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A Love That Will Not Be Denied
By Pastor John

Mark 2:1-12
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralytic, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

Love
3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.

Several men, more than four, brought their friend to Jesus. He was paralyzed, probably in an accident of some kind. Four men were needed to carry him.

Unity of purpose
Without their help, the man might have never walked again.  What they may not have realized is that without their help, and Jesus' grace, the man might have been lost for all of eternity because of his sin.

Perseverance
4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.

They were not going to let the crowd stop them.  How many people would have come up with this solution - Dig a hole in someone else's roof.  Their Love would not be denied.

Faith
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

They knew that Jesus was the only person who could help their friend.  They knew if they just got their friend to Jesus, He would heal him.

He not only healed him, but he saved him. "Son, your sins are forgiven."

9  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralytic, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

Today, we can't take people to Jesus on a stretcher.  We can take people to Jesus by prayer.
But we need the same hearts that these men had.

Love
We need the same love that these men had.  A love for others that won't be denied. We all have the opportunity to take people to Jesus.  The sick.  The Lost. Our friends. Our family. Our children.

Unity of Purpose
We need to be pulling together in taking people to Jesus.  To reach the lost around us. To reach the next generation.

Perseverance
We need to pray without ceasing. We should never quit our praying. In spiritual warfare, there are setbacks.  There are obstacles. But we continue to persevere in our prayers to bring people to Jesus.

Prevailing prayer - George McCluskey
In Point Man, Steve Farrar tells the story of George McCluskey.  When McCluskey married and started a family, he decided to invest one hour a day in prayer, because he wanted his kids to follow Christ. After a time, he expanded his prayers to include his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Every day between 11 a.m. and noon, he prayed for the next three generations.
   As the years went by, his two daughters committed their lives to Christ and married men who went into full-time ministry. The two couples produced four girls and one boy. Each of the girls married a minister, and the boy became a pastor.  The first two children born to this generation were both boys. Upon graduation from high school, the two cousins chose the same college and became roommates.
   During their sophomore year, one boy decided to go into the ministry. The other didn't. He undoubtedly felt some pressure to continue the family legacy, but he chose instead to pursue his interest in psychology.  He earned his doctorate and eventually wrote books for parents that became bestsellers. He started a radio program heard on more than a thousand stations each day. The man's name was James Dobson.  Through his prayers, George McCluskey affected far more than one family.

   -- Loyal J. Martin, Newton, Kansas.  Leadership, Vol. 16, no. 4.

Faith
We need to have an unwavering faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. We need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He answers our prayers.  He still heals bodies.  He still saves souls.

Notice that Jesus saw the faith of the men who brought the paralytic, not of the man himself.. When we pray with faith for others, the Lord will see it.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

When we put Jesus first in our lives; when we walk close with Him, when we spend time with the Lord, then these attributes begin to grow in our hearts.  Love for the hurting and the lost grows in our hearts, until we are so burdened that we must cry out to God in prayer.  We persevere no matter what because we realize how important it is.  Our faith is strong.

When we get lax in our walk with the Lord, when we begin to run after the things of the world,  Our love grows cold. Our faith gets weak.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1. We are to pray for everyone the Lord lays on our hearts.
2. We are to pray "first of all," before we do anything else.
3. Our prayers please God.
4. God wants all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. This includes those we pray for.



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