We had the wonderful opportunity to have Aaron Hunter, a missionary our church supports, speak at our church this past Saturday. It was a great time to hear his update and his powerful message about getting to where God wants us to be. Please let us know if you liked the message and what you liked about it below.
Aaron Hunter's Missionary Update
Aaron and his family recently have moved to Columbia to continue his mission with Foursquare to equip churches in the area with the tools to engage the upcoming generation to love God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strengths. In moving to Columbia there was some worry about finding a place to live as there are difficulties in foreigners finding places to rent/own. They started there first 4 days in an airbnb and were blessed to find that a neighbor that was there was a real estate agent and a christian. The real estate agent looked into places in the area that would fit their needs and they found one. However, in Columbia you must have a cosigner to begin the rental/ownership of a home. This is very hard to find for someone who has no contacts in the area. The real estate agent was moved by the Lord to trust the Hunters and cosign for their new home. They feel this is a confirmation that they are where the Lord wants them to be.
The Hunter's have spent the last seven months in their mission to help leaders grow their children's ministry into thriving discipleship centers. As they are moving through Central and Southern America they are finding that pastors hearts are being moved to do a better job at reaching their youth and disciplining them. It has been a fruitful time for them. Please continue in prayer for them for open doors into pastor's hearts and in the countries they visit.
Aaron Hunter's Message For Our Church
"A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man,carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”'
The place that Jesus was in this portion of scripture was packed so full of people that they were gather around the outside of the home to meet with Him or to see Him. They were attracted to Jesus and His working of Miracles and His authority in His teaching. They were hungry for more. The paralyzed man and his friends all worked up in their mind to go and take the paralyzed man to Jesus because that was where they believed they would find healing, comfort and saving truth.
There are a few things that Aaron wanted to point out here at the beginning.
1. Jesus wanted to heal this man but to be healed, in this instant, he had to be where Jesus was. There is a place where God wants us to be. We need to get there. Where are you in experiencing God? Are you where God is or are you still on the way?
2. Obstacles are in the way to get to Jesus. These men were very close to Jesus' physical location. They were just a wall away from being in His presence. They were so close but at the same so far away. So many things want to keep us away from the place God has for us? What is keeping you from the place God has for you? It is important to identify these things so we can know where to go for help or how to fix our path or how to overcome.
In our growth as a church Aaron had some words to share in relation to this passage.
We need to:
1. Analyze the situation: When we take our friend to the door or we take ourselves or our church or neighborhood... we need to see what is in the way. What is keeping me, my friends, my family, my church, my neighborhood... from experiencing the fullness of God? This paralyzed man's friends could've just left him at the door or turned around and went back. We need to come to Jesus with a spirit of determination by the power of Christ to overcome the obstacles placed in front of us to get to Him. We don't just give up and say, "this is just the way things are." We push on and we depend on the almighty power of God to get us to where God wants us to be.
2.Reroute: When the obstacles are seemingly insurmountable it may be time to see if there is another way in. We sometimes need to ask God for a reroute to get to where He wants us to go. He never gives us more than we can handle and asking God if this situation has another solution to getting to where He wants us is important. We ask the Holy Spirit where He wants us to go. We need to be guided by the Holy Spirit. We have to take the time to listen or else we may be banging our heads against a door that God doesn't want us to go through at the time. If we listen to Him God will take us around the obstacles that are in front of us to get to Him.
3. Walk in faith: These men who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus were blocked through the usual ways to get to Him in the house. They climbed the roof in faith thinking that if they could just dig there way through or get to Him in any way possible their friend would be healed. They had no idea if it would really work digging through that ceiling or how Jesus would react. They just knew that Jesus was the real deal. They needed to get their friend to Him. We need to walk even when we have no idea where we are or where to go. This means depending on God and trusting in His goodness even when a road seems unfamiliar.
These men lowered their paralyzed friend right down in front of Jesus. All sorts of people reacted to this act in all sorts of ways. Jesus used this man's circumstances to show He is to all. He then said his sins were forgiven and after teaching the pharisee's through this man about God's mercy He healed him. He used this man's broken circumstances for His glory to be showed to all.
4. Go deep with one another: The paralyzed man did not get there by himself. Where would he be if it were not for his friends? To get to the place where God wants us we, more often than not, need the help of friends. We need to reach out both in need of help and to fill the needs of others in need of help. We all need help to grow closer to God. God often uses us to help form each other and point us in the direction of God.
We need to get deeper with one another. We will need one another to get where God wants us to be. By himself, the paralytic, could not get what he needed/wanted. Who are you walking with? Who's believing with you? Who is encouraging you?
To get to where God wants us we need to:
1. Analyze the situation
2. Hear God's voice and reroute
3. Walk in faith
4. Use the power of Godly friendship to grow