I have been giving a lot of thought to how our local church can have a greater impact within our community. Our city is filled with people who are lost, just waiting for someone to reach out to them. We have issues with gang violence, prostitution, drug addiction, homelessness issues and the list could go on and on but do you know what our biggest problem is? We are considered to be located in the Bible-belt of the Lower Mainland in British Columbia, Canada. It is sad when the church isn’t fulfilling its God given mission… rescuing people.
Have you ever wondered why it seems as though churches are more concerned with the people inside the church walls rather then the ones outside the walls? I once heard a quote that went something like this, “most people don’t go to church because no one has ever invited them.” Ouch! Did you know that there are people right now who are waiting for us to reach out. People who are dying on the inside. People who are tormented because of their past. Marriages that are ruined because of unfaithfulness. Families who are in the process of loosing their homes. A young man or woman who has heard about Jesus but no one has ever introduced them to Him.
There is a story in the book of Mark which moves me when I read it. Mark 2. It is the story of the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof by four men. Now the Bible doesn’t say specifically these four men were friends of the paralyzed man but for conversational sake, let’s say they are. These four friends are committed to seeing their friend get what he needed. He needed an encounter with Jesus. they were willing to do whatever it took to get their friend to see Jesus. They pressed through the crowd, they were innovative in their thinking, they were committed! What is so fascinating about this story is that it was their faith that healed their friend. Listen to verse 5, “Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child your sins are forgiven.” That was it. Jesus saw their faith and he responded with healing. Jesus doesn’t respond to our need, He responds to our faith!
There are people in our lives just like the paralyzed man. We have friends, family members, co-workers, there are even complete strangers that God is calling each of us to be like one of those four men. Someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to see salvation come to those in need. I want to encourage you to read through Mark 2:1-12 and just meditate on this portion of Scripture today and allow God to speak to you and direct you to people who need you to be a friend.
Is there someone in your life right now who is waiting for you to be like one of these four men?