Summary: this is part of a series that was designed to help people grow.

The Open door, # 2 of the enlarge your tent series, Isaiah 54: Main text Mark 2:1-11

Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ

March 3, 2002

A hairdresser in Colombia believes he has the baldness problem licked. The barber from Pereira, which is approximately 100 mile east of the Bogota capital, uses a special tonic and has an actual cow massage his clients scalp with its tongue to encourage hair growth. One of the customers said the treatment has actually made him feel more masculine and more attractive to women.

Hey If you need a cow to lick your head to feel more masculine I’d suggest you talk to Dave Garver about starting a new business. I’ve noticed Dave has a full head of hair.

Maybe you could even produce a brand of cow saliva cologne.

We’ve been discussing Growth the last couple of weeks. And no it does not come from drinking from a magic formula. It doesn’t happen by accident.

I can remember when I was younger my cousin and friends were all getting taller and I started growing late. I can remember trying to come up with ways that I could grow. Such tactics included hanging from the monkey bars, and sitting while pulling my legs. I was sure that it was something that I could do. But It doesn’t work like that.

Isaiah 54:2 says "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.

Growth is a result of nourishment, and stretching. So the question we have been addressing is “Will you grow?” People say to me I’m not growing I’m not getting stronger in my relationship with God. Why is that? Well chances are that if you have stopped growing spiritually to have stopped making room to grow.

Did you know that ancient Chinese women valued small feet so much that they would wrap a girls feet when she was very young. And the result was that their feet would not grow because growth was restricted. So you would see a woman who was 40 years old but her feet would be the size of a 4 year olds feet.

Have you restricted any growth in your spiritual life? Have you made room for new growth to come in and develop?

The key to spiritual Growth is to expand, find nourishment and stretch yourself beyond your limits of comfort.

So the question is still “will you grow? Will you expand your door? Will you enlarge your means of access for people to come to God?”

Of all the plans God has to connect other people to Him, You’re it. Isn’t it amazing that God trusts this incredible responsibility to us.

If you are willing to increase your influence then you have to begin spotting opportunities

There were four people sitting in a train compartment: an elderly lady who was knitting, a young woman who was reading a book, a Professor who was talking about his research, and his young student whom he was taking to a conference, and who was listening to his professor and taking down notes.

This situation continued for quite a while. The lady knitting, the young woman reading, the professor talking away, and the student listening.

Then the train went into a tunnel, and the compartment was plunged into darkness. No-one could see anything. Suddenly there came the sound of a loud kiss, followed by a hearty slap. As the train came out of the tunnel, everyone was in the same position as they had been before.

Now the lady thought that she knew what had happened. Good for her, she thought, that young man has just kissed the girl, and she slapped him.

The young woman thought that she knew what had happened. She liked the kiss but she couldn’t believe the older lady had the audacity to slap the young man The professor thought that he knew what had happened. It’s not fair, he thought, my student kissed that girl, and she slapped me by mistake.

The student thought This is the greatest day in my life I just kissed the young woman, then slapped his professor.

If you want to Grow spiritually you have to make the most out of every opportunity.

In Mark 2:1-11 we find some people who were trying to make the most of every opportunity. They were looking for the open door into the presence of Christ.

The interesting thing is that these people began looking in unusual places for doors to be open.

2:1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ’Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ’Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."

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