Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lessons from the Sabbatical--October 6, 2013

Today was our first Sunday away from our church while on Sabbatical, so we took the opportunity to visit another church plant in Vermont. We have friends that began their church plant about 2 years after we started ours in Northfield. It is only through church planting that we know each other, but this family is very dear to us. They understand fully how difficult it can be to start things from the ground up, how resistant towns can be to the presence of a Baptist church in their area, how much time goes into the endeavor, and how hard it can be to be away from family.

It was interesting that today’s sermon was in Mark 10, because Trey had just preached on that chapter just two weeks ago at our church. Towards the end of the sermon, Brian pointed out that Jesus’ question for blind Bartimaeus is the same question he asks of James and John just a few verses prior: “What do you want Me to do for you?” The answer, of course, was completely different for the individuals.
You will remember that earlier, James and John were levying for position in Heaven. When Jesus asked them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” they responded by asking for prime spots next to Jesus in Heaven. When Jesus asks the same question of Bartimaeus, the request was that his sight be returned. Jesus immediately answered Bartimaeus, but James and John got a lesson instead.
I started thinking past motive for both parties and instead started thinking of other aspects of the requests. James and John were asking for a future perceived need to be fulfilled, totally overlooking the current condition of their hearts. Bartimaeus was asking for a current real need, and although he could have asked for anything (money, comfort, position), he pinpointed his true need: blindness. Money would have kept him from begging, but it wouldn’t have healed him. Position could have given him honor, but it wouldn’t give him his sight. No, Bartimaeus knew his deepest need, and Jesus healed him on the spot.
So many times I am faced with what to ask of Jesus. I bring my laundry list of intercessions and supplications, all good things, but I neglect my deepest need. I need Jesus, plain and simple.
With that, here’s my lesson: Start by asking Jesus for more of Him. And when He answers you, do as Bartimaeus did in Mark 10:52 and follow Him on the road.

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