Just had an amazing read in Matthew 9 during my Time Alone With God (TAWG). This chapter had tons of great sections of scripture, but the two that stood out to me the most were, 1.) “Some men brought to him (Jesus) a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.’” (Matthew 9:2), and 2.) “When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, ‘Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. (Matthew 9:23-25).
Let’s start by taking a look at the first scripture, “Some men brought to him (Jesus) a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.’” (Matthew 9:2). Shortly thereafter, Jesus says to the man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” (Matthew 9:6). The man was healed in that moment and began to walk. What I find so significant about this section of scripture is that these men cared so much about their friend that they carried him to Jesus as they knew that Jesus could heal him. Their friend couldn’t physically get to Jesus on his own, but he had close friends that cared enough to carry him to Jesus. Then, Jesus “saw their faith” and as a result, healed the man.
My Pastor Anthony Powell likes to call this the “Mat Squad’, and this section of scripture should encourage us to get our own “Mat Squad”. So, I ask you this question, who is YOUR “Mat Squad”? In other words, when you are struggling in any area in life, OR when you are perhaps backsliding into sin, who are the four people in your life that will ‘grab the corners of your mat and carry you back to Jesus’? I have a “Mat Squad” of four guys that I am in touch with constantly as they are my accountability partners. Whenever I am tempted to sin in any way, I know that I can reach out to them via phone call or text and they will be there for me. They also know that they can rely on me in the same way. If I am feeling sad, they are there. If I need to celebrate something, they are there. If I need to call them in the late evening hours or the early morning hours, I always know that I’ll be able to get ahold of at least one of them. They are my “Mat Squad” that keeps me strong and focused on the most important thing in this world, my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!! If you don’t have a “Mat Squad”, I highly suggest that you form one TODAY, and let your “Mat Squad” know what it means to be the “Mat Squad”.
The second scripture I want to take a look at is, “When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, ‘Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. (Matthew 9:23-25). What I like about this section of scripture is that Jesus said, “Go away”, and then the crowd was put outside. Who are the people in your life that lack faith in you and in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Perhaps it’s time to follow Jesus’s example and say, “Go away” and put them outside. You may not need to actually say, “Go away”, but maybe you should stop spending so much time with them as they may not be the best influence on you and your relationship with Christ. If they don’t have faith in you and/or your relationship with Jesus, then it’s probably best that you spend less time with them anyways. Put them a little bit further “outside” your life.
In conclusion, I really just want to encourage you to find and create your “Mat Squad” as it has seriously been life changing for me and such a huge blessing in my life too. Also, take a deep look at the people you tend to spend the most time with and decide whether they should perhaps been in your life a little bit less. If they lack faith in you and/or aren’t really supportive of your relationship with Christ Jesus, then maybe it’s time to spend a bit less time with that person. I am not saying that you should only hang out with Christians, because as you will notice when reading Matthew 9, Jesus ate with many tax collectors and sinners on occasion. But, he spent a majority of His time doing life with His 12 disciples that had faith in Him (His BIG Mat Squad). I’m so excited to hear about how your life will change for the better when you apply these two positive changes to it. Lord Bless you my friends. : )
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