True FellowshipWhat comes to your mind when you hear the word fellowship?
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Lowered To Be Raised
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your
sins are forgiven” (v.5).
This is going to be good.” While enjoying some coffee
and catching up on life’s changes, I shared with my
friend about a difficult choice I had made regarding
my ministry responsibilities. Though I had toiled many
months in prayer, I was honest in telling her that I knew it
was a move of obedience, but that I was also uncertain
as to what the future would bring. Her simple words of
encouragement served to shift my view from the loss I was
feeling to the hope of Jesus’ presence in all things.
Sometimes in the midst of trying circumstances, we may
find it easier to believe God’s promises for others more
than for ourselves. It’s in those times that we most need to
surround ourselves with friends who will speak truth and
hope to us. While we will encounter trials where we must
press on in the presence of God on our own, as David
learned to do (1 Samuel 30:6), we will also face times
that will require an Aaron and Hur to be right beside us in
battle—giving us strength (Exodus 17:11-13).
Although God’s Word doesn’t tell us what precipitated
the decision of the four friends to help their buddy
(Mark 2:3), we can see from their example the qualities
we’ll find in those who can stir us to “take a new grip
with [our] tired hands and strengthen [our] weak knees”
(Hebrews 12:12). Feeling great compassion for the sick
man, these four men demonstrated:
• Fortitude in moving past any obstacle (Mark 2:4).
• Focus in getting their friend to Jesus (v.4).
• Faith in looking past the natural to the possible
in God (v.5).
They saw the potential for their friend’s life to be radically different.
Ultimately, though, they couldn’t make the man believe. The choice had to be his
Read 2 Samuel 13:1-15 to see what happens when you surround
yourself with friends who don’t have your best interests in mind.
Who has “carried you to Jesus” in a time of need? What’s the difference
between compassion and codependency?
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