Saturday, November 17, 2018

Bartimaeus is Thankful
We continue with our talks with Biblical people whose lives have been touched by Jesus. Bartimaeus is waiting in the wings.

Quiet Spirit: Bartimaeus, would you like to go next?

Bartimaeus: Thank you. I am glad to be here today to tell my story.
            I lived in Jericho, a short way from the Mount of Olives. I was among the poorest of the poor; my blindness reduced me to begging. Although the Law told the ‘hale and hearty’ ones to care for those of us who were impaired, it didn’t work that way.

QS: How did you encounter Jesus?

Bartimaeus: One day, I sat along the road leading out of Jericho. I heard a commotion that got louder and louder. I asked the people around me what was happening. They told me, “Jesus is passing by!”
            I had heard of this Jesus. Stories of the miracles He performed were on everyone’s lips. From the time I was a small lad, I heard of the promised Messiah. I had learned He would be a descendant of King David. That day when I was told that Jesus was going past, I believed He was the Messiah, the true Son of David.
            I felt I had to call out to Him. Those around me told me to be quiet, that he had other places to be and other people to meet. I yelled all the louder and got His attention. When He came to me, He asked me, “What do you want me to do for you?” I responded, “Rabbi, I want to see.” He told me my faith had healed me.

QS: How did the people of Jericho respond to you after your encounter with Jesus?

Bartimaeus: My friends were happy for me. Those of the privileged class mocked me. The others, mostly those who didn’t like Jesus, were cynical. They thought my eyesight would go away again. Those who mocked me and those who were cynical believed I was cursed by God for my sins.

QS: How do you feel about what Jesus did for you?

Bartimaeus: I am thankful for Jesus taking the time to come to me and for restoring my sight. Because of what He did, I am able to see the sun and the trees and the plants. I can see the smiles on children’s faces. For these small things, I am eternally thankful.

QS: We rejoice with you over these precious things you can now enjoy. Thank you for stopping by.

Give Me Jesus

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Thankfulness of Jairus

Over the next few posts, we will look at some Biblical people and learn why they are thankful for Jesus. These thoughts were written by me for a church drama we gave last year. The first one is Jairus.

Quiet Spirit: Welcome to Following My King, Jairus.

Jairus: Thank you. I was a ruler of our Synagogue in Capernaum. In my work there, I looked after the building, ran the school through the week, supervised the worship services, and found Rabbis to teach on our Sabbath days. My life was blessed by God; I had a wonderful wife and a beautiful daughter.

Q.S.: How did you meet Jesus?

Jairus: I first met Jesus when I engaged Him to preach in our Synagogue one Sabbath. His message set me to thinking. Could what He preached be true?  However, several of the priests and scribes were not pleased with Jesus’ words.
            Later, when my daughter fell ill, I heard He was in our town again. I sought Him out. I fell at His feet and begged Him to heal my daughter. As I spoke to Him, two of my servants approached me with the message that she had died. I became confused, fear overcame me. In that instant, I lost hope. The Teacher spoke words of comfort to me. He said words I have not forgotten, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”
            Jesus accompanied my servants and me to my home. By the time we arrived, a large group of mourners was there. They cried and wailed so loudly, I couldn’t hear The Teacher’s words to my wife and me. He told them that our child was not dead, just asleep. I am afraid those people acted rudely to Him. In spite of their rudeness, Jesus restored our daughter’s life.

Q.S.: How did the community of Capernaum react to you after your encounter with the Lord?

Jairus: The merchants of our town gave us better service. They were friendlier to our servants and to our family. Those associated with the Synagogue treated me differently than before; they were more distant, less friendly. Jesus chose to move to Capernaum, allowing those in the Synagogue to witness His miracles and hear His preaching more often. I am sorry to say that not all the town’s people accepted Him for who He is. There were some who did but they had difficulties dealing with the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

Q.S.: How has your experience with Jesus affected your life?

Jairus: My experience with Jesus gave me a new outlook on life. I learned not to take anything for granted; I also learned to treasure my family and my friends.

Q.S.: How do you feel about what Jesus did for you?

Jairus: I am thankful for Jesus’ presence in our town. I am thankful for meeting Him and, especially for His returning our daughter to us.

he has made me glad

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Praise His Name

Enter his courts with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

The psalmist directs us to be thankful when we enter God’s presence. What does he mean by this?

We are to come before the LORD with gratitude for what he has done for us. We come before Him when we enter His house. Also, we enter his presence when we pray. 

At our church, we have a time of praise and thanksgiving. We are glad (I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”  Psalm 122:1) to be able to assemble together and worship the One True God.

When I awaken each morning, I find myself thanking God for the gift of another day. Between doing this and repeating Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the LORD has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it.” God sets my day for me.

When we eat our supper, I thank God for our food and the privilege of being able to have it in our home.

During this month of Thanksgiving, our Pastor has asked us to journal our praises and write prayers for those praises. I started out recording a praise for each day at the back of my prayer list. I decided to journal those. I had gotten out of the habit of daily journaling. I found that I look forward to that time of day when I can reflect on what God has done for me and the opportunity to give thanks to Him.   
A friend of mine writes out her prayers. She has learned that what she writes comes from her heart.

How are some ways you praise the LORD?

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...