Summary: What does it take to succeed in life? This is a great sermon for youth. Catchy title.
How you can pass with all F’s
What does it take to succeed in life? There are many things that are necessary ingredients for us to live lives that are rewarding, meaningful and fulfilling. Today I would just like to address three that I feel should be at the top of everyone's list. I call them the Three F's. We will read out of Mark 2:1-12.
Success in life requires Friends
A. Our story begins with Jesus’ fame beginning to spread, especially after the leper told people that He was a miracle healer. And so, a few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that He had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and He preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. The focus of the story is mainly on this last phrase, the paralytic and Jesus healing him.
B. But I want to focus for a moment on his friends. They didn’t like to see their friend lay there unable to move. They wanted him to have a better life, so they took him to Jesus. I don’t know how big this paralytic had become from inactivity, but it took four of them to carry him on a mat to get to Jesus. When they got to the house where Jesus was, they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd. So what did they do? They made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. Palestinian houses were built with flat roofs and outside stairs up to the roofs. The roofs were constructed of tiles and covered with sod. These men were determined to get their friend to Jesus, so they carried him up stairs, got their fingers dirty and dug through the sod and and lowered him down to Jesus.
C. If we want to live healthy lives, we need to get an F on our report cards. The F is for friends. No matter how we live our lives, we are going to have times when we are in need. We may be physically sick, spiritually sick, emotionally sick and without friends to help us, our potential for healing is greatly diminished.
D. This whole story and the miraculous healing that took place was brought about by the friends this paralytic had. When it says Jesus saw their faith, we know these are not just hired hands, these are friends who want their friend healed and will do what it takes to help him get this healing.
E. It is because of friends that these miracles still happen today, every day. Many of you sitting here today are walking miracles. Some of you were destroyed by hate, caught in a web of habitual sins. Some of you were alcoholics, drug addicts, thieves. Some of you looked good on the outside, but were full of sickness on the inside. Yet on a special appointed day, a friend invited you to church or talked to you about God, and God touched you and you were healed. You became born again.
F. Some of you were scarred and sinfully twisted . Yet someone carried you to Christ. As a result your life changed. A miracle took place. That man or woman sitting across from us that is a kind, loving, serving, forgiving man and a faithful follower of Christ was once a paralyzed man, but a friend reached out to him and a miracle took place. Some of you were making bad choices and heading down a road to destruction, until a friend came along and helped you out.
G. Do we have friends like this in our lives? Do we have people who would carry us to see Jesus if we were in need? Do we have friends who would come to our house and pray for us if we were sick? Do we have friends that love us enough to talk to us, when they see us making bad decisions? Friendship is a valuable thing, and we cannot be healthy if we don’t have friends. We were made to be social people, we need to have good relationships with others, strong relationships with others if we want to live healthy and full lives. It is not an option.
H. How can we go about making friends? Well to be sure it is hard and it takes a lot of time and energy. You don’t make life-long friends in a week. We have to be committed to making friends with people. This is why at Vineyard we are so committed to encouraging all of you to get involved in a small group. We want to encourage you to meet people and make friends, especially Christian friends. We all need people in our lives that care enough about us to be there when we are in need. It is too late to try to make friends once we are in need.