Summary: Sermon on Mark 2:1-12
“FAITH OF FOUR FRIENDS”
“HOW TO BRING PEOPLE TO CHRIST”
There was once the small rural church. Now the church wad very small. So small that the pastor had to double up as the local barber to make ends meet.
There happened to be a man in this small community who had invested wisely and was enjoying his newfound comfort.
This man got out of bed one day to go through his daily
routine. He looked into the mirror as he was about
to shave and decided, "I make enough money now, I don’t
have to shave myself. I’ll go down to the barber and let
him shave me from now on." So he did.
He walked into the barber shop and found the preacher/barber was out calling on the shut-ins. His wife, Grace, said "I usually do the shaves anyway ... sit down and I’ll shave you."
So he did. She shaved him and he asked, "How much do I owe you?" "$25," Grace replied. The man thought that was
somewhat expensive and that he may have to get a shave every other day. Nonetheless, he paid Grace and went on his way.
The next day, he woke up and found his face to be just as smooth as the day before. No need for a shave today, he
thought, well, it was a $25 shave. The next day he awoke to find his face as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Wow! he thought. That’s amazing, as he normally would need to shave daily to keep his clean-shaven business look.
Day 3, he woke up and his face was still as smooth as the
minute after Grace had finished. Now, somewhat perplexed,
the man went down to the barber shop to ask some questions. This particular day the pastor was in and the man asked him why his face was as smooth as it was the first day it was shaven.
The kind old pastor gently retorted, "Friend, you were
shaved by Grace ... and once shaved, always shaved.”
Today we going to be taking a special offering for a Christmas gift to our missionaries. I want to take this occasion to speak to you on the importance of missions.
We support five missionaries here at MCCBC. We have the Edwards in Japan, the Buckmans who minister in South America, Dorothy Kicher, and Helen Finch, both of who are retired now, but both spent many years preaching the gospel in South America. And also Wayne and Sherri Rapp who are in New Jersey.
Speaking as one who is a missionary I can say with certainty that these people depend on the support they receive from church and individuals such as us. Without that support they would not make it on their fields. Without that support they would not be unable to stay where they are, faithfully preaching the gospel. You see God uses means to support His people and one of those means is His people.
“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 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. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you." And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ’Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ’Arise, take up your bed and walk’? "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"; He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"