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Sunday, January 12: Day 265 – What Do You Want Jesus to Do For You?

Elle is very sensitive to air pollution, and Bangkok registers high on the pollution scale. She has an interesting app that reports air quality called AirVisual. Anyway, she has been coughing despite wearing a mask.

Elle needed to rest and stay indoors to improve her health. William agreed to be available to assist her. William and Elle fly to Chiang Mai this evening and Amy flies back to Cincinnati later tonight.


Speaking of apps, we will return to the Evangelical Church of Bangkok, and they encourage their congregation to download their app for announcements, sermon notes and weekly prayer guides. So I went to the Play Store and downloaded the app before Rob, Amy and I walked about 15 minutes to church. (I love walking to church and hope that we can find a Bible church near us in Virginia Beach. That is my prayer.)

This App is going to be appreciated by readers since I am able to copy and paste organized sermon notes!!!


We found our seats, and I notice this time that sections are roped off so that all of the seats are filled before another row is opened.

This is really smart because it facilitates closeness. In America there are lots of spaces between families and couples and people tend to sit in the back.

Prayer

Father, be the center of everything. Give us ears to hear and lips to answer. Fix our eyes only on You. May our souls find rest in You and You alone.

Forgive us for taking things in our own hands. Encourage us to be the first to yield in an argument. Show us that the quickest way isn’t always the best way.

We need You more than we can ask or know especially when things don’t make sense.

When we are lost, give us direction. Thank you for giving us Jesus. May we never forget that He paid it all.

Thank you for never leaving us, and for providing for us. Gold and silver belong to you.

May You find fertile soil in our hearts. Teach us and show us how we can bring honor to you.

Amen.


Psalms 84:11-12

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Offering

Last time they played an upbeat topical video. This week we were encouraged to pray during this time. It was very quiet. Often when there is silent prayer, people get distracted. I liked that these rotating screens kept us on the task of prayer.

Prayer is so important. Protestant churches in South Korea attribute their growth to prayer services every morning at 6am before work. They call it God’s gift to the day.

After all the monies were collected, the pastor remarked that quiet is a gift that we don’t get often. Sometimes it makes us uncomfortable and we try to fill it. Resist and hear the still small voice of God.

(Personally, I LOVE the quiet. When I was working, the radio felt like a noise machine. It set me on edge. Could I be a misophone?)

Misophonia

I think that it is important to mix things up to keep things fresh. An offering will always be collected but what is done during that time can always be a surprise and something that the congregation looks forward to.

The following are the sermon notes taken from the ECB App.

Sermon

Jesus Asks: What Do You Want Me To Do For You?

Scripture – Mark 10:35-52

We were asked to find the scripture on our Bible apps, our Bibles or even on the screen and say Amen when we have located the passage.


James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.”

And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

They said to Him, “Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”

They said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.

But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.

Hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with James and John.

Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.

But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant;

and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His [d]life a ransom for many.”


Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.

When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.”

Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.

And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!”

And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.


Central Thought:

Jesus knows what we need before we ask Him and His question to us is intended to help us see ourselves for who we truly are. His question goes straight to the heart of the matter and is intended to prompt careful and considered reflection.

Observation

1) Jerusalem was going to be a place of rejection. The way of the Messiah was a way of suffering and death.

2) James and John: “We want you to do for us whatever we ask. (Mark 10:35; Matthew 20:20) The disciples’ request was born out of ignorance, governed by ambition and the outcome of selfishness.

3) Jesus reversed the whole notion of those who looked for lordship. (Mark 10:42-44)

4) “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10: 48b) “Rabbi, I want to see.” (Mark 10:51b)

5) Bartimaeus began with a need, went on to gratitude, and finished with loyalty.

Interpretation

1) Jesus’ question is one of clarification. It helps us to see ourselves for who we are.

2) Jesus invites us to seek Him. (Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 7:7-8)

3) We do not receive because we ask with wrong motives. (James 4:2b-3)

4) Bartimaeus shows unrelenting conviction that Jesus can and will rescue him from his need. Upon receiving healing, Bartimaeus follows Jesus. (Mark 10:52)

5) Jesus calls us to a different ethic, telling us that God honours service rather than power. (Mark 10:43a)

6) God rejoices over us with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Application

1) Jesus’ question should prompt in us a different prayer: “Let me see again.” (Mark 10:51b)

2) We have an open invitation from our Father to come to Him (Matthew 7:7-11)

3) Do we also seek Jesus with a sense of entitlement?

4) Are we ready to accept God’s response: ”My grace is sufficient for you…”? (2 Corinthians 12:9)

5) Because of our desires that battle within us there are hindrances to our receiving what we want. (James 4:1b).

