Making Room for What God Wants to Do
Making Room for What God Wants to Do
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Manhas the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!” MARK 2:1-12 NLT
If God is moving people will gather
One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. MARK 3:20 NLT
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself. JOHN 12:32 NLT
Distractions in church can be divine encounters with God
When Jesus has my heart, I will make room in his house
There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? JOHN 14:2 NLT
At Sandals Church, we need to:
Prepare for people who show up
One more thing—please prepare a guest room for me. PHILEMON 22
Plan to invite people
Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’” LUKE 14:16-24 NLT
I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me MATTHEW 25:43 NLT
Pray for people who attend
I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon. PHILEMON 4
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 1 TIMOTHY 2:1 NLT
- Share a story of a time when you had to make room for something or someone in your life. What made the sacrifice worth it to you?
- What are some of the things that make adding new people to a church or small group difficult? What are some of the things that make it wonderful?
- What room has to be made in your heart to welcome new people to Sandals Church on the weekend and/or to this group?
- Read Luke 14:16-23. To what extent is a full house as important to you as it is to Jesus?
- When was the last time you invited someone to church? What was that experience like?
- Who are two to three people that you already know, that you can invite to join you at a service or group? What next step will you take to invite them this week?
*In addition to your regular time of prayer as a group, pray for those you are inviting as well as all those who will visit Sandals Church this year.
Personal Reflection Guide
Find a quiet place where you can slow down. Read through Mark 2:1-12, slowly, allowing yourself to imagine what it would have felt like to be the man on the mat. Feel yourself in each part of the story: unable to move on your own, you’re brought by the faithfulness of your friends; perhaps your own faith seems too small or you need their help. Feel the discomfort as your friends prepare to tear down someone’s house to get you to Jesus. Feel, perhaps a flicker of hope? Now see the faces of your friends as they lower you down into the room. At last you are on the floor and you see Jesus and he turns towards you and speaks. And just like that your life is forever changed! Allow yourself to sit in this story for a few moments. What part of this story that resonates with you? Did someone else bring you to Jesus, work for you, hope for you, make room for you so your life could be changed by God? Share that moment with God, and thank him for the people with whom he has blessed you. Now, as you move forward, who are those that might need your help getting to Jesus? What might God be asking of you in order to bring them to him? What next steps do you need to take to faithfully respond??