As a new year dawns, I have put away all the Christmas decorations and returned my home to some degree of normalcy. But now I am faced with a dilemma that seems to occur this time every year. Because, as in the past, I have received Christmas gifts that I either have no use for, or actually don’t know how to use at all. They will wind up on a shelf, in a drawer or stored in the attic. I don’t want to throw them out, since they are gifts. I just don’t know what to do with them. They are gifts that were lovingly, carefully, thoughtfully selected, but I can’t think of any practical way I could best use them.
I wonder if God feels that way sometimes about what we give to Him—things like our leftover time, our spare change, our lukewarm commitment. Then it occurred to me that many people must also be looking at His Gift, and wondering how to best “use” Him. The following Bible study reveals how practical God’s Gift is. Feel free to rely on Him every day.
Read Mark 10:46-52
From the passage above, write a description of Bartimaeus. For example:
He was blind, meaning he probably felt lonely … what else?
He was sitting on the roadside, meaning he was outcast … what else?
He was begging, meaning he had financial needs … what else?
How do you relate to Bartimaeus, or who do you know who might relate to him?
I. JESUS HEARS YOUR CRY
- Do you think Jesus knew that Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside?
- Do you think Jesus would have stopped to help if Bartimaeus had not cried out to Him?
- Describe a scene in Luke 24:28-29 similar to scenes in Mark 6:47-50. What does this teach you?
- Give phrases from the following verses that might encourage you to cry out: Genesis 21:17-18; Exodus 3:7-10; 1 Samuel 9:16; 2 Samuel 22:7-20; 1 Kings 17:17-24; Psalm 6:9, 34:15-18, 55:16-17, 116:1-2, 145:17-19; Romans 8:15-16.
- What was Bartimaeus’ cry?
- How was he discouraged from crying out? How are you being discouraged from crying out, and who is trying to discourage you?
- Would you open your heart and cry out to Him now?
Rely on Jesus. He is the best listener.
II. JESUS HEEDS YOUR CALL
- What two or more things did Jesus do in response to Bartimaeus’ cry?
- Why do you think Jesus does not stop everything He is doing, and answer your cry?
- How does God describe Himself in Exodus 34:6? How is this description the basis of Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah 9:5-37? Give the phrases with verse numbers that include the word compassion or compassionate.
- What encouragement do you receive from Isaiah 54:10? Matthew 9:36? 14:14? 15:32? 20:34? Mark 1:41? 2 Corinthians 1:3?
- Once he knew that he had Jesus’ attention, what did Bartimaeus do? What do you need to “throw off” in order to experience the difference Jesus can make in your life? Hebrews 12:1; Luke 5:32; Acts 3:19; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:8-10.
Rely on Jesus. He is the best first responder.
III. JESUS HONORS YOUR CONFIDENCE
- What did Jesus ask Bartimaeus? How did Bartimaeus answer Him?
- What does this teach you about prayer that God answers?
- What reason did Jesus give for making a difference in Bartimaeus’ life? Give the same phrase Jesus uses in Matthew 9:27-30; Luke 7:1-10; Matthew 9:20-22, 15:21-28; Luke 17:11-19.
- When you cry out to Jesus, what does He honor? Luke 17:5-6.
- Does everyone who asks in faith receive exactly what they want; and if not, why? 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Hebrews 11:32-40.
Rely on Jesus. He is a life-saver, heart-changer and eye-opener!
In these days of uncertainty and unrest which seem to be escalating on every front—with terrorist threats, political polarization, social instability, environmental disasters and other stress points—would you take a moment just to thank God for His Gift? Would you thank Him right now for Jesus, His only Son, Who died to be your Savior? Would you thank God for Jesus … Who will hear your cry … Who will heed your call … and Who will honor your confidence?
And then would you choose to call out in faith and rely on Jesus … every day! He is the Gift that keeps on giving … forever! ©2017 Anne Graham Lotz
Adapted from an article published in January 2012.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. Her latest book, The Daniel Prayer, and the accompanying video Bible Study, is available from major booksellers.