Our church recently went out on mission to show appreciation to our local First Responders. We took our goodie bags filled with candy, Gideon New Testament and a brochure with a special message from God's Word. Below is what was in the brochure for you to read just in case you were not able to participate.
Message for First Responders
A Biblical account of some First Responders
And again, Jesus entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So, when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you." And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"--He said to the paralytic, I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!" [Mark 2:1-12, Holy Bible, NKJV]
The Truth about First Responders
First responders are the first to hear and see the need of the hurting and wounded and respond before anyone else.
The four men saw their friend in need and came to his aid before anyone else.
First responders leave their own safety and comfort behind to risk their lives for others.
The four men risked ridicule, their own safety, and personal expense as they carried their friend on a homemade stretcher to get their friend the help he needed.
First responders go through any obstacle to get help for the wounded.
These four first responders overcame the obstacle of the crowd, and improvised a way to get their friend to the one who could help him. Their only concern was for the well-being of their friend, so they overcame their fear of what the homeowner might do to them and tore a hole in the roof big enough to lower their friend to Jesus.
First responders know where to go to get the wounded the help they need.
These four friends heard of the reputation of Jesus, that He had healed many people. They knew if they could get their friend to Jesus, He would heal him.
We all need The First Responder:
Something unexpected happened in this account that surprised the bystanders and these four men. Jesus’ first action wasn’t to heal their friend. Rather, Jesus first addressed this man’s greatest need – the forgiveness of his sin. And Jesus assured all present that He indeed had the authority to forgive sins as well as heal the sick. Someone once wrote, “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.” Just as this paralyzed man’s greatest need wasn’t physical but spiritual, we too have a spiritual need that only the Ultimate First Responder can meet. Like the man in this biblical account, our greatest need is the forgiveness of sin and only Jesus has the authority to forgive sin. Why? Because only Jesus paid the penalty for our sin through His death, burial and resurrection. The Bible says it like this, “In Him (Jesus), we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
Jesus is the Ultimate First Responder. He saw the spiritual need of mankind and responded first and only. No one else did what He did for us. He left the safety and comfort of heaven to come down to earth where the sin-wounded are. He paid the ultimate price of His life and overcame the obstacle and penalty of death for us. He provided the greatest help we needed – the forgiveness of sin. If you have not let Jesus take care of that need for you yet, will you respond to the Great First Responder by turning your life over to Him, asking Him to forgive your sin and save you? The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). God has used you to save many lives. You can trust Him to save yours now and forever!
Thank you, First Responders for being here for us day after day!
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