This Common Ingredient in the Gospel Narratives May be the Missing Ingredient in Many Churches

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A synagogue leader named Jairus had a daughter who was dying. He went to find Jesus and when he found him, he fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come and heal his daughter. At that same time a woman who had suffered for 12 years with bleeding needed relief. She got close enough to Jesus, thinking if she could just touch the edge of his cloak she might be healed…she did and she was healed. Hearing about Jesus and his power to heal, a few guys couldn’t help but think of their paralyzed friend and how great it would be if he could walk again. Seeing the house Jesus was in was full and there was no way to carry their friend to Jesus, they climbed on the roof, made a hole in it and lowered their friend down to Jesus so he would get healed. Jesus healed him.

There are more stories like these but the point is the same – there was one common ingredient that drove each of these people to do what they did. This ingredient is one that I believe is missing from many churches and many Christians today but is something that, if we can reclaim it, would go a long way in the church thriving again.

That word is desperation.

These people were in situations that drove them to make a desperate attempt to seek out Jesus for help. Without Jesus they were doomed. Without Jesus they had no hope.

Whether we feel it or not and whether we realize it or not the same is true for us – we are desperate for Jesus. We just need to realize it. We need to reclaim it.

Too often churches and Christians have grown complacent and comfortable. We can pay our bills, pay the minister, and take care of the basics…so we coast along as if we have it all covered. Have we lost our desperation for Jesus? Have we lost our reliance on the Holy Spirit? Have we come to trust more in our own ability to take care of things than in God’s ability to use us in ways greater than what our own efforts can accomplish? In too many cases, the answer is yes.

What will it take for us to become desperate for God again?

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