Good Monday Morning To You!
How was your past week? Mine went from boring to busy and back again; talk about a roller coaster ride! Some of the time I was resting and recovering, and other times I was visiting this doctor, or this lab, or… You get the picture. It if it was not for the medical profession, I’d have nothing to do and nowhere to go. When I was a kid, I’d hear the “old-timers” talking like this. Have I become an old-timer? Perish the thought! I’m still a youngster who has mysteriously gotten trapped into an old timer’s body. Oh well, in Heaven I’ll be 17 again.
When I was in the Bethesda North Hospital, one of my preacher friends who came to visit was Bro. Jim Rankin and his wife Lisa. Jim told me about a message he preached called “Four Friends Of A Believer.” He named the four friends and I thought I would really like the people at Friendship Harmony to meet these four, as well as the faithful readers of this blog. Later that night while still in I.C.U., I began to think about the direction of this message. The LORD directed me as I developed it, and I have included the notes here. I wish I could have heard Bro. Rankin’s version; I imagine it was tremendous! He’s a good preacher and a good friend. Thanks Jim!! Here are those notes.
Four Friends Of The Believer
Main points by Pastor Jim Rankin
Sub points and fill Victor Cooper
Intro: These are not a believer’s only friends as introduced by Scriptures, but get to know each of them. They’ll never let you down!
I. These friends are only introduced by Jesus. V1
A. The Bible says your body is a temple. 1 Cor. 6:19
B. You can only meet these four if Jesus is in your house.
C. Is He in your house?
II. V3. The name of the first friend is Compassion.
A. The man was brought by his friends. They believed Jesus could and would help.
B. They were willing to take of their time to help their friend.
III. V4a The name of the second friend is Hope.
A. Hope = from the Greek elpis, the expectation of good
1. The key word is “expectation.”
B. Man’s definition of hope - “I hope my lottery ticket wins those big numbers.”
C. They expected good from Jesus.
IV. V4b The name of the third friend is Perseverance.
His nickname is Longsuffering.
A. They kept at it. They refused to quit until their friend met Jesus.
B. Most people give up at the first sign of a problem.
1. Their pat excuse, “Well I guess God wasn’t in it.”
2. Noah worked on the ark 120 years.
V. v5 The name of the fourth friend is Faith.
A. Jesus commended their faith.
— Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
When Jesus saw their faith -- It is remarkable that all the three narratives call it "their faith" which Jesus saw. That the patient himself had faith, we know from the proclamation of his forgiveness, which Jesus made before all; and we should have been apt to conclude that his four friends bore him to Jesus merely out of benevolent compliance with the urgent entreaties of the poor sufferer. But here we learn, not only that his bearers had the same faith with himself, but that Jesus marked it as a faith which was not to be defeated -- a faith victorious over all difficulties. This was the faith for which He was ever on the watch, and which He never saw without marking, and, in those who needed anything from Him, richly rewarding.
B. His sin was not forgiven due to their faith, but his healing came as a result of his faith and theirs.
1. Often folk are healed, delivered, blessed, etc… due to the faith and prayers of others.
C. His forgiveness indicated that he too had faith.
D. He definitely was the one who had asked to see Jesus.
Conclusion: Are any of these four friends of yours? Jesus wants to introduce you to all four. It took all four to carry the sufferer. Are you suffering? Get acquainted with these four friends and they’ll bear you along.
I enjoyed preaching this one. This was my first time back in the pulpit. When I stood to preach, I was not feeling as good as I had wanted. However, as soon as I read the text and began, I could feel a surge of energy running through me: I preached as I did in my thirties. If I can get stronger, I might get back to preaching like I did in my twenties. Watch out!! Seriously, I thank the LORD for the gift of being able to stand and deliver His word. I can’t wait to see what the LORD has for us next week.
Speaking of next week, I’ll try to post a picture of our new pulpit. Pastor Jim Rankin gave it to me to be used at the church. It is actually an old-timer itself. Yesterday it made its debut at Friendship Harmony. I bet that old pulpit has heard many fine messages in its past. I just hope the ones it is yet to hear is just as good. Certainly they will be Scriptural. Bill and Patty Wolfe picked it up from my mom’s garage in Cincy a few weeks ago. Bill spent many hours restoring and refinishing it. I cant’ wait for you to see it. It definitely has that “wow factor.” I don’t know if I can post a picture, but I’ll try.
Have yourself a good, prosperous, and healthy week. I look forward to seeing you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.