Focus momento 12/28/17

El silencio, la quietud, y centrado ante Dios (2 minutos) 

Oración por la presencia 

Señor Jesús, en este momento de oración,  me libera de las distracciones del día para que yo pueda estar profundamente presente a usted y a mí, por el bien del mundo que me rodea.

1 Juan 5:14 Ahora, esta es la confianza que tenemos delante de él: Si le pedimos algo según su voluntad, él nos oye. 15 Y si sabemos que él escucha lo que pedimos, sabemos que tenemos lo que le hemos pedido. Mms

Dios nos ha hecho una gran promesa. Si pedimos algo que es conforme a su voluntad, él nos responda. Esa promesa parece casi demasiado bueno para ser verdad, pero es en la Palabra de Dios. Dios oye y contesta la oración.

“Entonces ¿por qué no han sido contestadas todas mis oraciones?”, usted podría preguntar. Puede haber varias razones por las que algunas oraciones no son contestadas y en los próximos días vamos a estudiar muchos de ellos. Hoy vamos a considerar la necesidad de orar según la voluntad de Dios.

La Biblia dice: “…si le pedimos algo según su voluntad, él nos oye.” Robert Ley dijo una vez:

“La oración es un poderoso instrumento para la obtención de la voluntad del hombre hecha en el cielo,
Pero para conseguir hacer la voluntad de Dios en la tierra”.

En primer lugar tenemos que comprender que el propósito de la oración no es para informar a Dios de lo que debe hacerse. Jesús dice que nuestro Padre celestial sabe lo que necesitamos, incluso antes de que nos pregunte. (Ver Mt 6:8) también necesitamos entender que el propósito de la oración no es para manipular a Dios hacer nuestra voluntad. Jesús instruyó a sus discípulos a orar: “Venga tu reino, hágase tu voluntad.” Es lamentable que muchos pastores enseñan a las personas equivocadas que si tienen suficiente fe, pueden hacer que Dios haga nada.

Si Dios ya sabe lo que necesitamos y si sólo se va a actuar de acuerdo a su propia voluntad predeterminada, para qué molestarnos en orar? Debemos orar porque a menudo es a través de nuestra oración que Dios es capaz de guiar y enseñarnos lo que es correcto. Considere el ejemplo del apóstol Pablo.

2 Corintios 12:7 … una espina en la carne fue dado a mí, un mensajero de Satanás para atormentar a mí así que no exaltan a mí mismo. 8 a este respecto, me suplicó al Señor tres veces que se quite de mí. 9 Pero él me dijo, “Mi gracia te basta, que el poder se perfecciona en la debilidad.” Por lo tanto, haré más encantado presumir de tener las más acerca de mis debilidades, así que el poder de Cristo puede residir en mí. Mms

En primer lugar Pablo oró para que el señor quite su aguijón. Tres veces Pablo rogó encarecidamente por su liberación. Pero mientras oraba, el Señor comenzó a revelar a él que existe un propósito divino para su aguijón. Fue a través de su espina que el Señor vendría a ser glorificado por su gracia suficiente.

La oración no cambia las circunstancias de Pablo. La oración ha cambiado la forma en que Pablo consideraba su circunstancia.

2 Corintios 12:10 Así por Cristo, me complazco en las debilidades, en insultos, en las catástrofes, en las persecuciones y en las presiones. Porque cuando soy débil, entonces es cuando soy fuerte. Mms

Oración ayudó a Pablo a abrazar sus circunstancias y para exaltar su Salvador a través de ellos.

Quizás hay una gran necesidad en tu vida y tu no sabes si deberías rezar, o cómo debe orar. Permítanme compartir con ustedes algunos de los principios que he aprendido cuando en una situación similar:

  1. Comenzar por ser abierto y honesto con Dios. Compartir con Dios todo lo que hay en tu corazón.
  2. Continuar orando hasta que reciba la respuesta de Dios a sus oraciones.

No consideran que su silencio para ser una indicación de que él no está escuchando. Más bien, en los tiempos de silencio, escuchar sus todavía pequeña voz. Bien puede ser que a través de esos íntimos momentos de oración desesperada, usted será capaz de ver y entender las cosas de Dios que podría no tener otra cosa.

  1. Una vez que Dios responde a sus oraciones y comienza a revelar su voluntad, elija su voluntad sobre su propia.

Considere estas palabras de James –

Santiago 1:5 Si alguno de vosotros tiene falta de sabiduría, demándela á Dios, el cual da a todos abundantemente y sin criticar, y será dado a él. 6 Pero pida con fe, sin dudar. Para el doubter es como la oleada del mar, impulsada por el viento y echada. 7 Que la persona no debe esperar recibir nada del Señor. 8 Un hombre indeciso es inestable en todos sus caminos. Mms

Dios es sólo va a contestar las oraciones que están de acuerdo con su voluntad y sólo se le va a revelar su voluntad a aquellos que verdaderamente lo desean.

