They sought means to bring him in … to … Jesus.”

Luke 5:18,19

Edwin N. Cross

Published as "Pause for Thought" article in Christian Service Bulletin, December 2007

The accounts of various missionaries and labourers given in these pages are encouraging and hopefully stimulate prayer for the workers, as well as for the people among whom a great variety of work is done.

It may be that you wish you could do ‘exploits’ (Dan. 11:32) and be useful in the Lord’s service, but are at a loss to know what to do. A fruitful and active mind can think of many things to do – a list could be provided, but first things first. The four friends who wanted to bring their paralysed friend before the Lord Jesus clearly saw the Lord as the focus of their attention and the resolver of their friend’s need. They had the right view that He was pre-eminent to the need. You and I must hold the Head as the cynosure of our eyes – the only Saviour of needy sinful people. Social improvement, advancing technology, improved housing, political rights, human means for personal
advancement and all such things are no use to man’s deepest needs. The gospel of Christ is the only power of God unto salvation. The message is focused upon a Person, who alone can change the eternal destiny of a poor sinner coming to Him in faith. Do you seek means to bring men, women, boys and girls to Him? I wonder if there is a need to ask for opportunities – we have 60 million in the UK alone! We need means to
bring men to the Saviour.

Of course we need to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means, but there is available to us a whole book of examples of how people were brought to Christ. The
gospels alone are replete with them: There is the work of Andrew, who brought his brother Simon to the Lord (John 2:41) then the work of Philip who finds Nathanael and tells him of the Messiah (v.45). Matthew held a gospel supper for his erstwhile colleagues (Luke 5:29). Then there is the rather unorthodox work of the four friends who uplifted the roof to bring the bed-ridden, palsied friend right in front of Jesus, from which I have taken the text above. Read the gospels for inspired examples to consider. See a need and with Christ’s help ‘heal’ it, address it and work persistently until the work is established. The Lord blesses devoted labour, done according to His Word, in dependence upon Him.

There are some real opportunities right on your doorstep. The Lord has opened the door for mass migration into many richer, nominally Christian countries. Many immigrants know precious little of the host language: the need for so many is to learn English – could you not start a free class in the meeting room? Use for example Luke’s gospel as a base textbook to start with … and with a little kindness your efforts will soon be rewarded. Invite the students to the meeting, invite them home for a meal. Perhaps there are single parent families in the area – could not a work with the children bring contacts and souls for your hire? Perhaps you have a room or two to spare, could these be made available for some energetic and faithful younger brothers and sisters to stay for a week or two in order to engage in street evangelism – tract distribution among the neighbourhood or in the town centre: 60,000 homes can be reached within 6 weeks of steady work by a team of ten. The scope and possibilities
are endless. But who will go, who will give their spare time and resources for this good
work? Will you give up a gap year to serve the Lord?

Is there annual leave that might be squandered on self and pleasure rather than on souls and Christ’s cause? I pray that our young men and women will be challenged and become devoted and effective workers, building up the Lord’s interests at home and abroad, either integrated with their regular secular careers or in some special service for Him and His.