Happy Monday everyone! Mondays usually get off to a pretty slow start for most people that work Monday through Friday but not for me. First of all, I’m happy to have a job to go back to after the weekend. Secondly, my favorite show, Prison Break comes on tonight and last but far from least I attended a church service at International City Community Church in Philadelphia, PA that gave me a “charge” to start my week off right. Pastor Gary O. Grier, Sr. is an awesome preacher and teacher. I enjoyed yesterday’s message so much that I’ve decided to share what I took away from it. The title was “Church Burglars”.
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (Luke 2:1-5)Jesus had returned to Capernaum. Whenever He was in the area it was impossible to keep the people away. People knew that whatever their problem was that all they had to do was get close enough to Jesus and they would be alright. Do we realize that instead of seeking our help and/or advice from everyone else that all we need to do is go to Jesus? The assembled themselves and stood all day and all night in the crowds just to get close to Him. We should be likeminded. We should make it our business to do whatever we need to do to get into the presence of the Lord. It’s important that we attend the House of the Lord but it’s even more important that enter into His presence. Do we let not finding the right outfit, a little rain, or a busy schedule or some other minuscule excuse keep us from getting into the presence of the Lord?
The next thing Pastor Grier pointed out was that there were five men willing to risk punishment for breaking and entering just to get close to God? How much are we willing to go through to be close to the Lord? What kind of radical risks are we willing to take to be in a position where we can hear Him clearly? According to the Law, the penalty for breaking, entering, stealing and damaging another person’s house or its contents was that they would have to repay double what they took or damaged. But none of this mattered to them. They knew that the risk they took to get close to Jesus was worth it. They were willing to risk having to replace the roof and anything else they damaged while they broke into the house to be close to God. How many of us today would be willing to do this?
The paraplegic man had his four friends tear the roof off of someone else’s house so that he could be lowered into the building. This man knew that the doctors didn’t have the answers. He knew that his condition was beyond man’s capabilities but just an opportunity for Jesus to heal him. If only we would learn to stop allowing things to keep us from obeying the Spirit of the Lord, reading our Word, praying or going to church we too could get what we need from the Lord. Perhaps we should follow the example of this man and become “Church Burglars”.