Por Terry devocional Covey

Espacio para la reflexión (tomar 2-3 minutos de silencio o escribir tus pensamientos u oraciones del pasaje de las escrituras o devocional 

La oración del Señor 

Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre, Venga a nosotros tu reino, hágase tu voluntad en la tierra como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día. Y perdónanos nuestras deudas, como también nosotros perdonamos á nuestros deudores. Y que no caigamos en la tentación, y líbranos del mal.

Concluir con el silencio (2 minutos)

 

Focus Moment – 3/6/17

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Silence and Centering

“But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

Confession:

Merciful God, we remember that Your Son was tempted in the desert as we are, and yet He won the victory over sin. And now, because of His victory, we have hope that we too can be victorious over the temptations we face in life. There are times when we feel weak, and we do things that we should not have done, and there are times when we leave undone many things we should have done.

We have failed to love You with our whole heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We try to make excuses for our actions, but there is no excuse for giving in to temptation. Lord, grant us the strength and courage we need to overcome our weaknesses so that one day we can stand before You and hear You say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” We ask these things in the Name of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

“…If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21

In chapters 17-19 of the book of 1 Kings, we see the people of God choosing to disobey God’s commandments as they worshiped false gods.  As a result, God brought upon them a severe drought, lasting three years. Instead of repenting of their sin, and seeking the Lord for His mercy and healing (cf. 2 Chronicles 7:14), they chose to shift their focus on worshiping one specific false god—Baal.  Baal was thought to be a weather god, and they were in desperate need of rain.

The people were attempting to worship both God and Baal to secure the maximum advantage of both. It was at this point when the prophet Elijah came asked the people, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word (1 Kings 18:21). Elijah was telling them; they needed to make a decision—Yahweh or Baal.

When we look back in hindsight we usually have a distinct advantage—we can see the mistakes and good decisions of those before us. If we are wise, we will glean from all of these decisions and plot our proper course.  But this doesn’t always happen.  There are many today who are making the same mistakes these worshipers of Baal were doing. It may not be Baal anymore, but it is the god of mammon (money & material possessions).

But Jesus warned His followers to guard themselves against the temptation to do this.  We are not to place our priorities on gaining wealth, or even on obtaining the basic material possessions needed to survive—we are to be doing something much more valuable—seeking God’s kingdom, and His righteousness. The truth is, by seeking God and by being committed in doing what He has commanded us to do; we will be given our physical necessities as well (Matt. 6:25-33).

“Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?’ or “What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt. 6:31-33 (NKJV)

I think this can be hard for us to comprehend or to believe in at times, so we can find ourselves worrying needlessly—placing a greater emphasis on our daily bread and financial security than living for God and trusting in His provisions.  In essence, we are faltering (hesitating) between two opinions. Let’s guard ourselves against this temptation.

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these truths today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to Matthew 6:31-33 what does Jesus tell us about prioritizing our daily needs versus seeking the Kingdom and His righteousness?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you faltering between trying to provide for your daily needs and seeking the kingdom of God, and doing His righteousness?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord, His word, and then make it your priority to abide in it, and then trust Him for your needs. 

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your provisions for my life.  I am sorry for the times I have faltered between serving mammon and You. Help me to see Your will for my life today.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

2 Minutes of SILENT PRAYER & REFLECTION.

Devotional By Scott Wright

Focus Moment – Feb. 16, 2017

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Silence and Centering

“But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

Confession:

Gracious Lord, our efforts at being faithful seem to produce mixed results. Sometimes we do what is right and the result is pain and suffering. Other times we turn our back on what is right and things seem to go just fine. Faithful living is confusing to us. Forgive us when we are faithful just to gain an advantage. Forgive us when we reject faithful living because we can’t see any advantage. Have mercy on us, we pray, and help us to love you so deeply that the only desire of our heart is to honor you with our lives, no matter what the outcome. We ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (v. 17).

– James 1:12–18

Today we will be considering divine goodness. Our Lord’s goodness is one of the most frequently mentioned divine attributes in Scripture, but it is also one that is all too often misunderstood. Therefore, it is vital for us to remember that divine goodness, like God’s other attributes, cannot be considered in isolation. God will never exercise His goodness in any way that would cause Him to set aside another of His attributes.

