And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT)

The Blind Man

Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Mark 10:51 (NABRE)

In the book of Mark chapter 10:46-52, the Bible tells us a story about Jesus healing a certain blind man called Bartimaeus.

It happened after Jesus and His disciples reached the town of Jericho, on their way to Jerusalem, when a large crowd of people followed him, and along with them, there was Bartimaeus, a blind man who used to sit beside the road, begging.

The story tells us that when he (the blind man), heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

But apparently, people following Jesus felt annoyed at his screaming, so they yelled at him to be quiet. The more they yelled at him to be quiet, the more he shouted louder.

And when Jesus heard him, he stopped and asked his disciples to call for the blind man to come to him. Which he did, and at Jesus presence, in verse 51, Jesus asked him saying; “What do you want me to do for you?”

What a question!
Isn’t He the Messiah?
Isn’t He God and suppose to know what the man wanted from Him?
Isn’t it obvious that the man wanted to be healed from his blindness? – People may ask!

But know this people, Jesus’ question is deeper than that. He wanted him to profess his faith. He wanted Bartimaeus to profess his belief in the Son of Man.

Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah. He knew that the Messiah would be a descendent of King David (Isaiah 9:7), when he called, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

He knew that Jesus was the Son of the living God.
Bartimaeus believed in Jesus. His faith in Jesus as the Messiah brought healing to his blindness.

And in Luke 10:52, the Lord concludes by telling Bartimaeus to go, for his faith had healed him. Just as it's written, “Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 (NABRE)

So, as you can see, the book of Mark 10:46-52 is like a mirror / reflection to show us how blind we can be when we choose not to believe in Jesus.

Back in Jesus' time, there were many spiritually blind people, not only the average man, but also the religious leaders who considered themselves wise before their own eyes.

So it is also clear that, the same spiritual blindness that affected the people of Jesus time, is also affecting us in this present time when we allow our pride to control our hearts.

In conclusion:
Just like Bartimaeus, in faith and boldness, asked Jesus to be healed; we should also in faith and boldness, but with a humble heart, ask our Father in heaven, that through Jesus, He may grant us our requests.

Lord Jesus, in the book of John 16:23 you said; “truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, He will give it to you.” So behold, with a humble heart, in your name I ask the Father that He may increase my faith in the Trinity so that I can love you more and serve you better. In your name I pray, Amen.

Should we give thanks to God

17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NABRE)

I am certain that the above verses are one of the most difficult commands the Lord our God instructs us to follow.

Many may say:
How can I pray without ceasing if my prayers don’t seem to be answered?
How can I thank God if I just lost my loved one?
How can I thank God when everybody around me talks evil about me?
How can I thank God when I don’t even have a Job?
How can I thank God when He, being God, did nothing to prevent that little boy/girl from being raped and chopped into pieces? So the list goes on and on.

I know it is hard to understand and to assimilate such situations, but God’s understanding is above our understanding. And one thing is for sure, He is not the author of the bad things happening in the world today; we are.

It is true that He has the power to prevent it from happening in the first place, but instead, He allows it. Why? - is always the question, and the answer for many is “I don’t know”.

I recall going through bad times in my life that, every time I think about them, it only serves to bring sadness in my heart.

You see, I was born from a rich family and while I was a kid, everything seemed to be okay, until one day we lost everything: Shops, Cars and many other things.

Our life changed from having a lot to having nothing.
I remember thinking every night while sleeping on the bed and sometimes on the floor with just a tiny sheet on the ground, where will my next meal come from; as a kid, it was very hard for me. I did not understand why God had allowed such things to happen.

My father was not a bad person, he helped many people with jobs, food and many other things and still, we lost everything.

And here is a little story about my family:
My father was a white man from Europe who went to Africa and married a black woman. There he started business from scratch. He started with just one sewing machine and in a couple of years, he had already accumulated many sewing machines, a number of apartments, buildings, food stores, etc. He had helped the province to open new roads to many locations from the capital, and that is just to name a few things of what he did. So back then, he was one of the richest men in town.

During that time, the country was under the control of white Europeans who possessed almost everything the country had. The black community was not happy with it so they started a civil war to liberate it from the colony.

So after the war was over and the black people came into power, they overthrew all white people from the country, taking along with them, everything that belonged to the white man.

It was then that we lost everything. My mother, along with many other ladies who had married white men, were not given the chance to claim anything at all.

She then started from scratch in a small farm out of the country where I lived for a period of time. It was hard for us to adapt ourselves to a new way of life.

But my struggle did not end there.
After I had finished my studies, I found myself living in a foreign land where I got married to a native woman. There, I started my family with her where she become the mother of my children.

Because of my financial limitations, I ended up living in my mother-in-law’s house along with her other children. What a difficult time…

Well, I can only tell you how merciful God has been to me, despite everything.
It has been so hard for us that, one day my son asked me why we prayed so much every morning, and still, things seemed to be so hard for our family.

To be honest, I had the same questions just as he had, until one day I felt as if this voice was telling me to always remember that God was not the one causing people to go through problems.

The voice continued; “When bad things happen to my creation, I am never the one who causes it to happen."

I see it happen;
I have the power to stop it;
I have the power to prevent it from happening;
I allow it, because I use it, for what I want to happen.

Then the voice took me to the book of Romans 8:28 (NASB), where it says: "and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

And then the spirit reminded me how Joseph ended up in Egypt.
It reminded me how he was first thrown into the pit by his own brothers and then sold as slave in Egypt.

