"Friends Reach Instantly, Encouraging Never-ending Daily Service!" (F.R.I.E.N.D.S)
Editors Note: The devotional has a background song by Michael W. Smith
called 'Friends' which can be heard if you use Internet
"A few days later, when
Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
So many gathered 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
paralytic, 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
and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was
lying on." (Mark 2:3-4, NIV)
I asked myself what was
happening as Jesus preached the Word to the crowds!
Some men came bringing to him a paralytic.
The paralytic was carried by four of them.
They made an opening in the roof above
They dug through it.
They lowered the mat the paralyzed man was
I asked myself the significance of each point?
Point 1: Some men came
bringing to him a paralytic.
It is interesting to
know that while Jesus was preaching the Word to the crowds some men came
bringing to Him a paralytic. So many gathered that there was no room
left, even outside the door for the paralytic to reach Jesus. This did
not stop the men from accomplishing their mission for the sake of
the one they brought to Jesus. So the men
devised a plan to help the paralytic.
The paralytic was carried by four of them.
I believe even as
they held the paralytic, they did not let the obstacles stop them from
reaching Jesus. So they came up with a blueprint of getting where they
needed to be.
Point 3: They made an opening
in the roof above Jesus.
The first step, they
took was making an opening in the roof above Jesus. This is so
significant because first of all it is not their house. They came
probably to Simon and Andrew’s house and started making an opening in
the roof for the sake of the paralytic.
Imagine you are in a
packed room and there is no space for anyone else to come in. Now
imagine listening to Jesus preaching the Word to you and then suddenly
there is a commotion. You believe it to be coming from the roof. (We
need to realize roofs were not the same as we now have in cities.)
Something else happens!
They dug through it.
You look up and to your amazement see four
people digging through the roof, making dust fill the room, and making
an opening. To your bafflement you see a paralytic on a stretcher being
lowered down. Most of the roof started to crumble down as onlookers
looked ahead. Now there is a huge rectangular hole that is visible. Into
that hole, we see something come through.
What would your reaction be?
What would be going through your mind as you witness this happening?
They lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.
Now after all the work they went through, they
lower the paralytic so Jesus can see him and heal him in front of the
crowds. That was a bold step they took.
I asked myself how Jesus
reacted to the situation!
“When Jesus saw their
faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (Mark
We see a cause-effect
Because Jesus saw their faith,
the result was Jesus spoke to the paralytic with these words,
“Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Why is this so significant?
This is so significant because Jesus intervened
after the intercession of the paralytics’ friends. Because of their
faith, Jesus decided to speak to the paralytic.
All I can think about is how much agape love
they must have had for their friend. They knew that Jesus could heal
their friend and they were going to get to Jesus no matter what
obstacles they were facing even if it meant facing ridicule as they
tried to get through the roof. It was a mighty risk to have taken for
their friend just so he could be taken to Jesus for healing.
I saw this passage as an example of what true
friendship could look like. If I say that I am somebody’s friend, I
should put myself in a position to be there for them no matter what the
obstacles. That is what the four men did for their friend and it paid
of. Sadly, I have not always been that kind of friend and the Lord has
brought it to my attention as I studied this passage! I depend on the
Lord Jesus Christ to
change with His Helping Hands.
I ask you now dear friend,
what kind of friend are you?
Dear friend, there are friends who pretend to be friends and there are
those who are real friends who would even die for you. It makes me so
happy to realize that there are friends out there that do not mind
risking their own lives for their friends. They do not let obstacles,
inconveniences, or hindrances stop them from helping their friends. That
is what the four men did for their friend and it paid of.
Don’t you want that?