As a divine attribute, goodness is first a description of God’s essential character. It means that the Lord is not evil, that He does not love sin and, indeed, cannot even be tempted with evil (v. 13). In this way, it is synonymous with some aspects of what we typically call divine holiness, which refers both to God’s being set apart from everything else and to His moral character. Divine goodness is also closely connected to divine justice. Goodness abhors evil, so punishing evil is intrinsic to what it means for God to be good and just (Ex. 34:6–7). The Lord forbids human judges from perverting justice (23:2, 6), and that is not surprising because all His ways are just (Deut. 32:4). Consequently, divine wrath in the service of divine justice is one way in which God manifests His goodness to His creation.

Our Creator shows goodness in other ways as well. First, the Lord reveals His goodness in His benevolence to His creation. God’s benevolence is the kindness the Lord bestows on all people, and includes such things as His giving rain to both the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45b). God has a specific love only for believers, and by this love He works out all things for the good of His people (John 1:12–13Rom. 8:28). His benevolence, however, is a more generalized display of goodness that is not the love that leads to salvation.

God’s special love for His people also manifests His goodness. This love is a holy love, which means that our sins are punished, but they are punished in Christ, who is the propitiation for our sins (Rom. 3:21–26). In saving us, God does not set aside His love for what is good and His hatred for what is evil, but He judges us in Christ so as to save us without compromising His justice. In His holy love, God also disciplines us for our good and His glory (Heb. 12:5–11).

Finally, God’s mercy flows from His goodness. The Lord would still be good even if He never showed mercy, for mercy is not obligated (Rom. 9:14–24). Yet in His mercy to us, we see that He has purposed to be good in a special way to His people.

God’s love is not a wishy-washy love that overlooks evil. Even in His love, God manifests His justice. He does not love sinners without dealing with their sin, and if we are in Christ, our sin has been dealt with in our Savior’s atonement. Let us proclaim all aspects of God’s goodness and call people to repent so that they will receive God’s goodness and His mercy.

2 Minutes of SILENT PRAYER & REFLECTION.

Devotional By Ligonier Ministries

Focus Moment – Feb. 11, 2017

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Silence and Centering

“Be still, and know that I am God!- Psalm 46:10

CONFESSION Prayers

Lord God, You are the perfect Creator, and You tell us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We confess that our pride prevents us from believing this truth.

We question your craftsmanship and often wish that you had made us a different way.  Heal us of this sinful tendency. Help us celebrate how you have made us in your image with perfect purpose and care.

Lord, we know that you call us into your holy service to use our gifts to further Your Kingdom on earth. We confess that we find ourselves using our God-given gifts to further our own agendas instead of yours.

Renew our hearts and strengthen us. Go with us as we do the work you have given each of us to do. In the powerful Name of Christ, Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalms 103:2-5 (NKJV)

Have you ever found yourself not wanting to go to church because you just felt frustrated or bitter?  Maybe it was because you were angry about something or someone and you just didn’t feel like worshipping.  Perhaps you found yourself not wanting to go because you were flat out tired, or maybe even felt beat up due to an overwhelming schedule?

The truth is, all of us can relate to those times, and it can be just about any number of things going on in our lives that keep us from making our way to church.  I have found during these times that if we would simply press forward and make the decision to go to church to hear God’s word being taught — if we’d just spend some much-needed time in prayer and worship — we will usually find ourselves being restored and cleaned up.  Jesus knew we would have times like this, and He knew we would need to come to Him to be refreshed.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

We need to remember that Satan and his emissaries are going to do everything they can to keep us from spending time with Jesus and the family of God.  They know the effect God’s word and spending time with the body of believers can have on us, and if they can get us to focus on our own problems, on someone else, or even our own desires, then we will not be focusing on our Lord.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb. 10:24 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today. Let’s not allow our personal issues to keep us from coming to spend time with other believers in the presence of the Lord. We may find ourselves coming into worship bitter & beat up, or simply fatigued, but we will soon find ourselves leaving totally blessed.  We will find as we seek to worship God in spirit and in truth we will be led to lay down any issues we may have brought in with us, and we will be prepared to allow Him to help us navigate through every trial we face. God wants us to have a perfect peace, and He has provided a way for us to have this peace.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained in this devotional, what can we learn with respect to our coming to the Lord?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to press through any fatigue or bitter feelings to worship the Lord and to seek His will for your life and the situation you may be facing?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let’s decide to make spending time with the Lord our priority — both alone and with the body of believers.  Let’s choose to push through those times we may feel beat up or fatigued and allow Him to minister to us as we worship Him.  Let’s choose to submit to His will for what we are facing and allow Him to deal with it in His perfect way and time.

