Daily Encourager is a weekly inspirational publication founded by David Langerfeld with the aim of encouraging and exhorting the body of Christ.
Is your life predictable? Do you do the same thing, day after day? Do you feel as though 2014 will be just as dull and monotonous as 2013? There is a wonderful passage that shows us a practical example of how one man changed his life. It outlines for you the ABC’s of how to change your life.
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the 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!”  Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”  Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.  “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”  “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
From this passage, we can discover the ABC’s to help us change our lives…
A- Assume Responsibility For Your Own Life!
When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (v.47)
We live in a generation that tries to blame someone else for its problems.
Teenagers blame their parents,
Parents blame their children,
Workers blame their co-workers or their boss.
Things happen that you can’t control – but you can control your response.
Let me repeat that. Things happen that you can’t control – but you can control your response. I hear people say all the time… “He makes me so mad” or “She makes me so mad.” Nobody can make you mad. You’re the only person who can make you mad. People can do things that upset you, things you don’t like, things that hurt you. But you decide how you’re going to respond. Look back at the scripture. See what did Bartimaeus did and did not do.
1. He didn’t blame someone else. He didn’t think that God or anyone else owed him something.
2. He DID go to Jesus. He humbled himself and sought help and deliverance.
B – Believe You Can Change!
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” (v. 51)
He believed he wouldn’t walk away the same.
He believed that he’d be DIFFERENT.
So often people pray…
“God, if you’ll just change my employer,
if you’ll just change my husband or my wife
if you’ll just change my children or my friend,
if you’ll just change my boss, or co-worker, or relative
God never promises that he will change your situation. God does promise that he will change YOU. He’ll change your attitude… your perspective… your outlook… Then you can change your attitude toward your situation.
C – Clarify What It Is You Really Need
Notice the question in verse 51 – “What do you want me to do for you?” Specific prayers get specific answers. How often do we pray, “God bless the missionaries overseas.” Jesus already knew what the man needed. Jesus just wanted the man to say it.
How often do we play communication games with each other? A wife will tell me, “He doesn’t meet my needs.” “Well, does he know what you need?” “Sure, he loves me, he ought to know.” ” Maybe he ought to know, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he really knows. You have to tell him what your needs are.”
Another example: “I’m so mad at him.” “Well, does he know why you’re mad at him.” “Of course, he does. He knows what he did!” “How does he know? Did you tell him?” “I don’t have to tell him. He knows.”
We do the same thing with God. We assume that since God knows everything, we don’t have to tell him. But that’s just exactly the opposite of the way God operates. He wants us to tell him what we need. Exactly what we need. Jesus will meet your needs when you tell him what your needs are. But sometimes He doesn’t meet your needs because you never tell Him what you really want and how you really feel.
Notice his cry – “Have mercy on me.” He was beggar. Yet, notice, he didn’t cry out for food, or clothing, or money or housing. He was given sight that day. He was healed that day – because he realized that his most basic need was for mercy and grace. He needed what only Jesus was offering – and because of that, he was healed.
D – Decide to Stop Worrying
1. First, Stop Worrying About What Other People Will Say
“Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more.” (v. 48)
What were they telling him?
Shut up! Nobody wants to hear what you have to say!
This isn’t the right place.. This isn’t the right time…
Nobody’s ever done it that way before…
You can’t do that – just be quiet
We have to quit worrying about what other people think. In this particular situation, everyone else was wrong. Everyone else told him he shouldn’t do it that way. He didn’t care what the protocol was. He didn’t care if all the people agreed that you just don’t approach Jesus that way. He knew he needed help and he wasn’t going to be denied.
Have you prayed for something and God hasn’t answered you yet?
Keep on calling out to God.
Do you have a need and God hasn’t met it yet?
Keep on calling out to God.
Are you hurting and don’t have an answer?
Keep on calling out to God.
Are people telling you to give up?
Are people telling you to quit?
Are people telling you that God doesn’t care?
Are you worried about what other people think or what other people will say?
Are you concerned about how it might look?
Are you worried that other people will think you crazy or you’re a fanatic?
Don’t give up
JUST CRY OUT EVEN LOUDER
One of the greatest attributes a Christian can have is persistence and perseverance. Jesus tells a parable about the neighbor who comes at midnight and is rewarded for his persistence. Someone once said, God doesn’t answer shallow prayers, he answers desperate prayer.
2. Second, Stop Waiting for the Ideal Circumstances
As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging. (v. 46)
Bartimaeus almost missed his chance. Jesus was on his way out of town. This is the last time Jesus would come to Jericho. If he had missed Jesus this time, he never would have been healed.
We have to quit waiting for just the right time.
We have to quit waiting for the right opportunity to come along. It may not happen.
We have to do something NOW!
E – Exercise Your Faith
“Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.” (v’.50)
Sometimes, we have to do something different. We can’t do the same old thing.
If we’re really going to change,
If we want life to be different,
we have to do something bold and dramatic.
Bartimaeus did something unique and unusual for that day and time. It was not normal for a man to cast aside his garment. It was not the usual protocol for a man to leave his garment. Sometimes we have to do something totally out of the norm. Totally different. Hebrews 12:1 says, let us lay aside every weight, every sin that so easily entangles us.”
Notice those words, lay aside every weight and every sin. We know the sins. But what are the weights? Whatever is keeping you from keeping Jesus first in your life. Whatever is keeping you from running to Jesus. Whatever is holding you back from surrendering your life to the LORDSHIP of Jesus so he can do a miracle in your life.
F – Follow Jesus
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (v. 52)
He was a beggar, he was blind, he had been healed. It would have been so easy to go into town and tell everybody what had happened – to show his friends and relatives, to let the whole town know that he had been healed – but that’s not what the scripture says. It simply says, “He followed Jesus!”
2014 can be totally different from 2013 if you’ll…
A – Assume responsibility for your own life
B – Believe you can change
C – Clarify what it is you really need.
D – Decide to stop worrying
1. Stop worrying what other people will say
2. Stop waiting for the ideal circumstances
E – Exercise Your Faith
F – Follow Jesus!
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