Lesson from Blind Bartimaeus – Don’t change your prayer

In Mark 10:46-52, Blind Bartimaeus received his sight miraculously by Jesus. Bible tells us in Mark 10:46 that Jesus was leaving the City of Jericho with his disciples followed by a huge crowd. Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging. He must have heard about Jesus as a healer from others so when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he shouted “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd and the disciples rebuked him and asked him to be quiet but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Many of us must have heard about Jesus – As a miraculous healer, a great preacher, Son of God, Or a righteous man. What do you think who Jesus is? Is your understanding about Jesus based on what you have heard from others or on the evidence of your own personal experience. Bartimaeus heard from others that Jesus was a miraculous healer but his own faith led him to believe that Jesus was the messiah and the son of David who had come to fulfill the prophesy. He was awaiting eagerly to meet Jesus and when he heard the crowd passing by and came to know that Jesus was there in their midst, he couldn’t stop himself but shouted, “Son of David, have mercy on me”. The disciples were in a hurry to leave Jericho so they tried to stop the him but the beggar kept saying, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Are you facing some sort of persecution because of your faith? Does it seem that everyone has left you and there is no one with you? How do you handle adverse situations that seem to appear every now and then? Is someone trying to change your focus and your prayer? Bartimaeus was being ridiculed by the disciples and the crowd tried hard to stop him to call Jesus. Bartimaeus could have felt discouraged and stopped his prayer but he had full faith in Jesus and instead of getting disheartened, he shouted all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me”.

Is there something that is trying to steal your faith and change your prayer. Just one more time shout, all the more louder, And the one who helped Bartimaeus will come at your cry to rescue you.

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Use your talents or lose them

In Matthew 25: 14, Jesus explains the secret of the Kingdom of God by using a parable. The parable talks about three servants whose master was going on a journey. Before the master set out on the journey, he called his servants and gave each one of them talents according to their ability and then left. After a long time the master was back and called out the servants to take an account of what they had done with the talents. The servant who was given 5 talents earned 5 more and the master commended him. The one with 2 talents earned 2 more and likewise, the master commended his hard work. The servant who was given one talent didn’t earn anything. All he did was to hide the talent in the ground. When the master called him in, he just returned the talent to the master. The master was angry and rebuked this servant.

The man who received one talent knew very well  the nature of his master since he said “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

How often we know what to do with what we have but instead of simply obeying the commands of the master we give priority to our own emotions and feelings and run after our own thoughts. The servant with one talent did the same thing. Bible says He was afraid of the master. The master was in-fact a righteous man who highly valued his treasure and possessions. He knew the value of the talents he had given to his servants and he expected that his servants would appreciate and value the talents, just as he did. Not only so, the master had never designed the talents to be buried or to be hidden from others. The master wants the talents to  used and shared with others.

The servant with one talent told the master that he was afraid of him. The servant was afraid because he actually didn’t know the master. He never loved the master the way other servants did. Bible says that perfect love drives out all fears. Love develops by spending time in the presence of the Lord and not just listening about HIM master from others. The servant with one talent must have heard that his master was harsh but never cultivated the habit to spend time to know why the master was harsh with his possessions. His ignorance and fear turned into laziness and all ended up hiding his talents.

Are we using our talents? Are we afraid of God or totally ignorant of his existence?  May be our heart tell us that there is God but our thoughts don’t want to submit to HIS authority? Is our knowledge about the son of God is limited to what we have heard from others? Have we spent enough time to dig out the reasons why He is the way He is?  Are we using our talents in the right direction or just burying and hiding them from others since we are afraid to bring them to light.

Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Let’s submit our thoughts, emotions, fear and knowledge to God and ask him to ignite passion in us so that we value our talents and use them for his glory.

May the master be pleased with the works of our hands and commend us by saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Use the right key to unlock the treasure

Psalmist says in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” and in Psalm 35:27, “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

The Lord has given us keys to the vast treasure of his blessings both in worldly and in spiritual realm, that is “Delight yourself in the Lord.”

Delight:

  • In the works of God’s hands by acknowledging, praising and worshipping Him.
  • In the time he has given you by spending time in his powerful presence and not wasting it.
  • In the family the Lord has given by thanking for the family members.
  •  In the job the Lord has given by trying to do your best.
  •  In the life the Lord has given by listening to the voice of the Lord and reading from his word.

The men or women who have made up their minds to delight in the Lord (even though sometimes its hard to do so) are filled with a unique joy and peace that bring purpose and meaning to their own works. The Lord gives you back exactly what you have given to him in the same measure you have used.

The Lord’s blessings are unique and each one has specific requirements. When you delight in the works of the Lord’s hands, the Lord brings prosperity to the works of your hands. When you delight in spending time with the Lord, the Lord blesses you with long life. When you delight in your family and thank God for them, the Lord adds new relations in your life…Bringing spouse to the single and children to married couples. When you delight in the little money God has given you by thanking and tithe giving, The Lord blesses and multiplies your wealth and material possessions.

The Lord has indeed given us a secret to fulfill the desires of our heart. If we are faithful with what we have and thank God, HE will certainly multiply our blessings.