When you call someone your friend, I hope you do not let obstacles,
inconveniences; hindrances, danger, etc stop you from reaching out to
that friend who may need help in anything. I hope I can be that type of
to share with you the example of 4 friends who made such an impact in my
life few years ago. I am proud to call them friends! They are not the
only ones that have affected by life in a positive way but this
situation became special for me.
point, I had such a bad semester because everything that could possibly
go wrong at once seemed to go wrong. I had to move and was doing it on
my own because I did not want to bother anyone for help. I was not even
I would take
trips in the bus from Shadyside to Squirrel Hill or walk. I knew my
friends were really busy with their classes and decided not to bother
gone to small group Bible study cell group every Monday night without missing it. One Monday, I
missed it and my small group was concerned. They knew I must be
overwhelmed with all the moving I was doing because they knew about it
and had wanted to help. I had declined their offer for help before
As I was making my multiple
trips back from Squirrel Hill to Shadyside, on one trip, I was shocked
to see some of the students from the small group one-by-one.
not recall ever telling them where I lived but they were on a mission
and they found out. They were hiding to surprise me. They cancelled the
small group Bible study cell group just so 4 of the core leaders in that
cell group could come help me.
I still cannot believe it even to this day. I
like to remember them as the 4 musketeers (Sara Witmer (now Sara
Schuster), Jonathan Morton, David Black, and Joshua Steck). I do believe
with the help of the 5th musketeer, Becky McMullen (now Becky Posh),
roommate of Sara they figured out where I lived.
Before even then, one day when I had collapsed
in the William Pitt Union, they had asked Abdou Cole, the Unit Manager
of Schenley at the time to allow them to take me to their dorm! Sara was
studying nursing and Becky was studying Occupational Therapy. They took
me to their suite in McCormick Hall and nursed me that night by giving
me their guest room!
Coming back to the apartment story, I feel
embarrassed to write this part because my apartment was like it was
ransacked and a cyclone whirled everything out of place. You would have needed to be a track-field athlete figuratively to jump
from one place to another because there was stuff everywhere.
me how they could help but I did not know where to start so I told them
I really appreciate their help but they should go back to campus. They
were not going to leave until my apartment was clean and I had a way to
move all the stuff.
decided that she could go back to campus and bring boxes but we found
some in the storage. They took all the initiative, cleaned, and packed
all my stuff for almost 3 hours that night even when they had school
work for the next day and finals were on the horizon!
roommate had moved most of his stuff out. When my four friends left, my
roommate who was not a Christian came to me and said, "It was really nice
of your friends to help you like that".
He wanted to know how I got to
know them. I told him that they were from 'InterVarsity Christian
Fellowship' of the Pitt chapter.
reaction was, "No wonder, they seemed really nice and helpful" My
friends had left an imprint of their Christian faith with my Chinese
roommate without even speaking a word about the Gospel to him at the
day Josh asked his brother if he could bring his truck, even though he
lived outside of Pittsburgh. This was so Josh and David could help me
move all my stuff to Squirrel Hill, when his brother came.
even sacrificed his class that day because he knew I had to be at work
and they took two trips to help me move and then unload the stuff in
Squirrel Hill. In all my life, I have not ever had friends like that who
showed so much care.
They made a Mission Impossible situation possible.
still honored to have known them as friends *hugs*.
that time, Sara
served as President of InterVarsity, worship coordinator, prayer
coordinator, outreach coordinator, and small group leader.
At that time, Jonathan
served as Vice-President of InterVarsity, Large-group coordinator, and
served on the Worship Team.
served as small group leader, publicity coordinator, and Business
Becky had served as
Vice-President before Jonathan took over.
Sometimes what our friends do for us can be a big deal depending on our
need! I hope your friends can count on you for help when they need it.
If you call yourself a friend of someone, I hope you can be there to
help them no matter the inconvenience just as the four friends helped
the paralytic and students from InterVarsity graciously offered
unexpected help to me.
I do not know many of you personally but I want
to offer my help in any area of your life that you need if I am capable.
Please do not hesitate to ask if you need help in anything.
I am so excited that InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is again active
at the University of Pittsburgh after all those years when they were
here! IVCF meets Thursday nights! If you have not found a fellowship, I highly
recommend checking IVCF out for at least a month before making a
decision whether this is the fellowship the Lord wants you to be at.
