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Summary: ONE OF THE WAYS WE MOVE INTO HAVING A LIFE OF GREAT FAITH IS BY ENLISTING THE HELP OF OTHERS.

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THE POWER OF THE FAITH OF OTHERS

MATTHEW 9:1-7 GETTING INTO A BOAT, JESUS CROSSED OVER THE SEA AND CAME TO HIS OWN CITY. 2 AND THEY BROUGHT TO HIM A PARALYTIC LYING ON A BED. SEEING THEIR FAITH, JESUS SAID TO THE PARALYTIC, "TAKE COURAGE, SON; YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN." 3 AND SOME OF THE SCRIBES SAID TO THEMSELVES, "THIS FELLOW BLASPHEMES." 4 AND JESUS KNOWING THEIR THOUGHTS SAID, "WHY ARE YOU THINKING EVIL IN YOUR HEARTS? 5 "WHICH IS EASIER, TO SAY, 'YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN,' OR TO SAY, 'GET UP, AND WALK'? 6 "BUT SO THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT THE SON OF MAN HAS AUTHORITY ON EARTH TO FORGIVE SINS"—THEN HE *SAID TO THE PARALYTIC, "GET UP, PICK UP YOUR BED AND GO HOME." 7 AND HE GOT UP AND WENT HOME.

INTRODUCTION: PERHAPS ONE OF THE WAYS WE MOVE INTO HAVING A LIFE OF GREAT FAITH IS BY ENLISTING THE HELP OF OTHERS.

I AM WOEFULLY OUT OF PRACTICE PLAYING GOLF. IN FACT IT HAS BEEN QUITE A WHILE SINCE I HAVE PLAYED A ROUND. BUT, WHEN I PLAYED, I ALWAYS TRIED TO PLAY WITH SOMEONE WHO I KNEW HAD A MUCH BETTER GAME THAN I DID. NOW, I WAS NOT LOOKING TO LOSE, WHAT I WAS LOOKING TO DO WAS USE THEM TO SPUR ME TO PLAY BETTER GOLF. I WOULD WATCH THEIR SWING, BALL PLACEMENT, AND CLUB SELECTION. THE END RESULT WAS THAT I HAD A BETTER GAME IN THE END.

ILLUSTRATION: JOHN NEWTON, AUTHOR OF THE SONG AMAZING GRACE, HAD RECEIVED FROM THE LORD SOME ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE ANSWERS TO HIS PETITIONS, AND SO HE OFTEN ENGAGED IN "LARGE ASKING." IN SUPPORT OF THIS PRACTICE HE WOULD FREQUENTLY TELL THE STORY OF A MAN WHO ASKED ALEXANDER THE GREAT TO GIVE HIM A HUGE SUM OF MONEY IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS DAUGHTER'S HAND IN MARRIAGE.

THE RULER CONSENTED AND TOLD HIM TO REQUEST OF HIS TREASURER WHATEVER HE WANTED. SO HE WENT AND ASKED FOR AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT. THE KEEPER TO THE FUNDS WAS STARTLED AND SAID HE COULDN'T GIVE HIM THAT MUCH WITHOUT A DIRECT ORDER. GOING TO ALEXANDER, THE TREASURER ARGUED THAT EVEN A SMALL FRACTION OF THE MONEY REQUESTED WOULD MORE THAN SERVE THE PURPOSE.

"NO," REPLIED ALEXANDER, "LET HIM HAVE IT ALL. I LIKE THAT FELLOW. HE DOES ME HONOR. HE TREATS ME LIKE A KING AND PROVES BY WHAT HE ASKS THAT HE BELIEVES ME TO BE BOTH RICH AND GENEROUS." JOHN NEWTON CONCLUDED THE STORY BY SAYING, "IN THE SAME WAY, WE SHOULD GO TO THE THRONE OF GOD'S GRACE AND PRESENT PETITIONS THAT EXPRESS HONORABLE VIEWS OF THE LOVE, RICHES, AND BOUNTY OF OUR KING!" ASK GOD FOR GREAT THINGS AND TRUST HIM TO FULFILL YOUR GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

HEBREWS 4:16- LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN MERCY, AND FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED.

WHAT WE SEE HERE IS THE RESULT OF “LARGE ASKING”

THERE ARE REASON WE SHOULD ASK LARGE FOR OTHER MEN OF FAITH – GREATER FAITH THAN WE POSSESS, TO COME ALONGSIDE US FOR THE EXPRESSED PURPOSE OF STRENGTHENING OUR FAITH TOWARDS GREATNESS.

I. THE FAITH OF OTHERS INCREASES OUR FAITH

a. PREVIOUSLY, CHRIST HAD HEALED MANY

b. NOW CHRIST IS IN A PLACE WHERE THESE MEN CAN BRING THEIR FRIEND FOR THE SAME HEALING

c. REAL FAITH HERE COMPELS ACTION


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