What are you waiting for? Is it spouse or a new job? prosperity in the business or happiness and joy in life?. Unlock the hidden treasure that is found in delighting yourself in the Lord. And before you know you will be filled with abundance of blessings both in this world and the world to come.

The powerful gifts of the Spirit

The Gifts of the Spirit are present much more than ever before in these days as the Lord spoke through Prophet Joel in Joel 2:28, “In last days I will pour out my spirit on all people“.

The Spirit that the Lord is outpouring without measure is the same spirit Almighty God used to resurrect Christ. The one who has full faith in Jesus is able to do great works for the glory of Christ through the mighty power of the Spirit.  Spirit is powerful and blessed are those who seek the gifts of the Spirit not for their own edification but to glorify the name that is above all names…JESUS, THE KING OF KINGS.

The ministry of the Spirit is manifold as explained by Paul in 1Corinthians 14. The same spirit distributes different gifts according to the divine will and purpose of God. Some are blessed with the gift of the tongues, some have the power to heal, some preach by the same spirit and some are blessed with the gift of the interpretation of tongues, or discern between different kinds of spirits. The Spirit works through the manifestation of different gifts for the edification and unity of the Church for the glory of Christ.

1. Tongues: The spirit utters mysteries about the powerful works and persona of God that man or woman cannot grasp through human  mind nor speak in worldly languages. Under the influence of the spirit, human tongue utters unknown and unsearchable mysteries that bring glory to God. Gift of tongues is a powerful manifestation of the work of the Spirit. Those who have been blessed with the gift of tongues use it for their own edification and are filled with much power when the spirit controls them to speak spiritual mysteries in unknown tongues.

2. Interpretation of tongues: Interpretation of the tongues bring meaning to the revealed mysteries about most high God and his son Jesus Christ. As Paul says Those who have the gift of tongues should pray for the gift of the interpretation too as the one speaking in tongues edifies his/her spirit but the one who interprets edifies the whole congregation.

3. Healing: Jesus healed multitude during his ministry here on earth. Jesus who said “You will do greater work than these” gives the power of healing to the believers. Healing works through by prayer, fasting, worshipping, singing in the presence of the Lord, tithe giving, and forgiving others. The Lord’s gift of healing not only brings physical healing but also emotional and spiritual deliverance. God uses man and woman in all generation to use the gift of healing for his own glory.

4. Driving demons: Jesus has given authority to the believers to drive out demons . As Paul said that our war is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers of this dark age. A child of God who spends time in the presence of the Lord becomes sensitive to the presence of the demons and the work of devil. Since no one among us is prefect, the moment a child of God is aware of any demonic attack on him/her or on others, an urgent action should be taken. Prayers in faith with fasting bring deliverance in Jesus name.

5. Prophesy and the gift of encouraging others: Paul wrote letters to different Churches while he was still in the jail. A child of God is powerful in the spirit all the time irrespective of where he is or how much/little he has. Since the Lord is same, he can us anyone for his glory at any time. Let’s be prepared in season and out of season to speak the mighty word of God for the encouragement of others.

The Spirit works in myriad ways among believers to bring glory to God. Are you filled with the Holy spirit? Do you have gifts or the Spirit? Are you eagerly seeking them? The answer lies in following Christ. God, the heavenly father has already given us his son Jesus…the source of all blessings, will he not also add the gifts of the Spirit to our blessings. He will…for HIS own glory.

If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away

Jesus says in Matthew 5:29-30 “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell”.

The Prince of Peace is empowering his people by his divine word to destroy sin at the very moment it become apparent. An urgent action is required so that the act of the sinful nature may not bear any fruit.

The Lord is asking his people to:

  • Become violent and not be at peace until the sin is thrown out completely.
  •  Acknowledge that sin exists and sinful nature is predominant in the members of our body.
  •  The greatest lose is to get lost in hell for eternity and the greatest gain is the salvation that has come down through Jesus. Guard your salvation.
  •  The power is within you to resist temptation.
  • Work on a double action strategy against temptation to commit sin – not just take it out but to destroy it completely by throwing it away.
  •  The members of your body are blessed and it is your duty to retain its blessedness by being aware of the urge to sin.
  •  Become diligent and vigilant for our fight is with indwelling sinful nature.

Is it that easy to resist temptation and come out clean every time we are tempted. Not at all, but by the power of the Holy Spirit all things are possible. A vigilant child of God who has made up his mind to say NO to temptation is greatly helped by the Holy Spirit in his moment of weakness. Jesus would have never commanded his people “to cut out and throw away” if the power had not been granted us to do so. What the Lord simply asking his people is to be vigilant and be sensitive to the slightest and dimmest voice of the temptation. It’s not easy to become sensitive in a day or two but by spending time in the presence of the Lord and learning from his word bring a special gift of discernment that helps us to know what is good and evil in the sight of the Lord.

Sin is ugly in its slightest form. If we keep accepting and recommending small and petty forms of sinful nature, one day the sensitivity to sin would disappear completely. World is indeed changing and the definitions are changing their meanings but sin remains sinful in all ages and generations. Sin is present much more than even before today….Are we sensitive enough to its slightest presence and firm enough to take it out and throw it away as per the Lord’s command?