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Red Letters: Breaking Through Barriers - Pastor Josiah Elias




Joel Munoz spoke to us about praying for more capacity, and he encouraged us to examine the container and see if it is too small, has holes in it, or is like old wineskins. Old wineskins are not ready to hold new wine; only new wineskins that are flexible and can stretch as needed can contain the new wine. May the LORD change us to be the vessels He wants us to be, and may we be willing to change.


Pastor Josiah reminded us about the Regional Prayer Meeting at FC on 4/21 and that the

Church is bigger than FC. He had been praying for unity in the region, and when a pastor asked him if FC could host this event, he said,”Yes!” This opportunity to host this event falls in line with his goal to break down barriers of your church and our church but to be part of the Church! Unity is finding people whose heart is like ours and linking arms with them.


FC’s mission is to culture like Christ, and the vision is Jesus. Our lesson began in Luke 5:17

where Jesus was teaching. “And the LORD’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.” (NLT)

“Power in Greek means power for performing miracles.” The teaching and the power to perform miracles were coupled together.


Continuing in Luke 5, some men brought a friend on his mat to see Jesus, but the crowd was

too large. That crowd did not stop them. They found an alternate route-the roof-and removed some tiles.


“Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into

the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith,

Jesus said to the young man, ’Young man, your sins

are forgiven.’” Luke 5:19b-20 (NLT)


You need community like this man had. They carried him to Jesus, and you need friends who

will carry you to the Savior. “Your community should be leading you to Jesus.” However,

Pastor Josiah testified that when he was younger, his friends were leading him away from

Jesus. After he accepted the LORD as his Savior, he realized that he needed a community that valued Jesus as their Savior and so he had to change his community because you’re “either the influencer or the influenced.” For “bad company corrupts good character.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NLT)


Also carrying a friend is not always convenient. However, we need to be there even if it is not

convenient. It may not be convenient when a friend calls at one in the morning, but you may be what the friend needs. Christ in you may be what your friend is seeking. As part of a community, we are doing life together. It was not convenient to send His only Son to live, die, and rise from the grave for each of us, but Jesus was the only perfect, acceptable sacrifice for us, and God did it. We have to have fight in us, a determination and persistence to get to Jesus. The enemy is pushing you to isolation, thinking of your own needs, and your own convenience, but God…. Bare minimum Christianity is not enough. “The lazy spirit has to be cast out.” How badly do you want to reach Jesus? We are to remember that “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NKJV) We are to pursue our King first. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew6:33 (ESV)


The Paramount Point is “Sometimes a roadblock is a test of God to determine your will.”

In Luke 5:20, the LORD commended the men’s faith and forgave the paralyzed man’s sins. The four friends displayed their tenacity, effort and courage when they took the alternate route on the roof and tore the tiles off to lower their friend to Jesus’ feet. “Don’t underestimate the power of praying friends.” You may be the only one keeping your friend from sinking, for the Spirit of God in you reflects Jesus. Keep tearing apart the roof for your friends and family that need to be at Jesus’ feet. Press in; keep bringing people on a mat to Jesus.


Also, our friends “may not need just good friends; they need God friends.” Good friends

keep you company; God friends do what it takes to get you to Jesus. Good friends encourage you; God friends get you to your break through. Good friends are someone with whom you can talk; God friends preach the gospel all around. Are you a good friend or a God friend?


When the four men lowered their friend in front of Jesus, He did not do the obvious first. He told the man that his sins were forgiven. “Please know that Jesus knows what you need better than you do.” Jesus met the greater need of the heart before the physical need. Instead of asking God for a specific request, we should say,”Lord, show me what I need.”


The Pharisees and leaders asked themselves,”Who does he think he is. That’s blasphemy!

Only God can forgive sins.” Luke 5:21 (NLT) And Jesus displayed His authority.


“So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has 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 immediately as everyone watched, the man jumped up

picked up his mat, and went home praising God.” Luke 5:24-25

(NLT)


Jesus showed His authority. “Jesus is God!”


God the healer has been busy in our community:

*Andy, a previous gangbanger who had overdosed four times, came to the Easter service on

crutches. He met Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. Andy is crutch free and is praising the LORD for his salvation and healing.

*Jacqueline was at the Midnight Hour prayer event. Her knee was healed.

*Michael and Chelsea shared about how the LORD turned them around from a broken

relationship to a reconciled, united marriage.

The LORD is breaking through barriers in our community. May we be salt and light as we

experience broken barriers.

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