Author Archives: Steve Smith

With a little help from my faith-filled friends

This past Sunday we looked at a passage in Mark 2:1-12 where four faith-filled men bring their paralyzed friend to a house where Jesus is teaching. The place is so crowded, inside and out, that they are forced to carry the paralyzed man up to the roof of the building and then lower him through an opening that they create in order to get the man to Jesus.

 

It’s hard not to be amazed at the sheer determination and faith it takes for these four individuals to get their friend into the presence of Jesus. I don’t know if they had permission from the owner of the house to dig a hole in his ceiling, but it’s a safe bet that they would have had to return at a later date to do some much needed home repairs. As they lowered their friend to where Jesus was, there are wonderful lessons for us to learn about their faith.

 

Their faith was an active faith. Lesser, more conventional friends would have waited for a more convenient time to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus. Or maybe just waited for Jesus to come to them. But these four knew that time was of the essence, and that their friend wasn’t getting any better just laying around. They realized that there was no time like the present to encounter Jesus and his healing power, and so they put their faith into action.

 

Their faith was in the power of Jesus. I was inspired this past Sunday as people lined up for prayer at the end of our worship service. There were requests to pray for physical ailments as well as spiritual sickness. What a blessing it is to be in a place where God is moving among us and to realize that Jesus alone is the source of hope and healing for whatever it is that holds us back in life. He is the Son of God who has come that we might have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).

 

Their faith was rewarded with the complete healing of their friend. Mark 2:5 tells us that when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son your sins are forgiven.”And then he said to him, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Jesus responds to the faith of these ‘Fearless Four’ and heals not just their friend’s body, but also forgives him his sins.

 

This story reminds us that we should never take lightly our role in bringing people into the presence of Jesus. So many people we encounter find themselves paralyzed by fear, failure, and unforgiveness. They are literally frozen in place, and have no way of moving forward. Our faith might be the lifeline they need to help them get unstuck. Whether by praying for them, offering a word of encouragement, inviting them to church, or even lowering them through a hole in someone’s roof – it might be just the help they need from a faith-filled friend like you or me.

 

Pastor Perry Engle

2-10-22 Where True Authority Lies

In our world today, everyone seems to be fighting for a position of authority. Meaning they want to be the one in charge, the one to call the shots, the one whom people should listen to. Many times, we are stuck in between people or political parties fighting, trying to show why they either should have authority or do have authority. When reflecting over the idea of authority I was struck by Jesus in the first chapter of the gospel of Mark. In 1:22 and 27 it states:

The people were amazed at his (Jesus) teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority…What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.”

Did you catch what is happening here? Jesus is traveling around preaching and healing. People are in shock and awe because Jesus is not just doing this because he has some skill or training but rather because he has true authority. I want you to note that when Jesus encounters a demon possessed person, both in the first chapter of Mark and all other situations they know that Jesus has ultimate authority. In fact, Jesus doesn’t even speak at first, the demons beg him for mercy. The very presence of Jesus shouts to the demons who is really in charge.

Why do I want to note this today? It is easy to be caught up in all the battles in our world and culture for who has authority and who is in charge, but this passage is a reminder of who really is in charge. Jesus has ultimate authority and one day every knee shall bow.

“…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father…” (Philippians 2:10-11)

No matter what is happening in your life right now, trust in King Jesus is the one really in charge and with real authority. One of my favorite Psalms in Psalm 2. In the Psalm it talks about all the nations and how powerful they think they are. In response to how powerful they think they are the Psalmist states, “The One enthroned in heaven laughs…” Why? Because He is the one on the throne, He is the one with authority, He is the one in charge…no one else. It doesn’t matter how smart, powerful or political someone is, no one stands above God and no one can take over God’s throne. He sit enthroned forever.