“Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn't find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, ‘Friend, I forgive your sins.’” (Luke 5:18-20 MSG)
Here is the second of seven ways a small group can reach people for Jesus this Christmas season:
Your small group must believe God can work through you to reach people for Jesus.
No one is hopeless. When the four friends looked at the paralytic’s condition, they could have responded in doubt: What could Jesus do? Instead, they believed God could heal him — they had faith. The Bible said the paralytic’s sins were forgiven when Jesus saw the faith of the four friends.
There are people all around us who are paralyzed this Christmas season — not necessarily physically paralyzed, but a paralyzed faith. Whether they’re paralyzed by doubts, loneliness, fear, or anything else, the result is the same: They need the faith of the others.
In a sense, they don’t have enough faith to believe, so your faith is going to have to bring them to Jesus. The Apostle Paul asked for prayer, so “that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ …” (Colossians 4:3 NIV)
Watch a short video sample from Pastor Rick on the importance of love. Saddleback Resources offers 40 Days of Love, a six-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that searches the Scripture for what love is, the characteristics of love, and how our relationships can be transformed by love.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, 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 pastors.
This devotional © 2011 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.