READ: Luke 5:17-39
THINK: Have you ever gotten stuck in a rut? When you go through the same old routine over and over, you hardly have to think about what you're doing. While this can be the easy, comfortable route, it also tends to be boring and void of adventure. God certainly doesn't intend for His followers to take that route. Yet many Christians lack the supernatural power that was evident in Jesus' life and ministry. Perhaps that's because so few are willing to break their routine, get out of their comfort zone and pay the price of extreme faith.
RESPOND: Why did so many religious leaders want to see Jesus? How would you describe "the power of the Lord" (v. 17) and why was it present with Jesus in such a distinct way? (See 5:17 note.) How are those who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus an example to you and your Christian friends? (See 5:18 note.) Why is it important to guard your thoughts? (See 5:22 note.) Why does Jesus refer to himself as the "Son of Man"? (See 4:24 note.) What did Jesus mean when He said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick..."? (See 5:30 note.) What did Jesus mean in His wine analogy that people say, "The Old is Better"? (See 5:39 note.) In what ways did the Pharisees and teachers overlook the true purpose of God's law and how Christ fulfilled it? Why do people get stuck so easily in their old ways to the point of resisting anything better, particularly God's plans for their lives?
PRAY: Pray for a friend who does not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus, that he or she would see the futility of their own way and find hope in the new life Jesus offers them.
ACT: Think of an area of life in which you're stuck in an old rut and reluctant to change, even for the better. You may be hanging on to a familiar attitude or an old habit. Or you may be afraid to take a bold new step into a ministry venture at church. Then again, you may need to make a simple change to become more disciplined about your health or lifestyle. Break out of your old routine and start doing something better today.
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