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Thursday, October 18, 2018

God Wants to Take Me Deeper in Faith

In review of Mark 10:52 it says, ”And Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road” (NASB).

Today’s verse comes from Mark 10:46-52 where Jesus heals a blind beggar. A large crowd followed Jesus as he and his disciples left town. Sitting beside the road was a blind beggar name Bartimaeus. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" The crowd yelled at him to be quiet, but he only shouted louder. When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, "tell him to come here." So they called him, told him to "cheer up", for Jesus is calling you. Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. Jesus asked, "what do you want me to do for you? My Rabbi, the blind man said, "I want to see!" Jesus said to him, "Go, for your faith has healed you." Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah. It was his faith in Jesus as the Messiah that brought about his healing. This story does not indicate how long Bartimaeus had been blind, but it only took a moment for him to decide to call on Jesus for help. Although many could see physically, they could not see the truth about Jesus. But blind Bartimaeus heard the report that Jesus was coming and boldly cried out.

In coming to Jesus, I also need Bartimaeus’ boldness. I must overcome any of my hiding of my thoughts and doubts and take the step to call on him. Bartimaeus had not seen Jesus' miracles, but he responded in faith to what he heard. May I be like those of whom Peter had wrote, "You love him even though you have never seen him.” Though I do not see him now, I trust him; and I rejoice with a glorious inexpressible joy.

Today I need to consider what next step I need to take, but I have one. God will never be finished taking me deeper in faith. There is always a next step.

If I don’t take the next step, I’ll end up getting stuck in a rut, and the only difference between a grave and a rut is the length. If I don’t move forward in faith, I will die. My heart will grow cold, and I will feel more distant from God. He isn’t going to help me with steps two, three, four, and five until I take step one. If I find myself asking God to help me with something, he’s asking me, “Why haven’t you done what I’ve already told you to do?” I may have been “aiming” to do something. It’s time to stop aiming and pull the trigger.

Before Bartimaeus met Jesus, he was sitting beside the road, a blind man begging for handouts. After he received his sight from the Lord, he “began following [Jesus] on the road” (Mark 10:52 NASB). Which of those two phrases describes my life: sitting beside the road or following Jesus on the road? Which of those two lifestyles do I think is more fulfilling? Which do I think has more joy, more meaning, and more satisfaction? Which one do I want to represent my life?

There’s only one way to follow Jesus on the road: Take the next step.

Faith is more than believing. Faith is more than thinking, talking, or having convictions about Jesus. Faith is action. It is movement; it is activity. Faith is something I do. In fact, the Bible says in James 2:14, “If people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing” (NCV).

Where do I get the faith to begin a fresh start? There’s only one source: Jesus Christ.

Everything that we have, right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:30 The Message). Bartimaeus had no idea that Jesus Christ was going to pass his way that day. To him, it was just another day. But God gave him an unexpected opportunity that offered him a fresh start. God is giving me the same opportunity. Don’t miss it. Take my next step of faith before the opportunity passes by.

Bottom Line:
Your faith in Jesus is what immediately makes you well. Follow him.

What this means to me:
My faith in Jesus is what heals and makes me right, and he does it immediately based on my faith. He will continue to do so as I follow him.

Today I pray, “Father, I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you are for me and that you didn’t send Jesus to condemn me but to save me. I confess that I have sinned against you, and I admit I need Jesus as my Savior. I want a relationship with Jesus. I want to follow him and do the things he tells me to do. I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups. I ask you to save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet. And I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you and be in your family forever. In your name I pray, amen.”

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