Snapshot # 1 – Jesus Heals a Paralytic
May 31, 2009, 10:26 pm
Filed under: sportspastor | Tags: , , , ,

Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV)
1Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7And the man got up and went home. 8When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.

Matthew focuses on things that Jesus does that point to his divine nature. First he sees the bold faith of the paralyzed man’s friends. He knows the thoughts of his critics. He shows God’s power to heal. The crowd who had witnessed the healing of the paralytic, praised God saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” The Greek word for filled with awe is the same word for fear. When they realized that Jesus had the power to forgive sins they were filled with terror. This was the first time that this crowd realized that Jesus was God and that they were in the presence of God. Some esteemed him as God – meaning that they believed. The teachers of the law called it blasphemy and left the scene to begin to devise a plan to kill him.

Think about it. They came face to face with the truth that Jesus was God, the one who could forgive their sins. They either accepted and believed in Jesus or rejected him. What if we lived our lives in such a way that people saw Jesus in us so undeniably that they came face to face with the truth of God’s love in Jesus Christ? What if our lives reflected the character and nature of our Savior? Then others would see “evidence that demands a verdict.” Maybe God could use our witness to cause in their hearts and minds a crisis of faith that begs for them to see and believe or explain it away.

Just like the friends of the paralytic, we have a tremendous opportunity to bring our friends to Jesus. If any one of us has a friend who does not know Christ, or who does not care for Christ, or who is even hostile to Christ, it our Christian duty not to let that friend go. We must bring our friends into Christ’s presence. We cannot force people against their will to accept Christ. We cannot make people Christians, but we can do everything possible to bring them into Christ’s presence.


The Power of Prayer
May 4, 2009, 12:55 pm
Filed under: prayer

Someone asked me the other day, “What is the number one thing that I can do to prepare for the opening of the DLC?” I thought about it for a moment and replied, “Pray.” Prayer does two things for the effectiveness of ministry. First of all, prayer is the key that unlocks God’s infinite grace and power (see James 5:16). All that God is…and all that God has…is at our disposal when we pray. But we need to use the key. We can accomplish great things on our knees.

The second thing that prayer will do is prepare you to minister. I’m sure you remember the story of Moses, and how he went up onto the mountain for forty days. He desperately wanted to see and experience God’s glory. After spending time in the presence of God, Moses caught so much of the glory in his own face, that when he came down from the mountain, he had to wear a veil over it, because God’s glory was so bright it would have blinded the people.

In the same way, when we “go up onto the mountain of prayer,” away from the world, and spend time alone with God, we will catch the rays of His glory. It is not so much that our faces will shine (though I believe that sometimes even our faces shine), but our character will reveal the glory we have experienced in God’s presence. Each time we commune with Him, we catch something new of His glory and reflect it out to the
world (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Don’t miss the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 7th. How awesome to join believers across our nation and around the world on this special day. We are having services at noon and 6pm. Find a church in your city and take time to participate. We are never to busy to pray. We are too busy not to pray.