Your faith could change someone's life
Look at this cool story in Matthew 9:2-8--
Some things to notice about this story (and why it applies to you!):
- Jesus saw the faith of the whole group and said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven."
- Jesus told the paralytic not to be afraid. "Take heart" means: "to be of good cheer, to be of good comfort, to be of good courage."
- The whole group had faith in Jesus' power as the Son of God.
- The man's actions proved his faith in Jesus.
- Jesus sees faith and responds to it. When he sees fear, he calls us to take courage.
- Jesus helps the man even though his actions and words are offensive to the religious leaders.
- Jesus has the authority to forgive sins AND heal paralysis, so he does both. But he does them separately so the man will realize that Jesus is the Son of God
So who had the faith, the friends or the paralyzed man?
Well, the friends took the time to build a mat, take ropes with them, carry their friend to the house where Jesus was preaching, take their friend up on the roof, tear the roof apart, and lower their friend so he could get to Jesus.
Their faith took action. Whether they told their friend, "We're taking you" or whether the man asked them to take him to Jesus, they all went. They all believed and acted on it.
Then Jesus healed the paralyzed man's spirit AND body.
Your attitude and actions matter. You could save your friends and family by having the faith to take them to Jesus.
Take someone to Jesus.
If you need to "take heart," then pray this prayer:
Give me courage to believe that you have authority
to forgive sins and alleviate suffering.
You desire to make us whole.
Help me not to give up on the work you are doing in people whom I know.
Help me not to decide what I think you want to do.
Help me to believe in your true nature of love and redemption.
I want to stand in the gap for someone.
I want to help them find Jesus.
I want to intercede for them.
Fill me with compassion for others.
Fill me with the Holy Spirit so I notice the needs of others.
Fill me with humility so I will keep coming to you
and keep serving others.
Make me a blessing.
Make me a warrior who fights for others
and fights injustice.
I believe you will do mighty things through your Son
and even through me.
In Jesus' name,