“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 last of seven ways a small group can reach people for Jesus this Christmas season:
Your small group must be willing to pay the cost to bring someone to Jesus.
These four men wouldn’t have made a hole in the roof unless they were willing to fix it. They had to pay the cost of bringing their friend to Jesus.
Bringing a friend to Jesus always requires sacrifice. For many small groups that means sacrificing their own comfort within the group. Many people have become so comfortable within their small groups that they are afraid of adding new people and messing up the group dynamics.
Before our friends will come to Jesus, they need to see us get out of our comfort zones. But we know that reaching others for Jesus is of eternal significance – it is the most important thing we can do for God while we are here on Earth.
Therefore, this Christmas season, “pray that the Master's Word will simply take off and race through the country to a ground-swell of response, just as it did among you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1 MSG).
And, then, be an instrument of that prayer, doing the work required to bring others to Jesus.
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.