“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 fifth of seven ways a small group can reach people for Jesus this Christmas season:
Your small group needs the courage to do something different.
When faced with a discouraging situation, these four friends decided to do something different to get their friend to Jesus: They went through the roof!
Sometimes we have to do something different to get people to Jesus as well.
Although you might not crawl through a roof to get someone to Jesus, you might host a party during the Christmas season, and invite your unsaved friends.
For a small group in a San Diego church, “something different” meant buying season tickets to see professional football games. Besides buying their own tickets, the couples bought one extra ticket — for someone who didn’t know Jesus. That group brought 13 couples to Christ through that experience.
We can have courage as we tell others about Jesus because the Holy Spirit is working through us. It doesn’t matter how well we talk or how educated we are because God inhabits our abilities: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 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.