Asking for Help
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. Mark 10:51
Her email arrived late in a long day. In truth, I didn’t open it. I was working overtime to help a family member manage his serious illness. I didn’t have time, therefore, for social distractions.
The next morning, however, when I clicked on my friend’s message, I saw this question: “Can I help you in any way?” Feeling embarrassed, I started to answer no. Then I took a deep breath to pause. I noticed then that her question sounded familiar—if not divine.
That’s because Jesus asked it. Hearing a blind beggar call out to Him on the Jericho Road, Jesus stopped to ask this man, named Bartimaeus, a similar question. Can I help? Or as Jesus said: “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51).
The question is stunning. It shows the Healer, Jesus, longs to help us. But first, we’re invited to admit needing Him—a humbling step. The “professional” beggar Bartimaeus was needy, indeed—poor, alone, and possibly hungry and downcast. But wanting a new life, he simply told Jesus his most basic need. “Rabbi,” he said, “I want to see.”
For a blind man, it was an honest plea. Jesus healed him immediately. My friend sought such honesty from me too. So I promised her I’d pray to understand my basic need and, more important, I’d humbly tell her. Do you know your basic need today? When a friend asks, tell it. Then take your plea even higher. Tell God.
Lord, I am needy. I want to share my heart with You now. Help me to humbly receive the help of others also.
God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5
October 3 Through The Bible Ministry
Psalms 27:1, 4 (NIV) 1The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?
4One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
David declared the LORD to be his light and his salvation. It was the presence of the LORD in his life that enabled him to see things as they really were, that kept him from stumbling in the darkness. It was the presence of the LORD in his life that saved him out of all his difficulties. The LORD was his salvation. He didn’t lean on self to understand or to get him out of danger. He recognized that his help came from the LORD.
He goes on to say that men cannot make him afraid. If God is sovereign, and He has become my light and my salvation, what can man do to me? With the LORD as his stronghold, he always knew where to run for safety. Do you turn to God first in all your fears and concerns? Is He your light and salvation, the stronghold of your life? Without that, men will cause you to fear. Situations will overwhelm you. With that assurance, you will always know that the will of the God who loves you will be done. He will see you through anything men or demons can dish out.
And if you are called home, you will be in His presence forever. What is the worst man can do? Kill me? Then I will end up where I long to be, gazing upon the beauty of the LORD and seeking Him in His heavenly dwelling place. David may have been referring to the tabernacle, but I think his mind moved from the earthly to the reality in heaven. His great desire was to spend eternity gazing upon God. Somewhere in those years of shepherding or training under Saul, he must have had a vision of the beauty of God. That became the one thing his soul sought after. We need a vision like that so that He becomes our one thing. Then, if illness strikes, or men threaten, like the Apostle Paul, we can say, “To die is gain.”
Consider: Make the LORD your one thing.
Confession and absolution
From: Charles Spurgeon
“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13
Suggested Further Reading: 1 John 1:5-2:2
The Greek explains more to us than the English does; and the original word here might be translated—“God be propitiated to me a sinner.” There is in the Greek word a distinct reference to the doctrine of atonement. It is not the Unitarian’s prayer—“God be merciful to me;” it is more than that—it is the Christian’s prayer, “God be propitiated towards me, a sinner.” There is, I repeat it, a distinct appeal to the atonement and the mercy-seat in this short prayer. Friends, if we would come before God with our confessions we must take care that we plead the blood of Christ. There is no hope for a poor sinner apart from the cross of Jesus. We may cry, “God be merciful to me,” but the prayer can never be answered apart from the victim offered, the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. When thou hast thine eye upon the mercy-seat, take care to have thine eye upon the cross too. Remember that the cross is, after all, the mercy-seat; that mercy never was enthroned, until she hung upon the cross crowned with thorns. If thou wouldst find pardon, go to dark Gethsemane, and see thy Redeemer sweating blood in deep anguish. If thou wouldst have peace of conscience, go to Gabbatha, the pavement, and see thy Saviour’s back flooded with a stream of blood. If thou wouldst have the last best rest to thy conscience, go to Golgotha; see the murdered victim as he hangs upon the cross, with hands and feet and side all pierced, as every wound is gaping wide with misery extreme. There can be no hope for mercy apart from the victim offered—even Jesus Christ the Son of God. Oh, come; let us one and all approach the mercy-seat, and plead the blood.
For meditation: Confession of sins is a totally useless practice unless we go straight to God, the only one who can forgive us, pleading Christ crucified, the only valid reason for us to be forgiven. But when we come in God’s way, we can come to him confidently (Hebrews 10:19-22).
“His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ ” (Mark 9:28). The answer lies in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “This kind can come out by nothing but” concentrating on Him, and then doubling and redoubling that concentration on Him. We can remain powerless forever, as the disciples were in this situation, by trying to do God’s work without concentrating on His power, and by following instead the ideas that we draw from our own nature. We actually slander and dishonor God by our very eagerness to serve Him without knowing Him.
When you are brought face to face with a difficult situation and nothing happens externally, you can still know that freedom and release will be given because of your continued concentration on Jesus Christ. Your duty in service and ministry is to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there anything between you and Jesus even now? If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it as an irritation, or by going up and over it, but by facing it and getting through it into the presence of Jesus Christ. Then that very problem itself, and all that you have been through in connection with it, will glorify Jesus Christ in a way that you will never know until you see Him face to face.
We must be able to “mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), but we must also know how to come down. The power of the saint lies in the coming down and in the living that is done in the valley. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) and what he was referring to were mostly humiliating things. And yet it is in our power to refuse to be humiliated and to say, “No, thank you, I much prefer to be on the mountaintop with God.” Can I face things as they actually are in the light of the reality of Jesus Christ, or do things as they really are destroy my faith in Him, and put me into a panic?