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Bible Study Method by Pastor Amanda Durbin

Monday – Mark 10:46-52
Faith of a Child

Today, as I returned to teach after a much needed break, I began taking my class off the busses. One by one, the children came in and were greeted lovingly by the teachers waiting for them. One boy, who was cast aside by the other children due to his slow nature and disability, slowly made his way and slumped down on the floor tired from all the energy he just spent just walking in the doors. When seeing him, I called out to him to come say Hi. He immediately looked up to my direction from where he was sitting, trying to comprehend who just called his name. After encouragement from another teacher, he jumped up (as fast as he could) and ran (well, as much as one can run with two large braces on both legs) to me. As he ran, you could hear the other children shout his name…”go friend, go!” On the way, he shed his backpack, his coat, his hat, lunchbox and one shoe! Finally embraced in our huge hug, he was grinning from ear to ear and now ready to begin the day… that is after we collected the array of belongings in the hallway!

In our scripture reading for today, we read of a beggar named Bartimatus, who by all means, was just as disabled as my friend. Cast aside by peers and left to fend for himself on the streets by asking for whatever charity he could find. Until the Master called. He heard the Master Call, yet was unsure. Those that perhaps pushed him aside were now cheering him “Cheer up, on your feet, He is calling you!”. Then, like my friend, he shed everything that hindered him — to get to the Master as fast as his legs would carry him. And by his Faith, he was healed.

What do I need to shed today to get to the Master faster? What garments am I wearing that hinder me? Self doubt, self sufficiency, fear and pride… just to name a few. But, when I remember my feelings toward my friend, and how so much I want him to be happy and whole in whatever way that looks like for him, I remember as well how much my Savior wants that for me. In faith, I shed my doubts, independence, fear and pride so that Jesus, by His loving touch, will heal and let me follow Him along the road. I pray that you my friend, will join me on this amazing and eye opening road.

Tuesday – Hebrews 7:23-28

Do you have a prayer request today? When we gather together as believers, one of our favorite things to do is to pray for each other. First thing we ask in Sunday School — How was your week? The good, the bad, the ugly… how can we pray for you? We make our list, and fervently pray for our friends and family. We have family altar time in which the family of believers gather close together and pray for our church family, our city, nation and world. We all know a prayer warrior. One that you know for sure will remember you and your need and pray for you — and when they pray, they are a witness for how God answers prayer. It is during these sacred moments that we together draw closer to Christ and to each other.

There was a man who had some personal issues going on in his life. So, he asked a woman in his office who was known to be a prayer warrior if she would pray for him. He knew she kept a list of her 10 most urgent prayer requests on her desk. So, he asked her, “Do you have room on that list to add my name and situation to your prayer list?” She looked at him and said, “Oh yes, three of the people I was praying for have died!” (Kaye Gordon, Readers Digest, June 2001, p. 64)
I hope you got a bit of a chuckle out of that as I did. I am so thankful today for the many prayer warriors in my life that have seen myself and my family thru very difficult times. I am also thankful that we can go to directly to the Throne of Grace.

Hebrews 7:24 & 25 points out “but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Jesus has been established as a perfect priest. Perfected as a priest when the word became flesh to know our very human thoughts and feelings. He lives forever – at the very right hand of the Father, interceding for us. I love how the author of Hebrews makes a point to say that Jesus “ALWAYS LIVES to intercede”. Such wonderful comfort and assurance to know and trust that thru all of our todays and our tomorrows our Comforter is ready and available to listen, understand and answer.

Wednesday- Jeremiah 31:7-9
Sing, Shout, Praise

I tend to spend a ton of my time with children. Both professionally and by choice. It seems that I am with them when I am awake AND these days while sleeping. Some of my favorite moments are when they are all sleeping…ahhhhh. Oh, I digress. I mean to say, some of my favorite moments are when I catch them in joyous singing, dance or laughter. (yeah, that’s better). Seriously, there is nothing more contagious than a toddler’s laugh…or make you smile more than hearing your child sing “Let it go” at the top of their lungs..in the car…waiting for a train… wait, no –that might have been me.

In Jeremiah chapter 31, he speaks to going up to Zion to the Lord our God for direction. The watchmen had been up on the hill observing the phases of the moon to determine when the festivals were to be held, and the time had come to go to Jerusalem to meet with the Lord in celebration. What does the Lord say first? “Sing with Joy for Jacob…shout for the foremost of the nations…make your praises heard…” Sing, Shout, Praise. Three words that put proud smiles on my face when my children are caught doing these on their own. Nothing makes a teacher and mother happier than seeing and hearing joy seep out of those little mouths and eyes and feet! It splashes and spills all over, contagious for all who are in the room. How much more is our Lord pleased by our heartfelt and spontaneous praise where it seeps out and touches all who might be near? So next time you are caught in the car, singing praises at the top of your lungs, just tell them, the Lord delights in my praise! Keep singing my friend!

Thursday – Psalm 126
Joy

I am currently sitting at my kitchen table. My daughter’s idea…to put red highlights in her mother’s hair. I am not sure how this began. I am not sure that I even believe I am letting her do this. I am for sure, not sure how this will end! How did I get to be the guinea pig? In the beginning, it sounded like a good idea. Yet as I sit here now in fear of the outcome, I am not sure I am comfortable. Anxious, would be more like the term I need. My appearance is now in the hands of a 15 year old who is still figuring out her own fashion style.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy! As she just turned 15, and I sit here, under her nervous hands, I remember. I remember how it took us 6 long years and a miscarriage to finally get to hold her in my hands. How it took 9 months of morning, afternoon and every twenty minutes sickness to make sure she was healthy. How it took many prayers, and petitions to Jesus for her to even be. How every day she has been a blessing to my heart. Her every word, her every step a reminder of what great things the Lord has done for us. I remember, and I am filled with joy. No matter the outcome—my hair included— I am filled to the brim, spilling over with joy.

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