6) The Lord longs to be gracious to us. (Isaiah 30:18)

For reflection and LIFE Group facilitation

(I really like that the weekly classes reflect and discuss the Biblical message. This assists for the doing instead of just hearing. All music, prayers, announcements, etc. further the message.)
How would you respond to this question from Jesus?

Why would it be wrong to seek Jesus with a sense of entitlement?
Read James 4:2-3 again.

What kind of motives would be wrong?

Why are we prone to honour power more than service?

How does the fact that “God rejoices over you with singing” affect the choices you make in life?

Now that you know that you have an open invitation to come to the Father (Matthew 7:7-11), how will you use that offer?


Here are my personal notes

When the lights go out, we want them to come back on. The electrician wants to know where the fuse box is. This seems like he doesn’t understand the problem, but he understands the root of the problem.

Jesus asked more questions than He answered. Jesus asked the same question to His Disciples and Bartimaeus.

Setting: Jesus was walking to Jerusalem where He knew death and resurrection awaited Him. The people were astonished and disciples were afraid.

James and John wanted places of honor, the places of highest position in an earthly kingdom. Perhaps the anger from the other disciples may have been because James and John verbalized what they wanted as well.

When we pray, is it mostly adoration, praise, thanks, etc.? I think not. It is more like “Lord give me this or give me that.” We are not that different from James and John.

In fact, we come with the same attitude of entitlement. Give us what we ask for.

Jesus asked a question. The scenario that Jesus presented was far different than they expected.

Perhaps they remembered this conversation when men were crucified in the left and right of Jesus.

Kingdom rules are different than rules of this world. Here is an illustration:

A man was walking along a steep cliff. The ledge gave way and he was holding onto a limb to keep him from falling further. He called out, “Is anybody up there who can help me?”

No answer.

Again, he yells louder, “Is anybody up there who can help me?”

There is silence.

He desparately calls out again, “Is anybody up there who can help me?”

“I am God. I can help you. Just let go and trust me.”

“Is there anybody else up there?”

We hesitate when Jesus calls to us.


Bartimaeus is asked the same question but his response is contrasted with the request of James and John.

Bartimaeus means son of honor. He threw down his cloak which was his only means of earthly protection.

What is your cloak? What are you willing to throw down? Don’t let the security of this world replace the security of God.

He specifically asked for his sight to be restored. When we have a toothache, we don’t want just any tooth to be pulled. Remove the painful tooth.

How may I help you? Jesus is asking for clarification. What is the real question? What is the real answer?

When Rob had sales training, he learned many valuable lessons that seem applicable to our spiritual lives and today’s message.

For example, the customer doesn’t really understand his problem so you have to dig deeper by asking lots of questions to really get at the root of the problem.

When someone prays for a new car, why? To get to work. So maybe the prayer is to find transportation to work. Or digging deeper, perhaps the prayer is to find a better job near home.

Because of his faith, Bartimeaus can already see clearly. When his need had been met, he shows gratitude.

Perhaps Jesus’ questions irritate his listeners, and in our case readers, but it helps us to see who we truly are. It awakens us to a deeper understanding.

The One who asks us this question is able to answer. True authority means meeting someone else’s need.

James and John were seeking entitlement, power and to be near Jesus. Maybe we desire all these, but certainly Christians desire the latter yet there is a cost.

Bartimeaus grasps the royal dimension of Jesus. He persists despite hindrances and expects transformation. He asks for the right thing and follows Jesus.

What do you want Jesus to do for you? Lord, let me see again. Let me see things differently at work, where I live. Hasten to make the most of every opportunity. Ask for the salvation for a loved one or friend, or for assistance in ending an unhealthy relationship.


Here are some answers to prayer: yes, no, wait, or I have something better in mind.

Are you hearing well? We have a sense of entitlement. We need to be ready to accept God’s response. In Paul’s case in asking for healing, God said, “My grace is sufficient.

How have you responded to answered prayer? Do we really want our lives to be radically changed?

What Do You Want Me To Do For You? Or How may I help you?

We don’t really need power and honor but sight.


Jubilee Center

Their fellowship hall or gathering place is called Jubilee Center. We congregate here after the worship service.

Today they have invited their mission partners to come explain their mission, sell items to raise funds, and let you know how one can get more involved.

This perky woman works with handicapped people who have been told that they can’t do anything. They disagree.

They make and sell high quality washcloths that have been folded to look like bunnies. We bought a pink one for baby girl Miller.

Next week there is an ECB ministry fair where different areas of the church explain what they do and how one can get involved. Most people are reluctant to get involved but my experience has been that you get more out of something the more you put in. This is certainly true for the Christian who signs on to serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Maybe instead of “What do you want Jesus to do for you?”, it should be “What does Jesus want you to do for Him?”

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