IVCF also has a Carnegie Mellon University chapter. If you want to get a
glimpse of their worship time, you can check it out at
http://www.pittsburghstandard.com under MORE
Friends don’t always have to be outsiders. Our
best friends can literally be within our own household. I know for me my
mommy is my best friend at home.
Right now I am part of an Oakland International Fellowship cell group
called 'Potter's Clay' that comes close to that InterVarsity cell group
I was part of. We meet on Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. and would love to
see each of you there.
OIF Potter's Clay cell group and OIF has been so helpful and
supportive when my dad had a cardiac arrest in Oct 2007 and eventually
went home to be with the Lord Jesus on December 17, 2007. They are still
very supportive and helpful including the church itself which is the
international congregation of Pittsburgh Chinese Church-Oakland located
on N. Dithridge St. Many of my friends have been so supportive and
helpful to during this time of sadness and hardship.
Regardless of home life, etc we all can have a
Friend who no earthly friend can even come close to. He loves you as you
are and wants to reach out to you where you are. His Name is Jesus
Christ. Just as Jesus cared for the paralytic, He cares for you too.
Yes, He does friend! You can come to Him as you are and receive His
help. Jesus helps in many ways.
May you turn to the Lord who wants to be your
best Friend everyday! Amen! He will reach you in your deepest needs.
"Friends Reach Instantly,
Encouraging Never-ending Daily Service!" (F.R.I.E.N.D.S)/"What
kind of friend are you?"
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you
that you are the greatest friend we can have. Your love for us is
unconditional. Thank you for the friends you do send our path to put a
smile on our face. Thank you how much you care for us. Thank you for
your Word and how it changes people's lives. Thank you Lord that we can
follow your example. Please Lord help us to be faithful to you and seek
you always. Please help us to lay down our lives for our friends and be
there to help them. Thank you so much Lord Jesus. Thank you for the
small group you had blessed me to be part of. We lift our lives to you and
ask you to take care of us. Thank you so much Jesus! Thank you that you
want to be our Best friend. We are sorry for our sins and turn our lives
to thee. Come Lord Jesus and fill us with your presence in our hearts
today. Make our heart your home and preach to us Jesus. Please work in
our lives. We thank you for covering us with your precious Blood to
atone for our sin. Thank you for being our Lord and Personal Savior!
Thank you for hearing us and answering us. In Your Name I Pray
If you would like to invite Jesus Christ into your heart and make Him a
daily part of your life, you can this very moment. You will never be
alone. You can claim God's promises for you in the Bible and see them
come true, before your eyes, in His wonderful timing. You don't have to
wait for a special time to come to the Lord. You can come right now as
you pray the prayer below, meaning it in your heart.
God I am a sinner. I am invaded by this deadliest virus. Many times I
feel so guilty and yucky inside. I need forgiveness. I am so sorry for
my sins. I have not obeyed you with my whole heart! I have gone my own
way and done my own things. I still struggle with sin. I need you Jesus
in my life so I can receive forgiveness and a new beginning. In the
process, I can forgive others as you help me to. Thank you so much
Jesus. I accept the antidote you have sent me. I believe Jesus you died
for me and your cleansing blood will cleanse me from all my sins. You
came back to life to save me. Thank you God I am set free, free from the
bondage of sin. Hear my cry Oh Lord. I accept you Jesus into my heart. I
make you my Lord and Personal Savior of my life. Thank you Father God
for giving me Salvation. Thank you Jesus for coming into my heart and
making my heart your home. Thank you for living in me Jesus and I will
live for you and serve you the rest of the days of my life. Thank you
for being my Lord and personal Savior! I can live a life of peace with
you on my side. Thank you that you have heard my prayer and answered me!
In your Name I Pray Jesus! AMEN! Thank you Lord for answering my prayer.
