Summary: God wants us to bring other people to Jesus. How can we do it? 1. Find ways to be a friend (vs. 1-3) 2. Carry your corner of the load (vs. 3) 3. Break through the barriers (vs. 2-5) 4. Magnify the Master (vs. 5-12)
Bring Somebody to Jesus
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Oct. 11, 2009
*How did you become a Christian? -- Every believer has a unique story, your own story of how God worked in your life to help you trust in Jesus.
*But all of our stories have this thing in common:
-Somebody helped us get to Jesus. It may have been Mom or Dad, a co-worker, friend at school. It could even have been a total stranger, but somebody helped bring you to Jesus, and your life was changed forever.
*Now God wants us to be those helpers. God wants us to bring other people to Jesus. How can we do it?
1. First: Find ways to be a friend.
*The paralyzed man in our story today desperately needed some friends. Think how helpless and hopeless he was in that day. He had no access to the phenomenal technology that we usually take for granted.
*Geoff Thomas explained the man’s troubles this way: “We are told just one thing about him and that is that he was a paralyzed man. -- Nothing else.
*We are not told his name, his age, his marriage status, the job he once had.
-We are given information about one thing: that he could not move.
-Nothing else was as important as that. -- Nothing else was relevant.
*Do you realize his pain? -- The cramps, the stiffness of the joints, the bedsores and all the indignities of his condition.
-Think of his despair. Nothing lay ahead of him but more suffering and death.
-He remembered a time when he played as a boy, and worked hard, but now he could do nothing and was a burden to everyone. -- What a wretched life.
*He could not say, ‘I have had enough of this and so I shall send for the doctor and he will give me the wonder-drug.’ There was no one who could cure him.” (1)
*But then Jesus came to town! And everything could change, -- if he could just get to Jesus. Oh how he needed some true friends.
-And church, there are people all around us today in need of a friend.
-They may be struggling physically or financially.
-They may be struggling in their families.
-Their hearts may be broken. And they need a friend.
*Dick Innes tells us that the word for “friend” among some North American Indians was “one-who-carries-my-sorrows-on-his-back.” Hurting people all around us need friends like that, but most of all, they need Jesus. (2)
*Many other people may feel on top of the world right now, but they have a hole in their lives that only Jesus can fill. And they need a friend who will bring them to Jesus.
*Find ways to be that friend.
-Ask God to put these people in your path.
-Pray for them.
-Listen to them.
-Tell them what Jesus means to you.
-Invite them to church.
-Use your common interests to plant the truth in their lives.
*Brad Black mentioned these ideas to me this week:
-If you love to play golf, play golf with them.
-If you love to hunt, hunt with them.
-If you love to fish, fish with them.
-And use that time to bring them closer to Jesus.
*People all around us need a friend who will bring them to Jesus.
-Find ways to be that friend.
2. And be sure to carry your corner of the load.
*Picture the scene again. Jesus had come back to Capernaum and word spread like wildfire that He was in the house. -- So in vs. 2-4:
2. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.
3. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.
4. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. And when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
*But everyone had to carry their corner. Everyone had to do their part. These four friends worked together as a team. They started on the mission together in vs. 3, and they finished together in vs. 4. They didn’t give up. They stuck together.
*Think about those friends lowering the bed. Can you imagine what would have happened, if one of them had said, “That’s it! I quit!” -- And then let go of the rope? It would have been a disaster.
*But they didn’t give up. They stuck together, and we have to do the same thing. We must work together. We all must do our part. And there is something for every one of us to do.