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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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A Different Point of View!

A local couple sent a playpen to friends in another part of the state who had been blessed with the arrival of their 4th child in six years. Two weeks later the mother responded with this note: "Thanks, many thanks for the pen. It comes in so handy - I sit in it every afternoon and read and think. When I'm in it the children can't get near me." We all need our space sometimes, but what do you do when there is space between the Lord and someone you care about very deeply? Mark 2:1-5 tells about the unorthodox efforts of four unnamed heroes who used faith and works to get a hurting friend to Jesus. Hearing that Jesus was in a house in Capernaum, four men sought to bring a paralytic to Jesus on a bed. Finding the house full of people and their way to Jesus blocked, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith He said to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven you.' " This incident reminds us that faith brings a different point of view in getting lost people to Jesus. Four men who believed Jesus could make a profound difference in the life of their paralyzed friend refused to give up when they found the way to Jesus crowded and impossible to pass. What to do? Wouldn't it have been interesting to listen in as these four discussed their problem and how it might be solved?! Faithless, negative thinking would have said nothing could be done and there were simply too many obstacles. But one of them lifted his eyes and expressed a different point of view: "We can get on top of the house, tear the roof off and lower him down to Jesus." Faith helped them have a different point of view! As a result the paralyzed man went home with a newly healed body and a freshly cleansed soul.

Many preachers, elders, and Christians could use a different point of view. The devil has convinced some in the church that our job as Christians is to come, sit and listen. But the evangelistic mentality of the Holy Spirit is summed up in the words of Acts 5:20 - "Go ... stand ... speak." Some insist nobody they know is interested in God, but Jesus calls us to a different point of view. He says "the harvest truly is plentiful" and "lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest" (Matthew 9:37, John 4:35). Could it be many people are being kept from getting to Jesus because negative, faithless thinking is keeping us from getting to them? Faith can help us uncover the roof and see past what we alone can do to what we can do with God's help. Has faith changed your point of view?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