Mark 2:3 (Carrying a Friend to Jesus)

15 Jan Mark 2:3 (Carrying a Friend to Jesus)

Let’s welcome God today by reflecting on this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (website, Facebook), based on Living Faith. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 3:17

They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Mark 2:3 (full readings)

Living Faith snippets: “The paralytic in today’s Scripture came to Jesus only through the heroic efforts of four others. These men were determined to bring the paralytic to Jesus, eventually lowering him through a hole in the roof. Without them, the paralytic never would have met Jesus face-to-face or have been healed. Likely every one of us can think of someone who has been instrumental in nurturing our faith. We are indebted to parents, religion teachers, spiritual writers and/or host of others who have made the faith accessible to us.” – Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti

Rich’s comments: I believe a great exercise for spiritual development is to reflect on those who have been instrumental in my life and to identify the elements they presented me that led me on a closer walk with Jesus. After much reflection, I have identified 3 essential elements: authenticity, understanding, and accountability. My spiritual guides strive to live an authentic Christian life; they are genuine about their love for Jesus; and they are honest about their own struggles. My spiritual guides understand my weaknesses and struggles, and they encourage me to lean on Christ for help. And finally, my spiritual guides hold me accountable for my actions without judging me as a person, and lead me closer to Christ. Thank You Lord for placing people in my life who have led me to You. May I be a guide for others. Amen.
Faith Challenges: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding a devotion to others or by using the Facebook Group “invite people to join” link to invite your friends. Steve, Rich, or Pat will gladly add others to the email list.
* NEW: Identify those people in your life who were instrumental in leading you to Jesus and thank God for them. Identify those in your life who need your help in finding Jesus and show them the way.
* NEW: Please read Sr. Francelle’s devotion (The Holy Spirit – forgotten person of the Trinity) and learn about using the Holy Spirit as our guide.

* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images), #1 cause of death in America (23% of pregnancies). Let’s courageously share ProLife Truth to create social tension for exposing abortion’s unjust peace, rebuilding a Culture of Life for setting the unborn (and parents) free!

Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together. Fasting ideas in footnote below.
* Prayer to end abortion, abused children, chastity, peace, our enemies, our troops, depression/despair, prisoners, politicians, illnesses/injuries, jobs, natural disasters, refugees, addictions, persecuted believers, Peters family (JP, Rebekah), Shantelle Castle (special intention), Health care reform bill (protect the unborn), victims of Haitian earthquakes.

Faith Quote:
“A Godly leader …
finds strength by realizing his weakness
finds authority by being under authority
finds direction by laying down his plans
finds vision by seeing the needs of others
finds credibility by being an example
finds loyalty by expressing compassion
finds honor by being faithful
finds greatness by being a servant” – Roy Lessin

Through Christ our Lord,
James 1:22

* Prayer: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. ‘If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead.
* Fasting: Let’s fast from things that take our eyes off Jesus (selfishness, pornography, bitterness, criticalness, impatience, gossip, excessive video games, etc) and take on things that fix our eyes on Jesus (selflessness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding, caring, helping, listening).
* Defend the unborn: ‘Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die’ (Prov 24:11). ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). ‘It is a great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish’ (Blessed Mother Teresa).
* Evangelization: Let’s make room for unbelievers (be a friend, make a friend, lead a friend to Christ) and perpetual re-evangelization of self and those near us, by way of daily prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of selfless love, mercy, and service (Matt 28:19).

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