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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Pastor Cecil Thompson
Cecil Thompson

Matthew 9:2

"Some men brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Take heart son, your sins are forgiven.'"

The New Testament book of Matthew is a fantastic introduction to the ministry of our precious Lord. The religious leaders of Jesus' day were more interested in keeping the people in bondage to the law than in allowing the law to set them free. When Jesus introduced forgiveness, it was not popular with these religious tyrants. The topic of forgiveness bears as much emphasis as we can give it. I am convinced that much of our depression, defeat and illness may be the result of not accepting God's forgiveness, or in living it out in our own lives.

It is interesting in reading about this incident, where Jesus was impressed by the faith of the men who had brought the man who was paralyzed, and no doubt the paralytic himself. Faith was always a key that Jesus was looking for in those who came to Him for healing. You can see that He was moved to compassion when he encouraged the man who was about to be healed with the words, "Take heart son." He was going to restore the man's ability to walk, but with these words, Jesus first encouraged the man's heart.

Jesus has promised that we have healing of our sins through Him. When Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, as recorded in John 3:16, he was told that to experience the new birth, he had to believe in Him: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." This act of forgiving sins is one of the greatest needs that we humans have. It is our sins that have paralyzed us and imprisoned us until we are helpless and in need of a healing touch from the Lord.

After Jesus told the man that his sins were forgiven, the man just lay there. During the time that Jesus confronted the sin of the teachers of the law the paralytic still remained on his mat. He was free of the sins that had restricted him, but just lay there on his miserable mat. It was only when Jesus told him to get up and take his mat and go home that he was stirred to action.

What happens in our life when we are forgiven? We may come by faith to Jesus and confess our sins, but just continue to languish away on our pitiful mats. It almost seems as if we have the attitude that we do not deserve to be set free. We fail to act as if we were set free.

We know that the Word says we are set free, but because of the depth of our sin we feel it is just too deep and horrible to be forgiven. There is no such thing as our being too deep or too bad to be forgiven! Anytime we come to the Lord and confess our need, He has promised that He will forgive and never charge that sin to us again. If God forgives, why are we bringing it up again? All we need to do is to praise Him for burying it in His great sea of forgiveness.

It is interesting to note that the paralytic was healed, but the teachers of the law— who were guilty of the sin of condemnation—went away unforgiven. They even accused the Son of God of being a blasphemer. They considered themselves to be righteous and yet they were so guilty. God loves a humble and contrite spirit. We need to keep close accounts with Him and allow His healing to transform us into the person He wants us to be. That means one who has victory in Jesus!

I probably could say more, but I will not do that. Please use the Word of God as your pattern for life and wholeness. Reject the temptation to collapse in on yourself and continue to berate yourself for your sins. If you have confessed them and Christ has forgiven them --- keep them in God's hands and do not take them back. Be forgiven! Roll up your mat and get on with your life!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

- - - Pastor Cecil


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