by Rick Warren — July 12, 2021
From Life's Healing Choices
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
The truth is, no one is outside of Jesus’ reach!
Yesterday you learned about the importance of small groups in helping “hopeless” people find healing. We looked at the story in Luke 5 of a group of men bringing their paralyzed friend to Jesus to be healed. That story showed three characteristics (compassion, faith, and intervention) of a small group that God uses to heal. Today we’re going to look at four more characteristics:
Persistence. You may get discouraged as you try to reach your family, friends, and acquaintances with the Gospel. But you can’t give up! The friends in Luke 5 didn’t let difficulties discourage them. It didn’t matter that crowds were between them and Jesus. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (NIV).
Innovation. These friends dared to do something different. It’s pretty innovative to get up on a roof and tear it apart to get a guy to Jesus. Imagine the mess they made! Ministry is messy because it involves people. Small groups that won’t step out of the box won’t be willing to be messy enough to be instruments of healing.
Cooperation. Obviously, these men worked together to bring their friend to Jesus. It was too big of a job for one guy. It’s the same way with small groups. People come to Christ faster when they do it in the context of a supportive small group. A supportive community is a powerful witness for God.
Sacrifice. Have you ever wondered who paid for the roof after this story? I think the group of friends did. They wouldn’t just tear it up and leave it for someone else to fix. Whether it’s time, money, effort, or something else, there is always a cost to bringing someone to Christ. Luke 16:9 says, “Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home” (NLT). Small groups must be willing to make sacrifices if they’re going to be agents of healing in the world.
God wants to use you to bring healing to those without hope. But he doesn’t expect you to do it alone. Form a good small group of Christians. Then ask God for the persistence, innovation, cooperation, and sacrifice it will take to reach the hopeless with the hope of the Gospel.