“Some men brought to Jesus a paralytic friend, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Take heart, son! Your sins are forgiven.’” (Matthew 9:2)
| ||You have friends who are paralyzed and can't get to Jesus. They are paralyzed by fear, guilt, doubt, pain, or maybe even resentment over being hurt in some church in the past. They are paralyzed, and they can't get to Jesus on their own. || |
Faithful people share their faith. Today’s verse comes from the story in Matthew 9 about the friends of a man who was sick and paralyzed. They wanted him to be healed, so they brought him to Jesus by lowering him on his mat through an opening in the roof.
“When Jesus saw their faith ….” It was not the paralyzed man’s faith that led to the healing; it was that of his friends. When Jesus saw these four friends cared enough to bring their paralyzed friend, he said, “Those guys have great faith. They expect me to heal their friend,” and he did.
You have friends who are paralyzed and can’t get to Jesus. They are paralyzed by fear, guilt, doubt, pain, or maybe even resentment over being hurt in some church in the past. They are paralyzed, and they can’t get to Jesus on their own.
God is watching to see if you are going to be faithful enough to bring them. And if you are, God will honor your faith. He’ll not only heal your friend; He’s going to bless you. It’s a blessing of faith.
As long as Christians — as long as the church — keeps reaching out to more unbelievers, God will keep blessing it. The moment a church's members say their church doesn’t need to grow anymore, they’re saying they don’t care about the world, and God’s blessing is removed from that church.
But as long as we keep saying we’re going to continue bringing paralyzed people to Jesus, God will bless not only our churches, but also our families, our businesses, and our lives.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times best seller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.