Desperate vs. Curious

p_0006As Jesus was approaching Jericho, He and his followers pass by Bartimaeus, a blind man who sat by the road begging. When he was told that it was Jesus passing by, he cried out even louder. The disciples told him to be quiet, but he couldn’t be silenced. Prior to this meeting, Jesus had dealt with so many people: the children whom the disciples also tried to turn away, the rich young ruler who would not give up his riches to follow the Master, Lazarus whom He raised from the dead, and James and John who asked to sit next to Jesus in the Kingdom Age. All the while, He tells his disciples of the upcoming events, but they do not understand.

The religious leaders are scheming, the people are gathering in Jerusalem for this Holy Passover week, and Jesus takes the time to hear the plea of yet another blind man. This man not only receives his physical sight, but he receives spiritual sight as well.

And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.Luke 18:43

A desperate man, seeking sight and finding eternal life through the Son of God. Even though the crowd wanted to push Bartimaeus away, he continued his desperate quest and is even now with Jesus for all eternity!

Lesson: How desperate am I to know Jesus, to see His way more clearly, to have my focus be 20/20 on Christ? Will I seek Him even when others think I’m strange for being so desperate to “see” Him better?

Jesus met Bartimaeus on his way into Jericho, and while walking through Jericho, he finds another man–a curious man named Zacchaeus. As we all know, Zacchaeus was a wee little man, only about four inches high. (Just kidding, but isn’t that the motions we usually do with our fingers?) He was curious, and his curiosity led him up a tree and to Jesus because Jesus was also looking for him! We have a little more information about Zacchaeus than we do about Bartimaeus. When the others criticize Jesus for eating with sinners, Zacchaeus tells about his heart change. How do we know that his heart change was genuine? Because we read of a tax collector restoring what he had stolen! Only a heart touched by God could do that! If this study compared Zacchaeus with the rich young ruler, we would see another obvious contrast: the rich young ruler allowed his love for money to rule his decision, but Zacchaeus had found a better Master!

Desperate vs. Curious–could either of these adjectives be used to describe you? Are you desperate for a changed life? Jesus says, “Come.”  Are you curious about Jesus? Do you know someone who seems to really know God while you only think of Him on occasion?

When I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I must admit it was out of curiosity. A young man from Bible College had sent me a Gospel tract in a letter. I was curious because we had talked about God, and he had left the church denomination that I was in—not only in but pursuing a career as an organist! As I read the tract, I heard myself saying, “I believe that too,” in a somewhat defiant voice. But when the tract spoke of asking Jesus to be my Savior, I realized that I had never done that.  God took my curious heart and washed it white as snow through the blood of His Son!

No matter the reason for your seeking, Jesus can answer the call of your heart!

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Enoch Walked with God (Can we?)

If you are looking for a daily devotional that really digs into the Word and is full of Biblical truths, you may want to look at FEATURE – A Daily Bible Study Guide. This little booklet is packed with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Today’s reading starts a ten day series on Hebrews eleven.  (I thought I was reading the one for today, but this is actually Saturdays!) It was just too good to keep to myself!  Enjoy!

The patriarch Enoch pleased the Lord by his godly walk in the midst of rampant ungodliness (Gen. 5:21-6:6). The Bible does not say that Enoch had the encouragement of others who were of like mind or that he was in some way insulated from the wickedness that completely permeated his society.  No, the Scriptures only state that he “walked with God” (Gen 5:22). Enoch knew what conduct was pleasing to his Lord, and he had faith to believe that no personal sacrifice was too great to strive for that circumspect walk. [Emphasis added] Without doubt, conflict, and suffering resulted from such a forthright testimony, but just imagine the blessedness of walking in fellowship day by day, step by step, with the Almighty God!  How much better is the hallowed friendship of the divine “Friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24) than the fleeting favor of anyone else.  Yes, the Lord rewarded Enoch for his walk of faith, for God translated him up to glory so that he did not have to experience death (v.5).

What does this example mean for us today?  Can we walk in this present evil world and still please our heavenly Father at the same time?  By faith, we certainly can!  We see from the Scriptures that God still desires to reward believers who are willing to step out in faith and live for Him in an age that reminds us of the time in which Enoch lived.  Christian, one day we will stand before our Lord either to receive reward or to be ashamed of our actions (1 Cor. 3:8-15, 1 John 2:28).  Is our walk worthy of reward?  Does the world or the Word determine our course? [Emphasis added] Do we “diligently seek” (v.6) to walk by faith—as Enoch did?  If so, our Lord is pleased, and our reward is sure.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;

and was not found, because God had translated him:

for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him:

for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,

and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:3,4