It reminded me how while still in Egypt, he(Joseph) was blamed of things he never did and then placed in prison where he suffered for several years, but the Scripture tells us; "...and God was with him." Genesis 39:20-21”

How can that be? - is the question for many...

It also reminded me of how Job suffered as well, being a very righteous man.

So I said to my son, "Be patient and wait on God, for He knows what is good for us."
"Just remember that being a prayerful person, doesn’t make you exempt from evil attacks", I said.

In conclusion:

  • It was through those tough times in my home land that allowed me to appreciate every single thing I was blessed with;

  • It was thanks to those tough times that I endured the difficulties during my school time, somewhere in the world where there was only me and no one else to depend on;

  • It was through those bad times in my wife’s family house, which forced me to seek God for help, to depend on Him, and fully trust in Him for everything in my life;

Father God in heaven, who reigns over all creation.
Today, in the Name of your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, I give you thanks for being there with me when I most needed you in my life, even when it seemed as though you were not there.

Help us O Lord to trust you with all our heart, to love you more and depend on you always. Amen

Abide in Me; Says the Lord

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ Matthew 7:21-23 (NASB)

What a message!
From the above verses, Jesus is more concerned on how we walk with Him than just our talk.

The point here it is not just believing in the word that the Father through Jesus our Lord, is telling us to believe, but also doing what the Father through His Son is telling us to believe.

  • We must abide in Jesus.
  • We must stop misleading others with our Christian words.
  • We must stop pretending that we are Christians when actually our lives indicate otherwise.

As Christians, we should live our lives based in God’s guidance; because abiding in Jesus means being obedient to His teachings, and obeying His teachings, it is actually doing God’s will.

In Matthew 17:5, Scripture tells us that while He (Jesus) was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

So it is clear to me that throughout the Bible, God the Father, from the time He created mankind, insisted on telling us how we should obey His law; not to show off His supremacy before humanity, but to guide us to the right path and show us how our lives should be lived. Why? Out of love for mankind…

God always wanted the best for us; He wants us to depart from our sinful lives and chose to do right before Him, for our own sake.

Just as it is written in the book of 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NRSVCE); “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Our God is a loving Father. There is no sin that He can’t forgive if repented wholeheartedly. So return to the Lord our God with all your heart. Stop your evil minded ways and come to the Father.

Many may ask, “Why strive in doing good before God if I am already saved by grace when I believed in Jesus? It’s true, but are you living what you believed?”

So let’s instead seek to please our Father through praise and thanksgiving and always do our best to avoid neglecting those who need help from us.

In the book of Hebrews 13:15-16 (NRSVCE) for example, Paul tells us that we should spend our times praising God and helping others with more need than us, instead of just complaining in everything around us, when it says; “Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Merciful and Companionate God, in Proverbs 3:5-6 and Psalm 32:8; You said:

[5] Trust in Me with all your heart, and depend not on your own understanding.
[6] Seek My Will in everything you do, and I will show you which path to take.
[8] I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

Today, I thank You Lord, for leading and guiding me.
Please keep me from evil, and guide me along the path of life. The path of those on whom You have bestowed your blessings. In Jesus Holy Name I pray, Amen.

Was God really caught off guard

5 When the LORD saw how wicked everyone on earth was and how evil their thoughts were all the time, 6 he was sorry that he had ever made them and put them on the earth. He was so filled with regret 7 that he said, “I will wipe out these people I have created, and also the animals and the birds, because I am sorry that I made any of them.” Genesis 6:5-7 Good News Translation (GNT)

When you read the verses 5 and 6 from Genesis chapter 6, one may wonder; Was God really caught off guard that He didn’t see that event coming? Was He taken by surprise that He didn’t see that Mankind would rebel against the Creator, for Him to regret afterwards?

Those are the questions most people may ask to themselves every time they come across a Bible verse that is beyond human comprehension.

So for your knowledge, GOD IS NEVER CAUGHT OFF GUARD neither is He taken by surprise, because He sees the end from the beginning.

When God thought about creating mankind, He saw humans rebelling against Him and so He felt sorry and lamented at that point in time. His heart was full of sadness, sorrow and regret that His own creation would do such things.

But we have an ever loving Father, a God with so much love for mankind that He said, even with that disappointment; I will still make them anyway and so we were created.

In John 3:16, Scripture tells us that God the Father so loved the world that he gave[a] his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

You see, Jesus knew beforehand that there would be some people who would chose not to accept Him as their savior, but He died for us anyway. He died for you and me, even when we were still sinners; because He knew that there would be a spiritual fight where mankind would be placed in a very compromising and disadvantaged position.

He knew that our fight was not against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

Brother and sisters, we are in a losing position, because our fight is against unseen, mighty and very powerful beings. So it’s clear that we would never win this battle if we decide to exclude the very ones who made us.

But here’s the good news; we don’t have to fight this war on our own; we can place our full trust in the one who, from His own will and having the power to fight back, humbled Himself by choosing to die on the cross for you and for me – and that, is our Lord Jesus Christ.

So believe in Him, as the Scripture tells us in Romans 10:9-15 (NLT); 9 “if you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

Almighty Father - God of all Creation, we thank you for your love and mercy toward mankind and for allowing your Son to die on the cross for us even though He knew beforehand that there would be some who would not accept Him as their savior.

Please allow us to realize that without your living spirit residing within our human body, there would be no life in us, In Jesus Name. Amen.