by Joni Eareckson Tada
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”  
James 1:22
Remember the story in Luke chapter 5 about the four friends who carried their paralyzed companion to see Jesus? Do you recall how they couldn’t squeeze through the crowds? They ripped a hole in the roof and lowered their friend down in front of the feet of the Lord. The Pharisees and teachers of the law sat there, shocked and angered that Jesus not only healed the man but forgave his sins.
In the story, there are two groups of main characters — the Pharisees, who were sitting, and the men who came carrying. Compare the activities of the two. One group is sitting and listening; they are the critics and complainers. The other group is carrying a friend; they are the ones believing and taking action.
God requires us to do more than merely listen to Him. We are to do what He says. And when we stop criticizing and start taking action to carry the burdens of others, we always receive more from the Lord than we anticipate. Just consider the paralyzed man and his four friends. They went to Jesus hoping for healing, but received so much more: forgiveness of sin!
If you specialize in doing what the Word says, you will always receive more than you anticipate. God will surprise you with a blessing for which you’re not even seeking. Do not merely sit in the church but carry the burdens of the church.
Jesus, my Teacher and Healer, I don’t want to be like the Pharisees, who were very good at sitting and listening; I want to be like the four friends of the paralyzed man. When I see a person in need today, inspire me to believe and take action. Help me to carry his burden and, in so doing, together we will glorify You.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust
Copyright © 1993
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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The Beyond Suffering Bible was carefully crafted by our team at Joni and Friends in partnership with Tyndale House Publishers to specifically address the needs of people affected by disability and those facing chronic conditions. We invite you to help us put the Beyond Suffering Bible into the hands of people who greatly need God’s infinite hope.
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