Summary: When God is in the house, things are different. Inspired by a message at the 2011 Evangelism Conference by my friend, Dr. Kevin Hamm.
A Word to the Church
God in the House
* (READ TEXT) A few weeks ago, I heard a preacher say these words (with which I concur); “As believers, we are told to tell other people about what Christ has done for us, in us, and through us. After we tell them and win them we bring them back into the church family for discipleship & growth, but the question is this; ‘what exactly do we bring them back to?’ Do they come to a place where people are seeking God or seeking their own? Do they come to a place where they continually sense, see, and feel God’s presence? Better said, to they come to a place where “GOD IS IN THE HOUSE?”
* My daily prayer for us is that every time we gather, God is present. God’s presence should be on the minds of God’s more than anything else. Too often among church going people there is much concern about other things (I.E. what’s she wearing, what’s he singing, did someone get my seat, someone get my parking place, etc) The list goes on and on and yet, if gathering in the name of the Lord will ever equate to touching heaven, it will be when GOD IS IN THE HOUSE.
* The scripture we have just read is a story of Jesus (God) being in the house! Think about why Jesus comes & the result of Jesus coming.
a) When God is in the house – He has been invited. The scripture says clearly that the Pharisee invited Jesus to eat. Why did a Pharisee invite Jesus? We could guess many different reasons, but taken into context with the history of the Pharisees, it could be well stated that it was to watch Him, check Him out, and find fault. But watch this, ‘when Jesus is invited, many times, He will show up.’ Generally, He will not show up if He is NOT invited.
b) When God is in the house – People know it. – A Pharisee invited HIS close FRIENDS and yet the word got around! People know when God is in the house.
c) When God is in the house – People want to be there, they show up. – God has placed into the heart of mankind to be where He is. Woven into our DNA is the desire to find God and commune with Him. Conversely, I wonder if we can discover in this the reason so few come.
d) When God is in the house – Lives are changed. – In this lies an eternal truth which seems to be missed today. No person can encounter God and remain unchanged. “That’s the way he is” is no longer acceptable.
* If we know that people know it, respond to it, & that lives are changed when God is in the house, the question becomes ‘how can we invite God into this place?’ Or better said, “What kind of worship is it that we can offer which attracts God to this place?” To hear from our Lord and grasp the answer to these questions, let’s return to our text and from the story, consider 5 parts of having GOD IN THE HOUSE!
1. Desperate for Jesus – If you look at the text, you discover that the Pharisee threw a party for his friends, and oh by the way, Jesus was invited. Why did this religious leader invite Jesus? Was he looking for answers? Was he hoping to find the way of life? Was he looking for God? OR did he want to get close enough to Jesus to discover his faults, failures, and the like to use against him? While a Pharisee’s motives are always suspicious, the woman was altogether different. She came to see Jesus because she was desperate for Him. Her courage is demonstrated in her coming as an uninvited guest. How long has it been since you have been ‘desperate’ for something?
* Picture the scene: It is in the recreation room of a Californian retirement facility. Four ladies are playing bridge and chatting and keeping an eye on the flow of people in and out of the area. Soon an elderly gentleman wanders into the room. They all recognize him for a newcomer and they all perk up. One of the ladies says, “Hello there. You’re new here, aren’t you?” He smiles and replies that he is, indeed. He had just moved in that morning. Another one of the ladies says, “Where did you live before you moved in?” He says, “I was just released from San Quentin, where I spent the last twenty years.” A third lady perks up at this and say, “Oh, is that so? What were you in for?” He says, “I murdered my wife.” The fourth lady sits up in her chair, smiles and say, “Oh, then you’re single?”