Monday, January 28, 2013

Luke 5: 17-26
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."

He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."

Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."

My Dear Friend-
I love the lessons you teach me when I take time to be with You. I've heard this story repeatedly, but today it has fresh meaning. I'm acutely aware of the friends who had the compassion and strength to carry me to You when I was too weak to walk. They relentlessly stuck with me until I met You face to face. Now, I'll be that friend to someone else. Many people in my church family are paralyzed from terrible tragedies, crushing circumstances, and devastating diagnoses. Crippled by crisis, they need carried to You. I resolve to be the faithful friend who lifts them up and finds a way to bring them to You.

When others are too brokenhearted to speak, I'll be the voice that persistently carries them to You in prayer. Trusting in Your promises, I'll believe You'll hear, answer and inexplicably revive them.

When others are too grief-stricken to stand, I'll doggedly transport them to the Steadfast Pillar of Strength, allowing them to lean on me. By Your mighty hand, I'll be the faithful friend who supports and upholds them, expecting You to perform a miracle.

When others are blinded by tears, I'll determinedly lead them to the stream of Living Water where they can immerse their thoughts in things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Amazingly, You'll use my faith and encouragement to restore their sight.

Hopelessness will turn to happiness when, together; we experience Your wonderful touch of greatness. We'll be in awe of You because of the remarkable things You've done in us and through us, as we carry our friends to You for healing in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Do you know someone who needs healing, physically, emotionally, or spiritually? Will you be the persistent friend who sticks with them until they encounter Jesus? Imagine the immense blessing for the men who went above and beyond to get their friend to Him. You, too, could receive an immeasurable reward, for your faithfulness.

The key to their success was their persistent faith. They believed Jesus could help their desperate friend. They developed a plan around their obstacles and went above and beyond get him in front of Jesus. Follow their example, and you too, may have a story to tell.

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