Sunday, November 20, 2016

People Seldom Care Enough to Help Us

When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many were sternly telling him to be quiet…  Mark 10:47-48a
This week we are focusing on the life of Blind Bartimaeus.  Although he had many strikes against him, we can learn a powerful lesson of faith from his life.
One day Jesus was teaching near the place Bartimaeus was sitting and begging.  He was surrounded by a multitude of people. Some were curious to hear the teacher share. Some were his critics who sought to destroy Him. Some were His beloved disciples.  That day the crowd made three very wrong assessments:
  • That Bartimaeus didn’t matter.
  • That Jesus didn’t care.
  • That they were better.
Are we not prone to walk past some who we feel are beyond help?  We do the same thing today, we judge people by what we see on the outside.

The response of a desperate man is to minimize the negative voices that clatter around him. Bartimaeus had not yet gotten to his feet. Yet he was making himself heard. He was crying pitifully, chanting at the top of his lungs. He was desperate, frantic.  Mark said, "He shouted all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me."  
The people around him surely tried to shush him—“Bartimaeus, you are making a scene.” Others chided him or insulted him—“Shut up, beggar!”
If you want to get something from God; you’ve got to learn how to overcome!  You’ve got to learn how to turn a deaf ear… You can’t get stuck at the bar of public opinion. Bartimaeus was not going to let a bunch of negative, critical, heckling bystanders rob him of his dream of sight.
Bartimaeus was pitifully aware of his condition. Have Mercy on Me!  He knew he was blind and in perpetual darkness. Unlike so many who are in spiritual darkness today, he knew what his problem was.  He also knew how little value these people around him put on His life.  They did not think him worthy of Jesus’ time. But Jesus took the time on this journey to meet Bartimaeus. 
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). When people truly understand the darkness of their souls apart from God, they are compelled to turn to Him in whom they find healing and ultimate comfort.  Blind Bartimaeus’ pitiful cry, “Have mercy on me!” came from a profound clarity of self-understanding and it brought grace. Christ rejoices to meet such clear self-understanding as this.
The darkness of blindness can be equated to the darkness of our souls apart from God.  Bartimaeus’ blindness felt like one dark prison, he was trapped, and could not, no matter how hard he tried, escape from this trap. He needed Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of David, to do this. Only the Messiah could heal his blindness and release him from its dark prison and he knew it. hence his loud plea.
What sort of blindness; what kind of dark prisons trap us? What blindness do we need Jesus to heal us of? Our plea, our prayer, our deepest desire, our words of request to Jesus may be the same as Bartimaeus’ as we come to the altar for healing
Scripture to Claim:
The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.  Isaiah 60:19


Psalms 100
Thanksgiving is meant to be a manner as well as an attitude of life. It cannot be enforced or demanded. It must be spontaneous to be real. The highest form of praise is continual thanksgiving which recognizes God's hand in all things.  The application of Thanksgiving is "Thanksliving. ”
Thanksgiving is the highest expression of faith and trust in God.
Thanksgiving releases the power of God to perform His work.
Ingratitude is the mishandling of grace. 
It is an out of control sense of entitlement that leads people to demand and not request; to be hateful instead of grateful.
This will occur naturally WHEN WE TRULY RECOGNIZE...

Who God is.  v.3a; Isaiah 45:5-7

1.     The Blessing of Wisdom  Romans 1: 8-25
Practical atheism begins with ingratitude and ends in destruction and idolatry.

Who we are in relation to God.  v.3b; Psalm 23

2.     The Blessing of Peace of Mind - Philippians 4:6-13
There is no thankfulness without contentment.  For if God has blessed, He has blessed sufficiently.

With Joyful Praise.  v.1

3.     The Blessing of Joy  Psalm 92:1-4
Joy does not come from the circumstances of life but from the concentration of the heart on God.

With Proper Service and Worship. v.2

4.     The Blessing of Giving to God and Others
    II Corinthians 9:8-15
True worship changes our hearts. The heart of God in us expresses itself in the love of God for others and the hands of God for service.

With Natural Thanksgiving.  v.4

5.     The Blessing of Blessing Colossians.3:17
An attitude of gratitude reminds us of God’s everyday provision for our lives.

We Give Thanks for the Character of Our God v.5

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