How many hints, models and commands etc... does the Scripture give us  to start the day with the Lord.  Here is one example.  Mark 1:35 first chapter of Mark’s gospel. ”Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”  Mark 1:35  How early?? ”very” ”while it was still dark.”  My guess is that if Jesus got up “every early,” we should get up very very early in the morning.  The point is that we should make sufficient time in the morning before our regular day starts to meet with the Lord, to listen intensely to Him and apply what He says for our lives...physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.  He is our Lord of which we are so thankful to know, accept, obey, and in joy. Maybe it was that morning that His Father and He agreed on Him, Jesus, dying on the cross for our sins so we could have a relationship with God through eternity. Yea, hallelujah!! Are we thankful that Jesus got up early to hear His Father say that to Him?  Thank you Lord.  Again I say, Thank you Lord! One more time. Thank you Lord!

If you and I are eagerly meeting with the Lord “early” in the morning, I have no doubt that those around us are enjoying a friendly, truthful and forgiving person.  And a person with many friends.

Who would not become this kind of person when meeting with the God of love, truth and forgiveness every single morning..early?   Wow, Thank you Lord!

And look what follows in the very next chapter.  (Thank you Lord.) Let me quote it. Mark 2:1-5  “A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.  So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.  Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of he crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Wow, can you imagine what might have been the response from another “great” person giving a talk to a crowd of people and being interrupted by the roof being torn up and a crippled man being let down?  I doubt if their first thoughts would be to forgive the person for their sins and then healing them (even though they couldn’t). I imagine that many would call people to throw the person out and quickly and maybe give a talk about self centered people thinking only of themselves in interrupting an “important” talk by an “important” person.  Wow, thank you Jesus for another wonderful example of true love and you are God’s Son. One more time. Thank you Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

But, And, did Jesus miss the point of these men who brought the paralytic?  He said to the paralytic, ”Son, your sins are forgiven.” I imagine most of the people there were saying, at least to themselves, ”It is his legs, his legs! He is a paralytic!”  And of course the religious people were saying….What???  “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” So now all the people, in one sense, were saying that Jesus was missing the point. He was paralyzed.  He couldn’t walk!!! Come on!!  What was he thinking?  What? What?

Verse 8 continues, ”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?  Which is easier to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” -- he said to the paralytic -- “I say to you, rise, take your pallet and go home.”  And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this.’   Is he God???  (What other question would one have after witnessing this miracle?)  He healed the man!!  But, it also gave them something else to think about.  Does He forgives sins?? Wow, there is plenty to think about, and could it have implications for everyone?  The people left with Jesus on their mind for sure.

But what about us?  Is it just a nice and wonderful event in Jesus’ life or is it something that we should seek to apply to ours?   I think we all would agree it is something we should apply, and obviously!

After memorizing this passage, it was constantly on my mind and as a result I brought it into the Christian leadership meetings I was in charge of.  I remember the first time I tried to apply it in the group. I asked everyone to look around the room and sincerely forgive everyone they laid eyes on.  After a few minutes I said, “Okay let's give everyone a hug.’ I can’t exaggerate the joy that was expressed in that meeting afterwards.

The next meeting we had the following week, I dismissed the meeting with a prayer and no one moved.  They said, “ We hadn’t forgiven each other yet.” So we took the time to do it. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ.  This is living!

I think in most of the following meetings we forgave each other and hugged at the beginning of meetings and...How do you think the discussions in the meetings went after that?  I can tell you so we don’t waste time, they were wonderful! Thank you Lord for your love and forgiveness and asking us to pass it on!!!

One more time, thank you Lord for your love and forgiveness!  Again, Thank you Lord!! Yea! Yahoo!! This is living!

But again, I tell you that if I had not stopped and meditated on those two passages and prayed and worked to apply them to my life, I can tell you FOR SURE that my life would have been very different and not nearly (one more time, not nearly)  as much fun or meaningful. The fun and meaningful life is one of love, truth and forgiveness in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who would you rather listen to and follow a great athlete, a president, a King, or you name it or our Lord Jesus Christ who is truth, love, and forgiveness?  No contest for me.  I am taking our Lord and Savior and starting the day with Him in His Word and prayer asking Him to lead me through the day in all my decisions and relationships. Yea! This is living! Thank you Lord! One more time, Thank you Lord.

Chuck Reinhold

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