Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 2, 2014

One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven. “ The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?  But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” Luke 5:17-26


What an amazing and thrilling story!

There is much to be learned from these four friends who helped their friend find healing at the hands of Jesus. Sunday, Lord willing, I plan to share some truths from this account to challenge the FredWes family because there are some direct applications from their ministry to the ministry of a local church that wants to get people to Jesus.

First, they wanted to carry their friend because Jesus was in the house.

The main reason people want to go to a church is because they know Jesus is in that house. Likewise, the reason they want to bring their spiritually needy friends is the same reason, because Jesus is in that house.

It's a worthwhile reminder of what is most needed to attract people to church. Many churches have bought into the idea of what it takes to get people to choose a church:
  • A high-powered, high personality, high-profile pastor
  • A high- powered praise band with a worship leader to match
  • High quality worship productions
  • High-powered programs for every age and every need
  • And highly polished promotions for all of the above
There is nothing wrong with any of those things but they are poor substitutes for the presence of Jesus in the house. When you have the leadership and the budget and the staff and the talent to make all those things happen, it gets very tempting to invest all your focus and energy toward making them happen. The time, the thought, the focus, the practice and the planning required to execute all those things can distract from time spent in prayer. It is easy to drift away from trust the Lord and start depending on talent, creativity and planning.

I have served in a couple of situations where we faced those issues and I know how easy it can be to fall in love with creativity and lose touch with Christ. It's a battle but one worth fighting because when you have all those benefits and still have Jesus in the house - powerful things can happen!

When these four friends carried their needy neighbor to see Jesus, they found no room in the house because Jesus was in the house.

Of all the things we need at FredWes, the thing we need the most is to have Jesus in the house. 

How does that happen?

Seek Him first and surrender to Him and don't settle for less. Jesus comes where He is invited and welcomed.

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and these things will be added to you as well." Matthew 6:33

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