DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-07-01
WRITTEN AT: Gallup, NM
SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 9:1-2
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: . 1 Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. 2 Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”
APPLICATION: During my working career I was a banker. Whenever I met someone new and shared with them what my profession was, invariably I would be asked to share some of the money with them! Similarly, it seems like whenever we meet a doctor, we have lots of questions for them about certain health complications we have encountered. In the New Testament we see a lot of cases where people flocked around Jesus because they were looking for healing, or other miracles. This was the case with the paralytic. His friends knew that all they needed was to get this man close enough to Jesus and He would heal their friend. For the general reader, I believe this is what we all might have also imagined, that upon Jesus seeing this man on his bed of affliction, He would have reached out His hand to heal him and help him up. Surprisingly, Jesus was more interested in the man’s personal conviction first and foremost. He saw the faith of the man’s friends in getting him before the Master, so Jesus went straight for the most important thing needed by this man – his salvation. Isn’t that interesting when we think of our personal encounters with loved ones and friends? We talk about the weather, we talk about each other’s occupation, and we may even dabble in politics. But don’t we tend to wait until the last minute to determine the persons spiritual condition? Earlier in life I was asked by a faithful church member to kindly go visit her home and share Christ with her unbelieving husband. Having been warned ahead of time how important it was to build a rapport with this man before attempting to share Christ with him, my visit consisted of common themes and very generalized conversation. That following Sunday this wife thanked me for visiting, but shared her disappointment about me not sharing my faith with her husband. Not long after this, that husband passed away before I ever had opportunity to visit with him again. Based on our Scripture today, I believe Jesus would have chosen to speak about spiritual needs first and foremost, don’t you? I believe it is so important that we take note of all the lessons taught to us by Jesus. His steps and His practice were very deliberate, I believe, because He wanted us to take note and practice what He modeled for us. Friends, our prayer meetings and our prayer lists are usually 90+% concerned with medical issues rather than salvation. Where’s our heart? Are we truly determined to follow the example of Christ?
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus cares more about our eternal well being as much as, or more than, He does about our earthly maladies. We should aim to be the same as Jesus in this.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, You cared so much about our salvation that You sent Your very own Son to die on a cruel cross so that we might be saved from our sin. In our story today, Your primary action was to clear the paraplegic of his sin, before ever looking at his physical needs. Oh Lord, unfortunately we have fallen into the world’s view of primarily taking care of our earthly needs first and foremost. Please forgive us for not following the pattern You established for us. People are dying and going to hell – even those who knew us, but were not told about the glories of heaven. Lord be glorified through us Lord, and help us to be true to Your teachings and Your example. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!