Friend, if you have prayed this
prayer and meant it in your heart, you are a new creation in Christ and
all old things are passed away and everything has become new! You may
feel something or may not but don’t base it on feelings but base your
new life in Christ on the promises of our Savior who will never leave
you nor forsake you! Amen!
No matter what you feel in your heart,
know that Jesus has come in and resides with you! You are not alone! To
make your walk strong with the Lord, spend time in prayer talking to Him
as you would to a friend. You don’t need special words to talk to the
Lord. Spend time in His Word reading Psalms and turning them into
prayer. Next allow God to heal you and speak to you through the Gospel
of John or Gospel of
Mark before moving on to other Books of the Bible! Slowly, let the Lord
show you to which Scriptures He wants you to go to next. It is also important to be part of a body of believers to
help you grow in the faith. Find a Bible believing church that preaches
the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation proclaiming Jesus Christ our
crucified and risen Lord who brings us hope, healing, and help! But
beware of churches who do believe in the Word of God completely but
there is no freedom in Christ but legalism involved.
student, it is not too late to join a fellowship on campus too this
blessed New Year of 2008! May the Lord's presence and peace fill you with His
love now and forever! Amen!
Feel free to email me at
email@example.com if you want to meet to study the Bible,
pray with, talk about spiritual issues or whatever is on your mind! My
number is 412-720-4579.
"This is my
work and I can do it only because Christ's mighty energy is at work
within me." (Colossians 1:29, TLB)
picture to read my dad's memoriam:
' I AM ' Series
What kind of L.I.G.H.T do you follow? (Dec 13,
07, 10:09 a.m.)
"What kind of B.R.E.A.D do you eat?" (Dec 08,
07, 10:10 a.m.)
"Who is your S.H.E.P.H.E.R.D?"
Gospel of Mark Archives:
"What does the G.O.S.P.E.L mean to you?" (Jan
15, 08, 1:15 p.m.)
Mark 1:1-4: "How
seriously do you T.E.S.T.I.F.Y about prophesy?" (Jan
12, 08, 11:18 p.m.)
"Who do you P.O.I.N.T to?" (Jan 16, 08,
How will you take a S.T.A.N.D? (Jan 17, 08,
"How is your loving P.R.A.I.S.E?" (Jan 18, 08,
Mark 1:12-13: "How
do you handle T.E.M.P.T.A.T.I.O.N?" (Jan 19,
08, 12:27 p.m.)
How do you handle T.I.M.E given to you? (Jan
21, 08, 1:31 p.m.)
"What kind of P.R.O.F.E.S.S.I.O.N are you in?" (Jan
26, 08, 10:22 a.m.)
"Without having to P.R.O.C.R.A.S.T.I.N.A.T.E, what should you do?"
(Jan 29, 08,
"How do you rate in the B.U.S.I.N.E.S.S of Jesus?" (Jan
30, 08, 11:29 a.m.)
"Whose T.E.A.C.H.I.N.G.S do you follow?" (Jan
31, 08, 11:52 a.m.)
"What C.A.P.T.I.V.I.T.Y are you facing today?" (Feb
01, 08, 10:35 a.m.)
"What if Jesus talked F.O.O.T.B.A.L.L?" (Feb
02, 08, 10:35 a.m.)
"Where do you need H.E.A.L.I.N.G?" (Feb 05,
08, 11:44 a.m.)
"Where do you need an A.N.S.W.E.R?" (Feb 06,
08, 11:16 a.m.)
"Where do you give your S.O.L.I.T.A.R.Y time to the Lord?" (Feb
07, 08, 11:41 a.m.)
"Where do you need to be C.L.E.A.N?" (Feb 09,
08, 11:00 a.m.)
"What do your actions C.A.U.S.E?" (Feb 11, 08,
MARK CHAPTER 2:
"What do you do with your P.O.P.U.L.A.R.I.T.Y?" (Feb
12, 08, 9:52 a.m.)