The Power of Faith as Friends in Christ

by Jim on December 5, 2012


Welcome to Episode #23 of The Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  I am so honored and blessed that you are allowing me to share in your busy life through this Podcast.  Today’s Episode is sponsored by Proactive Ministries.  I serve full time as the Executive Director of Proactive Ministries and we work with multiple Christian churches across North America who wish to grow spiritually and in reaching others for Christ.  We would love to discuss how your congregation could move to the next level in ministry effectiveness.

Now that December has arrived, we are past Thanksgiving, into the Christian season of Advent as we prepare our hearts, minds, homes and lives for the celebration of Christmas – yet to come.

Perhaps more than any other time of year, this season causes each of us to pause and reflect on the amazing gift from God of friends.  All of us cherish the friends we have in life and would agree heartily that more good friends would be even better.  In this Episode we will take a close look at:

The Power of Faith as Friends in Christ

Mark 2:1-12, (English Standard Version)

     While we love friendship, I want us to seriously consider what enormous potential influence we have for Christ and ministry with our friends.  In today’s Podcast we will walk through a story about four friends of a paralytic man who were concerned enough about his spiritual well-being to ACT boldly in bringing this friend to meet Jesus face to face.

     This took place against all odds and multiple obstacles in their way.  They were sold out – convinced in their minds and hearts that the most important act they could possibly perform for their paralytic friend would be to literally carry him to meet Jesus.  And that’s exactly what they did!

     How many of us today know someone who may be physically, spiritually or emotionally wrecked that acknowledges living outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  Certainly we are concerned for them.  We have prayed for them.  We may have visited them in person, bearing gifts and good cheer.  But have we found the courage and conviction to lead them in the clear direction of a personal encounter with Jesus?

     Too often, the answer is NO.  We feel the urge, but resist.  What if we try and fail?  What if we broach the subject but someone in their own family objects or becomes angry about our attempting to influence them toward Christ?  What if we are personally rejected and lose the friendship over such an encounter?

     Clearly, these are the wrong questions for us to pray through. For they are really questions about us, not about our friends.  The concern of these questions has to do with us risking ourselves to reach out and make an eternal difference in the life of another person.  Will we move past these questions to higher questions, such as:

     If we have this friendship, can it not be the foundation of loving another enough to share the wonderful news of coming to Christ with them personally, since we are their friend?  They know we are authentic in caring for them – we have modeled this many times.  They know we have no ulterior motives and only want the best for their lives.  We don’t want to see them miss the incredible joy and blessings of life in Christian Community.

     HOW did the friends of the paralytic in the story bring their friend to Christ?  (Based on Mark 2:1-12) 

1) They moved beyond merely knowing potential possibilities to ministry action

2) They stepped into ministry experience in their present lives

3) They allowed the power of the Holy Spirit to move them beyond what they could have possibly done on their own

     We so often default to comfort rather than courageous faith.  We see glimpses of possible ministry experiences with others as friends and often back away, retarded by fear and selfish concerns.  Our pride prevents us from daring to risk ourselves in ministry.  These things can change in our lives.  And as a result of them changing in our lives – the lives of our friends can become new in Christ.

    Journey with me today as we take a close look at HOW this can become a reality in our daily walk as a Christ follower.  Nothing we do in our lives is more important than leading a friend to Christ.

    I want to thank you all for your continued positive feedback and thoughts about this Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  Many of you are inviting others to subscribe and listen to these Episodes and they are making a spiritual difference in many lives and families.  Your inviting just one friend to be part of this Podcast could prove to be an enormous joy in their life.  I am encouraged to hear from you as often as you wish to email, call or contact me on Facebook.  I’m always delighted to receive your prayer requests, questions about how your church can move forward or to discuss ministry strategy possibilities for your church at this moment in it’s history.

    May the Lord bless you.  And now,  go forward to serve courageously, knowing that God is with you and for you, to empower you beyond what you could ever do on your own.  I look forward to hearing from you and being with you again in seven more days on the next Podcast.

Blessings and Joys in Christ,



Facebook: Jim W. Hollis

Twitter: @jhriskforchrist

Proactive Ministries, Atlanta, GA offices: (770) 803-9988

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: