Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY FEB. 3, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“And again Jesus entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And Jesus preached the Word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near the crowd, they uncovered the roof where Jesus was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.”

“When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ And some of the scribes [religious leaders] were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’”

“But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’, He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’”

“Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” Mark 2.1-12

Something To Consider:
It appeared Jesus could not stay gone very long from the village of comfort, Capernaum. He entered the house and immediately it was filled to overflowing with people who came to hear Him speak. We are told that He preached the Word to them. More preachers need to follow His lead and preach the Word of God. Many have fallen prey to the philosophy of man rather than preaching a life challenging and life changing message from the Word of God.

Jesus preached the Word of God with powerful house filling, faith producing results. According to the Word of God in Romans 10.17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” How much of our day are we hearing the Word of God? How much of our day are we hearing that which is far from the Word of God? When we starve ourselves of the Word of God, we run the risk of becoming broken hearted and spiritually powerless. When we are bathed in the Word of God, we open ourselves up to breaking through barriers. It is of course our choice!

Something Else To Consider:
When Jesus saw the breaking through barriers faith of the four men, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” In my mind, I can almost hear one of the men, if not all four saying, “No Jesus not the sin thing!” But Jesus as usual was taking care of the real business at hand! The removal of sin is the true spiritual business at hand. Knowing that our sins are forgiven is as sweet music to our heavy burdened at times souls!

The writer of Psalm 119 in verse 11 declared, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You [God].” Therefore, how much of God’s Word are we hiding in our hearts on a daily basis? Or are we finding it more difficult to get a handle on our sin? Sin and biblical faith run complete opposite of one another. True biblical faith is willing to break through barriers in order to receive forgiveness of our sin. And according to Jesus, the forgiveness of our sin is the primary objective to not leave undone!

Something More To Consider:
If it had not been for the faith of these four men, this poor paralyzed person would have returned home broken hearted and still confined to his bed of affliction. But these four faith inspired men were so dedicated they were willing to break through whatever barriers existed in order to get this man the help he required, which was to get to Jesus. They were compelled to not take this man back home broken hearted!

Breaking through barriers restored this man. What barriers have other men, the enemy, ourselves, or life in general built as if strongholds in our path of life? Faith in Jesus, which comes from hearing the Word of God is powerful to the pulling down of any and all barriers or strongholds created to keep us from fulfilling God’s purpose and plan. But we must make the decision to remain broken hearted or to be willing to break through whatever barriers exist.

Sometimes the blame for barriers lies at our own doorstep and in the weakness of our own flesh. Therefore, Paul addressed that in 2 Corinthians chapter 10, by declaring; “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Do we see these stronghold-like barriers as giants in the land, or do we see our God as more powerful than any giant, demon, stronghold, or man-made barrier? Are we willing to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ? And if so, we are guaranteed access to the overcoming victory that God’s Word offers. But it all begins with, “Son [or daughter], your sins are forgiven you.” And if that is the final judgment of our Almighty God, what can separate us from His love, mercy, and eternal salvation?

A Few Final Words:
What then shall we say to these things, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him [Jesus] also freely give us all things?” And yet, the writer of Hebrews stated for the record in Hebrews 11.6; “But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he [or she] who comes to God [for whatever] must believe that He [God] is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Would we be found guilty by a court of law of diligently seeking first God and His barrier breaking faith? Or would we be found innocent of studying the Word of God to show ourselves approved of the Lord, kingdom workers possessed by barrier breaking faith? Who in their right mind would want to remain broken hearted and imprisoned by spiritual strongholds?

Faith filled leaders and leaders in training are diligent in the re-construction process of breaking down barriers that keep people as prisoners, separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus and the forgiveness of their sins. Let us go and do likewise! “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

Our Father in heaven, make us like these four men, faith filled and free to break down barriers that keep others and us from Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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