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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Desiring God"

Date published: 05/12/2014
Mark 2:3-5 “Some men came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’" (NIV) 

These men demonstrated a faith in Jesus that would make most 21stcentury Christians feel uncomfortable. Four men banded together unselfishly to bring a paralytic to Jesus. They carried him (135 to 180 pounds) (not calling an ambulance) a distance that was probably more than a mile. They were not deterred when their efforts to see Jesus were stopped short by the crowds. We are often stopped by: 1) Church being longer than 57 minutes; 2) We do not want to give up an evening, or 3) It is happening during our favorite television program. Not to be stopped, these four men hauled the paralytic to the roof of the building. Chances are access to the roof did not have stairs or an elevator, so getting the paralytic up there on a stretcher was no easy task. What amount of discomfort will you endure to attend a spiritual event for nourishment, growth, or ministry? The profile of a Christian is to run at the first sight of discomfort, much less to participate when there is struggle or challenge. All that now stood between these four men and the paralytic who desperately needed Jesus was the roof which happened to not belong to them! No cost, obstacle, or embarrassment was going to stop them from getting to Jesus. Once the roof was removed, Jesus was able to respond in compassion and love by forgiving the paralytic of his sins and healing him. We do not know what drove these men to come to Jesus. Whether it was the paralytic begging for their help or the four of them desiring to see their friend healed. We do know they had a faith that drove them to great lengths to get in the presence of Jesus!  

What obstacles stand in the way of you experiencing more of Jesus in your life? Are you going to allow obstacles to separate you from what God has for you? Every day you are faced with trusting and believing who God is and whether He is faithful to do what He says. If you want to experience more of Christ, you must be driven to a greater desperation for Him rather than a greater comfort and convenience for you. Are you willing by faith to desperately pursue more of Jesus and His promises?

Psalm 63:1 “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (NIV)

1 Timothy 6:11-12 “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.” (NIV) 

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