and mixed in between is some self pity in order to help each other through all this change. All of this has taught me a lesson.

I’ve realized a few things as I’ve reflected back on all this. A lot that has to do with me and not other people. I’ve realized that I don’t trust God to provide for the needs of my family and me. I trust in the strength of my own arm to provide and I just don’t take too kindly to the federal government taking more of my hard earned money, especially when they’ve made illogical decisions. I’ve realized that I don’t trust God as a good and loving Father to provide for the needs of His children.[1] I think my needs are provided for as long as the bank account doesn’t fluctuate more than I want it to because of forced excessive expenditures, and here lately that equates to paying way more at the pump than I should. I’ve also noticed that when I complain about all this to others, I’m getting in the way of keeping their eyes on God and acknowledging Him and giving Him thanks for what He has provided. I’m not encouraging them to trust God, but instead to subconsciously create a dependency on man and when he fails them how to complain.

Perhaps you’re thinking from reading all this that I think ignorance is bliss. Not at all. But I do believe that as Christians we talk excessively about how government fails us when instead we ought to be giving thanks to God and encouraging one another, not by reminding each other that the midterm elections are right around the corner or that the presidential election is only two years away. No, God’s people, His children ought to be talking with one another about how great and good their Father is. That never changes.

  1.  And my God mwill supply every need of yours naccording to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
    m Ps. 23:1; 2 Cor. 9:8
    n See Rom. 2:4
     The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Php 4:19.

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

Acts 2:46

The idea of House Church is a foreign concept in the United States. Not because house churches don’t exist or because absolutely no one knows what a house church is, but rather because they are few and far between in comparison to traditional churches. For centuries, the primary meeting place for churches in the United States has been a neutral building with a steeple, pews, & a baptistry. House churches are a contrast from the traditional church model of which I was a member for thirty years. Today I’m finding more people who are searching for a change. They are looking for a community of Christians they can share their lives with and that means spending hours upon hours together every week, not just dropping in and heading out and repeating the same routine over and over again. They’re looking for a place where they are connected and that means way more than attending a small group or gathering together for a potluck social once a month. Being a member of a house church means more time together up close and personal. There’s no coming and going without being seen or acknowledged. When you step into a house church, it should feel like you’ve come home and your Christian brothers and sisters have been waiting for you. They don’t just express that with a warm smile and a friendly handshake, but by giving their life to you.

The following list is not exhaustive, but merely serves as a means of providing insight into what I see and experience every week as a house church pastor.

  • Authentic relationships rooted in Christ
  • Discipleship is organic.
  • One on one conversations with pastors in a comfortable setting.
  • Nobody is in a hurry to leave.
  • People stay & fellowship however long they want.
  • Everybody is engaged in conversation.
  • Everyone feels like they’re at home.
  • Friends come over on Saturday to prepare for Sunday.
  • Eating meals together gives us more time together
  • The doors are always open

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Colosians 3:1

When is the last time you visited your social media to jump into the malaise of politics to blind side whoever doesn’t agree with you? I know this exists. Not because I’ve jumped into the fray; I only have to listen to the conversations around me. Let me get more personal. I’ve heard of the rhetoric that goes back and forth between church going people. Let me qualify that I don’t equate all “church going people” to being followers of Jesus Christ, but I do believe Christians attend churches. This exhortation is intended for everyone who enters the door of a church while claiming to be a Christ follower.

You can learn a lot about a person by what they say. Within the political ring of social media everyone who “posts’ “likes” or “tweets” has laid their minds bare to be read by every social media aficionado. Once the “post” or “send” has been selected, that’s it, there’s no trying to deny intention or culpability. What’s done has been done.

Regardless of the “intent” of their world-wide message, what first existed in the mind has been revealed. The plethora of “social” skirmishes seem to be a form of entertainment for many. Attendees delight in the skeptical of the contemporary coliseum. The roars from the crowd are often zealous cries for an earthly crown. They claim to “fight” in the name of God while defending their political gladiator. They are ignorant of the righteousness of God while attempting to establish their own. Their eyes are not fixed on Christ.

Temptation to hold on tightly to this world is habitual for the natural man. Unfortunately, Christians are not exempt from this temptation. When confronted by the false teaching of outsiders Colossian Christians were reminded by the Apostle to set their eyes on Christ. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col 3:1). Paul commands Christians to devote serious effort to “the things above”. Seeking the things above is commanded because true Christians have been raised with Christ. They have been brought from spiritual death to spiritual life. They have been set apart, distinguished from this world, therefore, they ought to think like it. They are to “press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).

Paul reminds Christians that Jesus Christ is clothed in preeminence and is seated with all authority at the right hand of the Father. This is not hyperbole, but do you believe it? Do you see Christ as almighty, universe sustaining, and intercessor who’s sovereign over every molecule, cell, nanosecond, breath, & decision? Do you really believe that or is it mere intellectual ascent?

Do you trust that His providence, regardless of the earthly outcome is always good or have you confused what is good for you to be synonymous with what is pleasant and comfortable? When live’s outcomes don’t go according to your plan, are you able to say with Samuel Rutherford, “I will charge my soul to believe and to wait for Him, and will follow His providence, and not go before it, nor stay behind it.” If you have been raised with Christ, set your mind on the things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.