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hands of friends

 

Friends.  Do you have one or any?  Sometimes we wonder if we have any friends.  Another question is, are you a friend? I have preached from a passage of Scripture in Mark 2 in recent days.  There was an individual who was paralyzed.  We are told in the Bible that he had four friends.  Someone decided enough was enough and that if the circumstances of this poor man was going to  change, his four friends needed to get him to Jesus.  The man was already in possession of something that many of us do not possess, namely four friends willing to become involved and take  action!  They carried him to Jesus.

Friends can do a lot of things, but nothing is better than getting our friends to Jesus!  If you think about it, all of us got to Jesus because some friend or friends carried us to him. It could have been a family member, or a pastor, neighbor or a friend from school.  Long before we knew we needed Jesus, our friends knew we needed Him and helped us get moving in that direction.  Today, we think to be a good friend we just ignore the obvious and let our friends drift off in whatever direction they choose.  We don’t want to force something on them.  We don’t want them to think we are a religious fanatic.  We think being a friend means to be a listening ear and a non-judgmental sounding board.  It is important to listen and show care and concern.  The question that needs to be answered is what kind of a friend am I if I don’t share the most important news in the world?  We can’t force people to accept Jesus, but as a friend we ought to be concerned enough to get them moving in the direction of faith.  What if the four friends of the paralyzed man would have decided to buy him a better, more comfortable bed?  He may have been marginally more comfortable but would still be lacking a relationship with Christ.  We seem to have been silenced by a culture that is bent on being neutral perhaps even hostile toward God, and we have been shamed into silence.  It is time to shake off our lethargy and become stretcher bearers for Christ!  According to Mark chapter 2 that is what true friends do,  they carry their friends to Jesus.

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