LET’S MAKE THIS OUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your amazing love for us.  Thank You for refreshing us and ministering to us; especially during those times where we are feeling beat up or fatigued.  Help us to push through the times when we are tempted to skip our time with You Lord.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE 

Devotional By Scott Wright

 

 

 

 

Focus Moment – Feb. 8, 2017

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Silence and Centering

“Be still, and know that I am God!- Psalm 46:10

CONFESSION Prayers

Lord God, You are the perfect Creator, and You tell us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We confess that our pride prevents us from believing this truth.

We question your craftsmanship and often wish that you had made us a different way.  Heal us of this sinful tendency. Help us celebrate how you have made us in your image with perfect purpose and care.

Lord, we know that you call us into your holy service to use our gifts to further Your Kingdom on earth. We confess that we find ourselves using our God-given gifts to further our own agendas instead of yours.

Renew our hearts and strengthen us. Go with us as we do the work you have given each of us to do. In the powerful Name of Christ, Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Raise your eyes now, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.’”

Genesis 13:14-15

God forms us as leaders in a wide variety of ways. Through Scripture and the Spirit, through challenges and community, through suffering and blessing, God shapes our hearts, minds, and behaviors so that our leadership might be both effective and honoring to him.

As we saw in yesterday’s Life for Leaders edition, “Gracious, Faithful Leadership,” Abram, who had been so selfish and unwise in his leadership in chapter 12, chooses a different way, the way of graciousness and faithfulness. We wonder what made the difference.

Of course, we don’t know all of what was going on in Abram’s life since his departure from Egypt. But the narrative of Genesis suggests that God’s activity helped to form Abram as a leader. For example, after risking his wife’s dignity by his selfish deception, God ended up delivering Sarai and blessing Abram with significant wealth. The one who had doubted God in Egypt surely felt reassured by God’s power and grace. This reassurance may very well have led Abram to be gracious to Lot and to trust that God would take care of Abram’s material needs.

I’m also struck by what God did after Abram was gracious to Lot. The Lord spoke to him, saying, “Raise your eyes now, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever” (13:14-15). This was an elaboration of the promise God had made to Abram at the beginning of chapter 12. And it comes in the story right after Abram’s decision to allow Lot to take what appears to be the better land. Abram sacrifices, trusting God. God responds by reaffirming and enlarging upon the blessing that will come to Abram and his progeny.

So, in light of this story, how does God shape us as leaders? By pouring out blessing, undeserved blessing, grace upon grace. The more we experience God’s amazing grace in our lives, the more we are able to trust him, the more we are empowered to choose the road of servant leadership rather than self-aggrandizement. Our leadership is based on and shaped by God’s grace, revealed most spectacularly in Jesus Christ, who exercised his leadership by giving his life for us.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Can you think of times when your experience of God’s grace has formed you as a leader?

How is God shaping you and your leadership in these days?

If you really trusted in God’s goodness today, how might your leadership be affected?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, thank you for pouring out your grace upon us. Thank you for your faithfulness that boggles our minds and emboldens our hearts. May our leadership, like that of Abram, be shaped by our experience of your grace. May we receive your gifts with gratitude. May we be gracious in sharing them with others. May we trust you more today, and even more tomorrow. Amen.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENT PRAYER 

Devotional By Mark D. Roberts

FOCUS MOMENT – FEB. 5, 2017

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Silence and Centering

“Be still, and know that I am God!- Psalm 46:10

CONFESSION Prayers

Holy and merciful Father, we confess to you and to one another that we have sinned against you by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart, mind, and strength. We have not fully loved our neighbor as ourselves. We have not always had in us the mind of Christ. You alone know how often we grieve you by wasting Your gifts and by wandering from Your ways.  Forgive us and renew in us the grace and strength of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7 (NKJV)

Most of us have experienced someone giving us their promise, only to have them break it.  Some people do not initially intend to break their promise, and yet there are others who never intended on keeping them from the moment they make them.  In either case, the impact of a broken promise upon us can be the same—we can lose faith in the person who broke their promise, or in the future promises of others in general.

I have witnessed this often when counseling married couples.  And if the damaged faith and trust isn’t restored, the relationship will suffer greatly, or possibly even fail. Satan knows this all too well, and I believe this is why he tries very hard to get us to focus on the lie and the offense, rather than on the truth and promises of God. This is why one of the first things I will do in a counseling session is to get the offended person’s mind off of the offense and the offender, and get their mind back on the Lord—encouraging them to submit to His will for their life.

