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W: 11/10/19 Face to Face: Get On It

Face to Face Series

Get On It

November 9 – 10, 2019

Welcome back to week 2 of this series entitled Face to Face, where we are looking at four F2F encounters Jesus had with people that transformed their lives forever. Last week, if you remember, we looked at Jesus’ encounter with this Syro-Phoenician wahine, a woman from a region outside the initial focus of Jesus’ ministry who took the initiative to encounter Jesus. Remember she had to what? “Get Over it” , yes, all those barriers/that could have stopped her from experiencing the miracle of the deliverance, setting free of her daughter of being controlled/possessed by a demon. And I hope that God spoke to you about what you may need to Get Over to Get on the blessing side of God.

Tonight/Today, we’ll look at an amazing F2F healing encounter of a paralyzed man all because he had some fantastic faith-filled friends who went all out to bring their friend to meet Jesus because they urged their friend to “Get On it” as we’ll learn tonight/today!

Maybe you are here today needing to hear this F2F encounter NOT because you are physically paralyzed, unable to walk, but because you are stuck, or you may get stuck in future, spiritually paralyzed, feel like you desperately need help, where you can’t do anything to get yourself out of your difficult situation, and maybe the best thing you’ll need at that time is some faith-filled friends to carry you to Jesus for your healing encounter!

Have you ever felt like you didn’t have the strength, wisdom, or faith to press on? Feeling stuck in a situation you’ve been through? Or there was a time in your life that you didn’t think you needed it, but someone or others were loving enough to help you out of your difficult situation?

Last week, you left here with the spiritual truth that for us, we need to “Get Over it”. Tonight/Today, you just might need to “Get On it” as you’ll see today from this F2F encounter!

When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven (Mark 2:1 – 5 NLT).”

This is the start of Jesus amazing healing works. And this is a place that the Holy Land Tour from our church visited. Picture this scene. The news of this person healing people, delivering people from their issues, casting out demons, had spread and now he’s back in town and the coconut wireless signal went out and many came to witness more of his healings, so this house was packed! People were jamming to get into the door as it was standing room only. There were no ushers, no tickets to pull, no outdoor portopatties, just a crowd of people wanting to get in on the healings and teachings of this miracle worker.

It’s almost like the Black Friday sale specials at Walmart, Best Buy or Costco, people waiting in line to get to a real deal! But this real deal was Jesus, the miracle worker they were all wanting to see.

Let’s do some basic bible study on this amazing story of Jesus encountering this man in need of his healing.

What did it take for this F2F Encounter to happen

1. A Paralyzed Person

We don’t get much information about this paralyzed man. We don’t know if he was paralyzed from birth, got into a car accident, or even how old he was. One thing for sure is that he couldn’t get to Jesus by himself. We’re not even sure if he desperately asked to be carried to Jesus, but we know one thing for certain, he allowed these other men to carry him on his mat and allow them to go through the effort to usher him to a F2F encounter with Jesus.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). 

Peter in his letter to those who are followers of Christ scattered throughout his Mediterranean Sea where the good news of Jesus went out, reminded them, hey, whenever you face hard times, trials, don’t be surprised, don’t think that life will always be easy for you. In fact, it’s normal that you’ll face hard times, life’s challenges:

It’s not if we’ll experience some trials in our lives, it’s when they’ll come and many will come unexpectedly, and it will cause you to feel like you’re stuck, not knowing what to do to get out of that difficult situation and you may not feel like you can go to Jesus for help.

That’s one reason people visit our church services. They are going through a rough time and hope that God would show up through hearing a message of hope. How many of you came to church or became open to God because everything was going well and so you wanted to go to church to thank God? Anyone like that here?

I think the majority who come come because they are looking for hope, help, healing for something you are going through? Physical challenge, death in the family, children going through a rough time, wayward kids, workplace challenge, maybe losing a job, financial crisis, relational break. We are experience spiritual paralysis at different times in our lives, where we cant move on our own to Jesus.

I define spiritual paralysis as this: Suffering from either mental, emotional, physical exhaustion and struggle to find hope in God and/or feeling your life is out of control I’m sure most of us have felt like this at some time in our lives, haven’t you? Yes, Jesus can save us, comfort us, lighten our burdens, heal us, unfortunately at times, when we need for Jesus to be so close to us, we don’t feel close to Jesus at all!

And sometimes only thing that can help us is having some faith-filled friends who can carry us to Jesus. In this story, the paralyzed man was literally carried to Jesus.

But we have to be humble enough to be carried. Yet, some of us are too prideful to be carried. No I don’t need your help. I’ve got it together, but it’s so obvious that you don’t have it together and you need some help! I’m sure you know of people who need so much help, but are unwilling to admit they need help. I think the road to recovery, help, wholeness comes when we admit we need the help! Admit to the need to be carried cuz we can’t walk well on our own. Even I need to be carried to Jesus at times. Most Tuesday mornings, from 9 – 12, the pastoral staff team meets. We usually start our staff meetings with praise (praising God and sharing praise reports), we plan and pray, but we also, practice carrying each other to Jesus. I’ve never been a pastor before, neither has PMike been a Sr. Pastor before. Likewise, PMark, has never been a pastor nor a father before to a daughter and son before. There are times we come in buss up from the weekend and just in general and we need to be carried to Jesus. It’s pretty obvious when we get together that someone is feeling heavy, a little paralyzed by something. And we practice compassionate listening, caring, and carrying each other to Jesus.

Most pastors go it alone! You can know that your pastoral team has each other’s backs and we’ve been there for each other for years, so it’s hard to hide when we are going through some sort of spiritual paralysis.

Are you in need to be ushered to Jesus? Are you humble enough to say I need help? That paralyzed man represents us in our times of need.

