Monday, August 24, 2009

Four Friends

You know we talk a lot here about "if you hear it twice"?
Well.....I'm probably gonna have a couple of posts this week that deal with just that....things I've heard twice (or more) in the past few days/weeks!!!
Remember the story of the four friends who had another friend who was "sick of the palsy", meaning he couldn't walk....well, here's the scripture from the book of Mark:

Mark 2:1-5 (NLT)
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man,
“My child, your sins are forgiven.”
Many years ago, I heard this scripture used in a message at the church we were attending. When my friend told me she had used this story in her Sunday school class, it reminded me that I had heard the story recently in another setting. It took searching thru 2 of my older Bibles to find my notes that I had taken when I heard it long ago (wish I had written down the date). Isn't it amazing how God can bring things like this back to our remembrance? I just love when that happens. my notes....all I had written down were Items 1, 2, 3, and nothing for #4 (I must not have been paying good enough attention, huh???) all I had was their "names", or "titles"....and no'm gonna just give my own details on what I feel the friends represent:
We have to realize that the 4 men loved their friend enough to want him to be healed and to do whatever it took to help him. This reminds me of how we should be towards our own friends...not just that they will be healed physically of anything that is wrong...but also an emotional...and most importantly....spiritual healing!!!
The friends...and also the paralyzed man....had heard about Jesus and all the miracles He had performed. They knew in their hearts...they had the FAITH....that if they could get their friend to Jesus that He could heal him. Shouldn't our faith today be possibly even stronger than those 4 friends??? Look at all the things that we read about in the Bible....look at our own lives and the little "miracles" that we've seen happen. All of these things...experiences....should serve to strengthen our faith!!!
Because of the huge crowd of people, they realized it wasn't going to be easy to get to Jesus...but....they didn't give up. They went up to the roof top....cut a hole in the roof...and lowered their friend down on his bed to Jesus!!!
These friends loved their friend so much that they were willing to do whatever it took to get Him to Jesus. This reminds me of I willing to step out of my comfort zone for Jesus? Not only to tell others about Him...but to also "work" for Him? I wasn't for many years...but I'm finding that I want to serve Him....I want others to know how much I love Him and I want to do things for Him. I know that some will be critical of us....things will be said to hurt our feelings...but we have to keep in mind that we're doing whatever He calls us to do for Him....for HIS GLORY....not to please man (or woman!!!)!
I'm going to name Friend #4 Forgiveness. Jesus forgave this man of his might ask, "but I thought he was paralyzed and needed healing physically"? Let's read on a little farther:
Mark 2:9-12 (NLT)
Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said,
“Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

You know what comes to mind when I read "we've never seen anything like this before"? Do you have a Christian friend you look up to....somebody you admire....that no matter what kind of problem they are going thru, they still manage to hold onto their faith....they go thru the storms of life and...yes, they sometimes get discouraged....they hang on and allow God to lead them and guide them?? That's what I think of when I read that last sentence. Don't you want to be that kind of Christian??? Don't you want to live such a life that others are going to definitely see God in you....see something different in you....something that they want for their own lives?
LOVE....Love others more than you do supportive of your friends...encourage them....offer help when you know they need it!!!
FAITH....Have the faith that God is in control and wants only what's best for you...and also have the faith that He will provide you with the strength and courage to get you thru any and all situations!!!
WORK....My friend ends every one of her e-mails with the following verse of scripture:
Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Romans 12:11 NLT
Our "works" aren't going to get us to heaven...but once we're saved, we should want to work for the Lord to show our love for Him.
FORGIVENESS....Just as our Precious Savior forgives us....let's forgive others. Let's not hold grudges, or be jealous. You know why I ask that of you...because...I've been there myself....and those feelings of unforgiveness only serve to hurt us...and to hinder our relationship with God!!!
Please know that I love each of you....and I pray God's blessings on your week!!!
In His Most Precious Love...and with mine!!!

1 comment:

  1. Your posts really inspire me..and I think I needed this post more than you know..perhaps that is why I am awake at have a chance to REALLY read this with no distractions. Thank you Ms. Deb!


Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Proverbs 16:24