Ironically, the next thing I will do with those whose faith has been shattered because of untruths is to give them a promise from God—one with a 100% guarantee to build their hope and faith again.  I will tell them, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7).

I think this set of scriptures is very powerful, because it comes with a promise, and a responsibility on our behalf.  We are to totally trust God—even when we don’t understand how everything is going to work out.  Next, we are to stop trying to be wise in our own eyes.  This means we need to ask God for His wisdom (James 1:2-4), and then be committed to doing what He has told us to do within His word (cf. Romans 12:2).  If we do this He has promised to direct our paths.  This simply means He will guide us through every valley and trial.

The way I see it, faith is a funny thing, in that it is sort of like a muscle—if it is going to grow, it will need to be exercised, which will require us to go through various trials and tests. And it will require for us to trust in the promises of God.  As we choose to trust in Him we will be rewarded with a perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

I want to encourage you to trust in these truths today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to Proverbs 3:5-7, what are we told to do, and what is the promise given to us if we will do this?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to place your trust in God, regardless of the broken promises you have experienced from others?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: If you have trusted God for your very soul, shouldn’t you continue to trust Him with your day-to-day life?

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for being faithful to me in every aspect of my life.  I choose to place my trust in You today, and lean not upon my own understanding. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENT PRAYER 

Devotional By Scott Wright

Focus Moment – Feb. 3, 2017

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Silence and Centering

“Be still, and know that I am God!- Psalm 46:10

CONFESSION Prayers

Holy and merciful Father, we confess to you and to one another that we have sinned against you by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart, mind, and strength. We have not fully loved our neighbor as ourselves. We have not always had in us the mind of Christ. You alone know how often we grieve you by wasting Your gifts and by wandering from Your ways.  Forgive us and renew in us the grace and strength of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Mark 10:46-48

I’m one of those people who are genetically wired not to ask for help. If I’m in a hardware store, for example, looking for an unusual pipe fitting, and an employee asks me, “Can I help you find something?” though my answer should be, “Yes, please,” I tend to say something like “No, thanks. I’m doing fine.” Then I waste a half hour trying to find the piece that could have been located in two minutes. I don’t know exactly why I have a hard time asking for assistance. Probably some strange combination of pride, insecurity, and the feeling that my well-being depends on my having all the answers to everything.

When I read the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52, I am filled with admiration and a bit of envy. Here is this “blind man . . . sitting by the roadside begging” (10:46). Apparently, he had no other way to make a living besides asking for handouts. I can only imagine how difficult this must have been for his sense of wellbeing. One day, Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road where Bartimaeus sat. When he learned that Jesus, about whom he had heard great things, was passing by, Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (10:47).

This boldness impresses me. But Bartimaeus was just getting started. Even when the people around him told him to quiet down, he “shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (10:48). Bartimaeus sensed that Jesus alone had the power to set him free from his blindness and he wasn’t going to throw away his shot at healing.

Do you ever speak to Jesus as Bartimaeus did? Are there times in your life when you cry out with boldness to the Lord, even desperation? Or are you more like me in a hardware store, pretending as if you have it all together?

Scripture invites us to be like Bartimaeus when we pray. In Hebrews 4:15-16 we read, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” The NIV translation encourages us to approach God’s throne with “confidence.” The original Greek could be rendered more accurately as “boldness” (like the NRSV). The Greek word behind this translation is parresia, which literally meant “freedom of speech” and was often used to describe the bold speech of philosophers who challenged the status quo. The point is that we can tell God everything, without holding back.

Do you need boldness before God today? Do you need the freedom to cry out as Bartimaeus once did to Jesus? God invites you to come before him, not with cowering, not with the guise of self-assurance, but with boldness and freedom. God will, indeed, have mercy on you.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Are you the sort of person who finds it easy to ask for help? Or are you more like me? What does this say about you? Why do you think you are the way you are?

How about in your prayers? Can you speak freely to God? Can you pray with boldness? Why or why not?

If you felt free to say anything to the Lord today, what would you say? Are there requests and desires that you need to offer to God in prayer?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, how I thank you for this story in Mark. I’m so impressed by the boldness of Bartimaeus. You know how much I am not like him, even in my prayers. So often I hold back, fearful to say to you what is truly in my heart. Forgive me, Lord, for my reticence.

Give me, I pray, new confidence in you, yes, indeed, new boldness. Help me to offer to you all that is in my heart, even those things I tend to hide. May I confess my true sins and ask for forgiveness. May I offer my deepest desires and hopes.

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENT PRAYER 

Devotional By Mark D. Roberts