Next, important characters in this story are . . . (write in your notes)

2. Four Faith-Filled Friends: Mat Friends

Qualities of these F.F.F’s

Courageous

These men were full of faith that Jesus could help their friend. There’s no way they would have gone to this extreme if they didn’t. They really believed. “If we can just get him in front of Jesus, something amazing will happen.” We don’t get to hear how the house owner responded when his roof was broken into. Yeah, maybe 1st century house structure, but still broke the roof, wow! We don’t get to hear the crowds response, those who have been patiently waiting to see Jesus.

If you cut in line on Black Friday at Best Buy, Costco, Walmart, for you women Victoria Secret, there will be some scrapping. These friends were courageous cuz they were full of faith that Jesus could heal their friend. I so need friends like that, do you? Friends who would do something courageous to carry me to Jesus. Friends like this are treasures in our lives cuz sometimes we don’t have the faith to carry us to Jesus ourselves!

Compassionate

The fantastic four faith-filled friends really loved the man, didn’t they? You don’t go to these measures for someone you don’t care for them. Just picture this man lying on his mat while the crowds are running to the home where Jesus is teaching. Were it not for the compassion of these friends, he’d have stayed on that mat and only heard stories of what Jesus had said. Because of their compassion, he found himself at Jesus’ feet. Their compassion brought them to action.

My prayer is that one, we’d be if you don’t have friends like this, ask God to have you take steps to find these friends. Again, you gotta be willing to be carried, and willing to break isolation from others.

My next prayer and hope is that we can not only have compassion for those in our lives, but that we’d have compassion enough to carry those friends to Jesus.

How many of you have had the experience being carried to Jesus by some faith-filled friends? How many of you have had the joy of carrying your friends to Jesus? In either case, all of you were brought closer to Jesus.

Over the years “I’ve received treasures” Mat friends who have ushered me to Jesus.

Creative

Again, Mark, the writer, tells us very little about this man lying on the mat. But try to imagine yourself on that mat. You’re lying there when word gets around that Jesus is teaching in the house up the way, and everybody starts running, and I’m stuck, paralyzed, until your four friends say, “We’re going to take you to Jesus because we believe he can help you.” What an idea to bring him through the roof, no one else waiting has thought about that idea. Creative, yeah, Crazy too, but you gotta give these faith-filled friends some credit. That was a first!

On a related note, I want to encourage you to be involved with Give Thanks. It’s one way we get to be creative to carry, maybe not friends, but those around us who need to be carried to Jesus. We get to extend ourselves. It may be a little inconvenience like what the four fantastic faith-filled friends had to go through, as you have to set aside part of your thanksgiving, some to get up early, others staying late to clean up and pass out the meals, but when we get this chance to carry people to Jesus, for many of us, we get to introduce them to our savior, pray with them.

I’d say, this year sign up to deliver meals. And ask God to give you a heart to Give Thanks more than on Thanksgiving to those around you who need to be carried to Jesus.

Next character . . . it’s really not a character, but a platform.

3. A Mat

The mat is a Physical Platform, the means, for the miracle to occur. It’s what the four faith-filled friends used to carry their friend to Jesus.

As I just shared, The Give Thanks Outreach is one platform to carry

people to Jesus. That’s a delivery platform for us who have much to touch peoples lives who don’t have much.

I ask you this important question. Where can you find mat friends in our church? It’s hard to make mat friends just coming to a weekend service. We don’t have many chances to share our stories by turning our chairs to each other. If you wanna find mat friends, remember the message I gave a couple weeks ago, you gotta go from “Me to We”. You gotta be open to taking a step of faith beyond the weekend services.

There is a need in our house: A need for host homes! Yes, you can meet at a restaurant (some groups meet at McDonalds, Zippys) a park, but it’s nothing like meeting at a home (food, can relax). We’re gonna organize in January all these new groups! And there is a need for some Mats (carrying platforms to usher people to Jesus.

The Ishihara group is getting so large, they undergoing a home extension project, but not gonna be finished in January.

There are many people I’m talking to that are waiting to get into a group, but I’m believing for “Some Mats” to be available. Someone willing to host a group. Some of you have nice Mats. I know! You live in Mililani. Would you consider allowing your home to be a platform, a Mat, so that people can carry each other to Jesus? Does it have to be every week, no cuz people can share in this role. It also gives you a chance to clean house!

Talk to me after service, or can you write down on your Connection Card you’d like to talk story with me about this. I’ll give you more details.

Also, we need people to get on Mats. So when January comes around, take that step of faith beyond the weekend services.

I’d like you to hear a story of someone who has experienced what I’ve just been talking about and his life has been forever transformed.

Ry shares his My Miracle Story of his Mat Friends.

4. A Healer

But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” 12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

This story couldn’t take place without Jesus, the healer. And likewise, our church services, wouldn’t take place without Jesus our healer, our savior being present. Jesus heals! This same Jesus of 2000 years ago is the same Jesus who heals, touches our lives, and saves us today! So many have been personal witnesses of the healing touch of Jesus today. He’s healed us from our spiritual paralysis. And for many, with the help of some amazing Faith-Filled Mat Friends by our side.

You see, the healing Jesus wants to do is deep! Yes, he healed the paralyzed man, but Jesus also heals the man’s soul. He forgives him of his sins. And only a Messiah, our savior, can do that!

Maybe you are here needing the healing touch of our healer Jesus. And he’s urging you to “Get On It” Get on the Mat as you need to be ushered to Jesus. This church service is like a Mat. It’s platform to usher you to Jesus. Would you allow yourself to be carried to Jesus. Repeat after me. . .

Come back next week for another F2F Encounter where we’ll learn to “Get Real with It” Until next week.

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