Monday, October 2nd
Devotional written by Pastor Connor Johnson, Middle School Pastor
LIFE CHANGE HAPPENS IN RELATIONSHIP
The best summer job I ever had was guiding rafting trips for my old church in Oregon. We regularly lead middle school and high school groups down the Klamath and McKenzie Rivers. Then we would walk through Bible studies around the campfire at night. I love my role at Calvary, but there was something special about those summers!
However, we quickly learned that the churchwide men’s retreat trip down the river was not as enjoyable as some others. Don’t get me wrong. I loved spending time with so many wonderful guys and having great discussions. The rafting was a whole different story. I vividly remember the day I learned that men are not the best listeners. My college friend, Josh, led the first raft on the water, and my raft followed right behind. Moments before entering the first rapid, I saw the six men in Josh’s boat lift their paddles in the air, screaming with excitement like young schoolchildren. While Josh screamed orders to paddle, no one listened, and he couldn’t maneuver the boat, causing it to crash into a massive rock, flipping it over, and losing all six men. Excitement turned to terror, and the six men looked back at me, asking, “What just happened!?” I responded, “When your guide tells you to paddle, you better put your oars in the water!”
We live in a hyper-individualized culture. This is a blessing in many ways, but its detriment causes us not to consider those around us and the path they are leading us toward. In today’s reading, I hope you considered the perspective of the paralyzed man. In their pursuit of Jesus, his friends are bringing him with them. What is the result of the faith of these friends and the grace of God? New life, healing from sin, and healing from his paralysis! Life change happens in relationship.
Who are you closest with? When you are struggling, do your friends bring you to Jesus? Are they carrying your burdens and running to the King of Kings? If so, you will find yourself going home “praising God” (v.25). If not, your life might feel like a raft on the water heading towards a big rock without having much control.
Final thought: Make a list of 3 people you are closest with and consider whether they are bringing you to Jesus or not. Pray that God will surround you with others who will bring you to Jesus.