MEMORY VERSE: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Psalms 106 -110, Proverbs 22
READ: Luke 5:17 -20
Jesus was teaching in a house one day when some men, around four, brought their friend who was taken with palsy. When they arrived at the house, it was packed full of people who had come to listen to Jesus teach. They appealed to the people, especially those who were standing by the doorway, to pave way for them to bring their friend in and lay him before Jesus but they refused. Since they could not find a way in, through the doorway, one of them got a ladder, climbed the roof of the house, looked for where Jesus was standing and removed some tiles around that area – creating a hole in the roof. Another one joined him on the roof and they made the hole big enough to fit a stretcher. Those on the ground passed the sick man to those on the roof. Using a rope, those on the roof carefully let down their friend to where Jesus was standing. On seeing this, i thought Jesus was going to get angry with them for disturbing Him while He was teaching. He did not! Instead, He commended their faith. Friend, you are not disturbing Jesus when you bring your request to Him. It does not matter how many times you come to Him in a day, instead of rebuking you for disturbing Him with your requests, He would commend you for your faith.
The friends of the man who was sick, with palsy or paralyzed, were good friends. They were determined to go extra miles to get help for their sick friend. To carry their heavy friend – paralysis causes the body to become very heavy – through the roof requires a lot of effort, yet they did not mind the pain because they were determined. Naturally, friends tend to run away when one faces challenges. Proverbs 19:7 says: “All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.” For the friends of this man to have stuck by him during this period says a thing or two about the character of this sick man. Firstly, he (himself) was a good friend. He (himself) was a friend in ‘deed’ and a friend indeed. Proverbs 18:24 says: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Secondly, he was a giver. Proverbs 19:6 says: “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.” Thirdly, he was a helper too. According to the law of sowing and reaping – give and it will come back to you (Luke 6:38) – this man reaped what he had sowed into the lives of the people around him. He helped people and others helped him. Fourthly, he was a grateful fellow. The reason why many people cannot get help is not that they are not prayerfully. Many a times, it is simply because they are ungrateful. They are ungrateful first to God, and to men. Never think you deserve anyone’s help. You do not! People have the right to say ‘no’ to you, so when they say ‘yes’ to you, appreciate it. The friends were motivated to help because they knew he would appreciate their effort.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: What kind of friend are you? Are you a friend in ‘need’, in ‘deed’or a friend when it is rosy?
PRAYER POINT: Pray that the Lord will uproot every tree (friends) He has not planted in your life.