Blind, poor and relationship problems?

We had a substitute Pastor today (October 22, 2017 at Pirateland, Myrtle Beach, SC). He didn’t actually name the sermon from Mark 10:46-52 this but it is the best I can do. Although the heading in my Bible says, “Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight.” It spoke volumes to me.

The sermon was written and delivered by Dr. Richard McLawhorn. Click here for the full sermon text Mark 10:46-52, which is also below by verses. This story paints two pictures.  One picture is of the crowd that day. The other is the compassion of Jesus.

The first picture – Jesus is on his last journey to Jerusalem. Calvary is only a week away. Jesus’ popularity is at an all time high. The crowds are out in full force to see him. There was no shortage of people wanting to be healed. They wanted to see this man who performed miracles. They just wanted to see what the excitement was about.

And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd….

It was a great crowd. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve been around a great crowd, I also noticed a great noise.

Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Do you think his voice rose above the crowd? He was a blind man, a poor man, a beggar on the side of the road.

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Talk about relationship problems! There was no one to help him, like the paralyzed man who had friends bring him see Jesus. But there was no way for them to get him close to Jesus, so they took him to a roof top and lowered him to be near Jesus!

And now, we see a picture of Jesus, full of compassion:

And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; He is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.

Wow, how would you respond if Jesus stopped and called out to you? Would you throw off probably your only possession, in his case, his cloak?

And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.

That’s all our Lord wants, for us to tell Him what we want Him to do for us. And to believe He will provide. Now, the text only says his sight was restored. He was still poor, still a beggar and I am sure the crowds weren’t going to suddenly be his friends, although, they at least did help him out in the end!

The sermon went on to remind us of who were are:

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

And then powerfully,

….Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart….Ecclesiastes 3:11

How can we not long for more? We can only obtain that which is set in our hearts by a personal relationship with the Lord.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

I love the example the Pastor then gave. We all know about cholesterol, right? That’s been my husband’s nemesis since 2003. What we’ve only recently learned is that too much of the bad cholesterol slows the blood flow to the heart. We all have cholesterol and we can’t live without it. It’s when it builds up that it causes heart attacks and heart disease. Sin is the same way. We all have it. But when we don’t do anything about it, it builds up and we are miserable. We are seeking something and sadly, many turn to drugs, illicit sex, pornography, over eating, whatever to fill that need in our hearts for eternal life with our Lord! It’s so simple to fix:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

The Pastor reminded us he has been told by many that their sin is too great, that God could never forgive them. His reply, “My God has a bigger eraser.” The whole reason Jesus came to the earth, suffered the crucification was for all to be forgiven and to have life eternal. But we MUST believe. We must have faith. We must call out to Jesus!

If you want to know more about how to call out to Jesus and how to be saved, here is a link to a Billy Graham site on the four simple steps. Please let me know if you want to know more if you don’t want to go there….and if you do go there, please also let me know! It’s my prayer to see all I come in contact with to know the healing power of my Lord and Savior. He has done so much healing in my life….but I am still a work in progress. Once we meet Him, we are like the poor, blind beggar. He healed one thing, but now the man has to learn how to live like a seeing man!

______________________________________

I’ve never been so inspired to write such a “fast” blog post. My day this morning was primed for when I went to church. Then this simple but powerful sermon.

After my daily Bible reading and devotional (a short one from Brennan Manning’s 10 day devotional, Ragamuffin Gospel), I read a favorite blogger’s post, “Am I listening?” I attended church. You guessed it, I was really listening today….

We came home from church to have breakfast. I turned on The Message station on Sirus XM. “Creed” was playing, by Rich Mullins. I’ve “heard” it so many times (but was I really listening?); it was my husband who said, “He’s singing the Apostles Creed!” Then I asked if he knew Rich Mullins had died in a tragic car accident. He didn’t so I looked up his brief life story (sadly, used wikipedia – but it nailed it) and read it to my husband. As an aside, Rich Mullins was inspired by the 1990 book, Ragamuffin Gospel….This does tie together!

Wow, what a wonderful life Rich Mullins lived. Although I knew much of his life story, to see it capsulized on the web was powerful. Of course, you know that source is not always the most reliable. While it posts lots of great facts, it seems it also posts the worst things it can find about any conservative and Christian I’ve noticed. Let me digress….

Our former Pastor in Sebring did one thing at funerals I really appreciated. I’ve been part of the grieving family when the Pastor comes to visit and minister to the family in their grief. In fact, this has happened to me five times. As the Pastors minister to us as a family, he is also gathers information for the service. Did you know this? I didn’t realize it at the first few funerals. Anyway, our Sebring Pastor would say, “I don’t want to just hear all the good, I want to hear about their weaknesses, their life struggles.” After all, he says no one is perfect. And how many times do we hear what a saint people are after their deaths? It is good to focus on the good, but it’s nice to also balance it out a bit. He performed the service for my husband’s dear aunt soon after we moved to Sebring, Florida. He has a way of really painting a picture of the persons life that resonated with me and still does. And Wikipedia sort of did this with Rich’s life….

Rich was an amazing man. There is no doubt he loved the Lord. His praise and worship music helped shape the way many of us now worship the Lord in Contemporary services. He attend Bible College after high school. He said music was a hobby but as a youth pastor, he also began to lead the worship. In three short years, he saw how music affects the youth – he decided to go into music full time. And you might say, now you know the rest of the story. But it’s not. He kept looking for ways to serve the Lord. He was very generous and chose to live practically like a pauper while his fame and fortune was poured back into his church and his favorite ministries.

At one point in his life, he made a stark confession that really saddens me. Let me quote from Wikipedia – although I hate to give them more clicks – go to his website for the rest of his story.

“Mullins’ start in the industry occurred in the summer of 1981 when Amy Grant recorded his song “Sing Your Praise to the Lord.”The decision was made to stop touring as (in the band) “Zion,” and for Mullins to start his solo career. He moved to Bellsburg, Tennessee, approximately 45 minutes from Nashville, to begin his professional recording career. Mullins got engaged sometime between the late 70s and early 80s, and wrote the song “Doubly Good to You” (recorded by Amy Grant on her album Straight Ahead) for his upcoming wedding. However, his fiancée broke off the engagement in 1982. In response to the breakup, Mullins wrote “Damascus Road”.

“Years later, Mullins shared thoughts about his relationships and personal life in a radio interview with Rick Tarrant:

I would always be frustrated with all those relationships even when I was engaged. I had a ten-year thing with this girl and I would often wonder why, even in those most intimate moments of our relationship, I would still feel really lonely. And it was just a few years ago that I finally realized that friendship is not a remedy for loneliness. Loneliness is a part of our experience and if we are looking for relief from loneliness in friendship, we are only going to frustrate the friendship. Friendship, camaraderie, intimacy, all those things, and loneliness live together in the same experience.

The purpose of the sermon today was to not only offer salvation to anyone who didn’t know the Lord, or have a personal relationship with our Living God and Savior. BUT also for us to not live a lonely life, to be isolated, to not have any meaningful relationships. So many of us try to handle life alone. To handle our problems alone.

He quoted Charles Spurgeon “I have a great need for Christ. And I have a GREAT Christ for my need! And finally, the call from our Lord to all of us:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s