There is one person in the Bible that I truly feel sorry for. His name is Asa. He was the king of Judah who ruled the nation for 41 years from 912-871 BC. He was a good king who faithfully obeyed God. 1 Kings 15: 14 says, “Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life.” However, 2 Chronicles 16: 9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” This happened in the 36th year of his reign. He lived a faithful and obedient life before God for the most part but failed to finish it well because his heart was not fully committed to God the last five years of his life. What a tragedy!
It is very obvious that God wants our whole heart. Why? We don’t know all the reasons but we know a few. First, God has given us His whole heart to love us, so He wants us to love Him with our whole heart. Second, if we give God our whole heart, then we will get to experience the amazing life He has in store for us. Good things happen in our life when we obey God with childlike faith. The truth of the matter for many committed Christ followers is that we give God 90% of our heart but try to hold on to that 10%. Often this is the reason why we don’t get to experience the life that God has for us.
I was like Asa the past four years. I prayed and asked you to pray with me that New Life will become a resource church to those churches that are trying to learn about and do house church ministry. But my heart honestly was not fully in it. I was less than active and enthusiastic when I led house church seminars or talked to other pastors about house church ministry. As a result, I wasn’t able to see other pastors getting excited or being committed to do house church ministry.
This past January during the House Church Seminar for the Pastors, however, God helped me to see the painful reality of many local churches and how the pastors are sincere and genuine but clueless about how to build their local churches according to the spirit of the New Testament. There at the seminar, I repented of my lackadaisical attitude of helping other churches before God and committed my life to Him by saying, “God, what you tell me to do I will do and where you want me to go I will go!”
Since then, God has given me multiple opportunities to minister to churches and pastors in regards to house church ministry. In August, I spoke at Life Way Ministry’s leaders’ retreat in Austin; in September, at New Community Mission Church in San Mateo, CA; and this past week, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in MA where I graduated from. Besides all these, on my way to Boston last week, I sat next to a person in the airplane who was going to CT to attend a house church conference of some sort. When I shared with him about New Life’s house church ministry, he was blown away and furiously took notes as he kept telling me, “This is great! This is great! I will share about your house church ministry to the conference hosts in CT asking them if they know about New Life.” We ended up talking about house church ministry for three straight hours.
I also met a pastor couple in New York while I was there for my home church’s youth group’s 30 year reunion. They read my blog on Facebook and contacted me to see if they could come over to the hotel where I was staying and spend some time with me talking about church. I ended up talking to them about house church ministry for more than two hours. They returned home very excited.
A pastor in Chicago who used to serve here in Houston years ago emailed me last week if he can call me to ask me about house church ministry. I will be talking to him on Monday.
I feel like God has been waiting for my heart to be wholly committed to Him and helping other churches and pastors with house church ministry. The way we do house church ministry is a serious attempt to restore God’s church to be more like a New Testament church. I am convinced that God is delighted with this and that’s the reason why these ministry opportunities are opening up for me.
I don’t know what the future holds for me and New Life. One thing I know for sure is that God wants our whole heart. When we give Him our whole heart, God will have us do some things that we have never even dreamed of.
House Church Seminar for Lay Leaders is approaching very quickly. It will be from 10/26 to 10/28. Let’s serve God well by serving those 31 participants who will be coming from six different churches with the love of Christ. If we are faithful with small things, God will put us in charge of greater things.
New Life, we are blessed!
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