When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Mark 2:1-4
But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:9-12
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:32-36
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. Hebrews 11:24-27
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The four friends of the man on the mat were not easily dissuaded from their objective of bringing their friend before Jesus. The hole in the roof can remain as an image in our minds to help us persevere and not give up at being ones who help others come to Jesus for the touch from Him that is needed. How readily we are diverted by other concerns that consume our lives. God has called us to live in community and to help each other get close to Jesus and stay close to Him. The believers in the book of Hebrews struggled with staying committed to all that God had called them to in this regard. Like them we are encouraged to stick with it and not let anything get in the way of helping others come before Jesus, even if it means enduring suffering and mistreatment.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, what an amazing provision it is to come before you. No matter who we are, we need the touch that comes from you when we are in your presence. Thank you for those people who helped me come to you for the gift of salvation. Thank you for those who help me come to you for your ongoing touch of grace in my life. I am sorry that far too often I allow myself to get deterred from helping people come to you for the grace they need. I vow to be a faithful servant who persists at bringing others to you. Amen!
Posted on Tue, November 21, 2017
by Ken Hart