Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm A Church Burglar!

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”.


B His Girl said...

Hey Shanita,

Boy, I never would have thought being a burglar was good but when Jesus is the 'Most Wanted', rules are thrown out the window. Get Him any way you can. I am leaving you a comment on my blog in response to your words. Thanks for bringing up this point. Have a great day!

Pastor Andre' A. McGhee said...

Very thought provoking post! Sounds like you didn't just attend church but you came away with something. Thanks for sharing. You express yourself very well.

Parkay said...

Girl, you never cease to amaze me. When I grow up I want to be able to post/write just like you, lol. This is definitely one of your callings. Thanks for another good meal. Keep them coming.


Spring Fricks said...

Reckless abandonment. It's the only way to be when you sell out to Christ. Nice take away Shanita.


Sister Shanita,

We are to spiritually Bogart our presence before the Lord JESUS if we are to earnestly seek a miracle. There are many examples in the Bible of individuals pressing toward the mark of the high calling JESUS Christ, the women with issue of blood.

Great post.

GOD Bless~~~

Shanita Waters said...

@ Hallelujah - it's funny that you would mention that story of the woman with the issue of blood. That was the first piece of scripture I "really" preached on. I love that story and I thought about it as the preacher preached and then he "went there" and started talking about her.

@ Spring - I like that "reckless abandonment". The preacher told a short story before the message illustrating how we have to forsake everything we know to get to God.

@ Parkay - Thanks for the compliment. I really can't take credit for the post today. It was an awesome sermon and I truly enjoyed how this familiar text was ministered so I really just sumarized what I took away from the service.

@ Pastor McGhee- Thank you for stopping by. I definately took something away from service. I will be visiting their bible study as well. It's always a blessing to walk away from church and have learned something. Thanks for the compliment too.

@ B - Hey Sis, it's always a pleasure for you to stop by. When the preacher stood up and proclaimed that he was a "church burglar" I got a little worried but by the end of the service, I realized that I was a church burglar too. I never would have imagined it to be a good thing either. I'll tell you one thing. He definately had everyone's attention.

From the Heart said...

Shanita, You visited my blog before Thanksgiving I think. I apologize for not responding. You are very welcome to come anytime. I have a Christmas Blog also. I read most of your post. It hit's a little too close to home. Maybe you will put my husband and I on your prayer list. I've had a lot of surgeries, the last was in May of 2007 and I was out of church for a while. A lot of things have changed at our church and I just don't feel at home there anymore but there's nowhere else I want to go. They had a 3 pm Sunday service for Senior Adults which was great for me but it was cut out. I'm praying God will lead those in authority to start it again. The pastor they hired is great.
Anyway please visit anytime and be sure to take a look at the Christmas blog.
Jesus is still my Lord,

Truth4thejourney said...

Hi Shanita,

This was a very thought provoking post! It reminds me of the woman with the issue of blood, too. She knew that if she just touched the hem of his garment she would be healed. It was not appropriate, but she was willing to risk everything. Remember, with an issue of blood she was considered unclean.

I love how God accepts us just as we are in our unclean state so that through the washing of His blood we are clean and white as snow. Praise God for His goodness!


Shanita Waters said...

Hi Alice,

I read your message last night and prayed for you and your hubby. I read it through my PDA so I wasn't able to reply. It really touched my heart that you were so affected by the message. God is so awesome. He gave one message to the preacher that touched me to share it and it touched you as well. I pray that God will plant you somewhere where you can blossom and both feel comfortable.

I can really relate to what you are going through. My family and I are actually looking for a new church home and I understand how it feels to not be quite comfortable in the House of the Lord. We've been visiting a few churches in the past 8 months and is praying for God to give us clear instruction soon so that we can get settled.

I will be sure to stop by your main blog. I don't celebrate the Christmas holiday but you always have great pics so I will come by to see them. I'm sure it's pretty.


Shanita Waters said...

@ Sonya! I love the story of the Woman with the issue of blood. I preached from that text at my first Women's Seminar. I hold that story near and dear to my heart becuase I was that woman. In fact, I think I may have to post about it. I thought of that story as the preacher preached and then he even touched on the topic. It's such a blessing when the people of God are all on one accord!


Wanza Leftwich, The Gospel Writer said...

Hey Shanita,
I love this post. I'm reading it on the 29th, but it was relevant to me today. Our God is awesome like that. I decided to be a Church Burglar. I'm doing whatever I have to do to get close to him...and stay there!

Wanza Leftwich, The Gospel Writer said...

Hey Shanita,
I love this post. I'm reading it on the 29th, but it was relevant to me today. Our God is awesome like that. I decided to be a Church Burglar. I'm doing whatever I have to do to get close to him...and stay there!