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What Do We Really Need?

The question I want us to consider is, Do we come to God with our pressing needs, without recognizing what our primary need is?

Among the miracles of Jesus, one of the most well-known is the healing of a paralytic man (Matt. 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26).

In Mark’s account, Jesus says to the man in v. 5: “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Jesus didn’t take care of the pressing need initially. He took care of this man’s primary need – the most important thing at that moment.

But what were the people amazed about? They were not amazed that Jesus forgave the paralytic’s sins. They were amazed that this man’s pressing need was addressed: “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house” (v. 11).

What was everyone in the room expecting? They wanted to see this paralytic man be healed. They were expecting to see a miracle. This man’s pressing need was his health. He was paralyzed, and he was coming to see Jesus to be healed.

So, what amazes us? Are we amazed that our physical priorities are taken care of for us, or are we more amazed by Jesus’ sacrifice? That our Savior came down on this earth and died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins? Jesus addressed our primary need when He died on the cross. Our primary need is forgiveness: If we don’t have forgiveness, nothing else matters, including any pressing needs.

We say we have pressing needs. Perhaps our health – we go to the doctor, take our vitamins, eat right and exercise healthy. Maybe it’s our job, food, money or companionship. We want order. We want to make sure we have those things – the things we say are “pressing.”

And, too often, we don’t go to God unless one of these things is broken. Let’s not put our pressing needs in front of our primary need. Let’s focus on what we truly need from God, rather than being blinded by what we think we need. We need forgiveness of our sins.

Sometimes, we don’t like to admit that we have sins or recognize that we’re wrong. Perhaps our prayers reflect exactly that. We emphasize the “pressing,” rather than the “primary.” We may say, “God, please give me health, give my family health, make sure there’s food on the table, a roof over our heads, and I have strong relationships with my spouse and children.” And forgiveness of sins is an afterthought. We toss it in at the end.

When in fact, it is the most important thing – the “primary” thing. Please, don’t forget that when you approach God in prayer.

-- Steven Matthews


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