15th April 2018

Leading Our Friends to Christ 

“I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race…”
Romans 9:1-4 (NIV UK)

I have a twitter account. I don’t do any tweeting. I use it to follow a few different craft breweries to see when they have new beers available and to keep up to speed on what some of our younger, more ‘tech savvy’ pastors are doing. The other day while I was scrolling through my timeline something popped out at me. It was an illustration of Jesus healing a paralysed man. Listen to how Mark records this incident: “A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralysed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralysed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’” (Mark 2:1-5).

Mark records that here at least four friends of the paralysed man struggled through the crowd. And when they couldn’t reach him—they actually dug through the roof to get their friend an audience with our Lord. With that in mind, the tweet accompanying the illustration made a lot more sense. It took his friends to get him to see Christ.

That caught me by surprise. What an interesting way to re-think that famous story. Of course it’s only Christ who can perform his healing and redemptive work to bring mankind back into right relationship with our Father, but we also know that Christians are called to participate with Christ in his work.

Some of us are like the sower who plant seeds in the relationships around us. Others are like the gardeners who faithfully water those seeds, and still others may be the ones who, like the friends in the Gospel of Mark, are able to be there with their brothers and sisters as they too make a decision to follow Christ. We know that it is Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, who brings all creation into relationship with our Lord. And we know that in our participating, we, in our own small way, work alongside Christ to bring many sons and daughters to glory.

I know this has been the case in many of my relationships through the years. And I hope it will be an encouragement to you to know that, in Christ, our evangelism small or large, is part of his great plan of redemption. 

Loving Father, as Christians we are called to come out of this world, but still we live in it and have relationships with people. Our wish, beyond being a light to them, is that we can be in some way helps that will allow you to call them, and so for them to experience your love as we experience it. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach


About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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