Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, October 18. Read Matthew 15:14-20. 1) Why did Jesus say the disciples should stay away from the Pharisees? 2) Name some characteristics of blindness that you draw from this text.
Tuesday, October 19. Read Matthew 20:29-31. 1) Who was sitting on the side of the road in this parable? 2) How would you describe them? 3) Who’s really blind in this story?
Wednesday, October 20. Read Luke 18:35-19:1. 1) What did the blind man do when he learned it was Jesus on the road? 2) How did the crowd respond? 3) What did the blind man request?
Thursday, October 21. Read Acts 26:12-18. 1) What event is Luke the writer describing in this text? 2) In other places, Paul loses his eyesight because of the bright light. Ironically, what is he called to do?
Friday, October 22. Read Ephesians 4:17-24. 1) How do the “Gentiles” live, according to Paul? 2) How is their manner of life similar to blindness? 3) Why did Christ come?
Saturday, October 23. Read Mark 10:46-52. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
O God of light and vision. God who opens our eyes to what was invisible to us. May we be like Paul or like Bartimaeus who both saw the truth and thus were given real sight. We pray that the cataracts of unrighteousness and prejudice will not cover our eyes so that we cannot see. Rub on our eyes the mud of clarity so that we can see. In Jesus name. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
Lord, I was blind
by William T. Matson, 1868
Lord, I was blind: I could not see
in thy marred visage any grace;
but now the beauty of thy face
in radiant vision dawns on me.
Lord, I was deaf: I could not hear
the thrilling music of thy voice;
but now I hear thee and rejoice,
and all thine uttered words are dear.
Lord, I was dumb: I could not speak
the grace and glory of thy name;
but now, as touched with living flame,
my lips thine eager praises wake.
Lord, I was dead: I could not stir
my lifeless soul to come to thee;
but now, since thou hast quickened me,
I rise from sin’s dark sepulcher.
Lord, thou hast made the blind to see,
the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak,
the dead to live; and lo, I break
the chains of my captivity!
Devotional Article of the Week:
Seeing Face to Face
I wonder what He will look like?
by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill
See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong to this world don’t know God, so they don’t understand that we are his children. 2Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, and we can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. (1 John 3:1-2 NLT)
I was deeply moved as I watched a documentary about twin brothers. They had decided to undergo experimental surgery which they hoped would reverse the blindness caused by an inherited eye disease. Although they’d been able to see at birth and for several years thereafter, retinitis pigmentosa had gradually robbed them of sight. In fact, many years had passed since either had seen his own face.
As the brothers talked together prior to their surgeries, both said they wanted to see the faces of their loved ones most of all. One of the brothers also said, “I hope I can see grass again. I know it’s out there. I can feel it and smell it, but I can’t see it.”
The other said, “I want to see the stars again.”
As they talked about all the things they longed to see, the thought of being able to do so filled them with such emotion that they could scarcely speak.
During the agonizing days of waiting to find out if the surgeries had been successful, one of the men said he wanted to see the face of the surgeon.
The day he was able to do so, he began to cry. “I’ve never seen an angel before,” he whispered.
Others who have been given another chance at life feel the same way. They, too, use the word “angel” to describe the one who came to their rescue. Whether they were pulled from raging waters or carried from a burning building or given a kidney or shown some other kind of mercy, they feel as if an angel sent from God did for them what no one else could or would do. Anyone who has received such life-changing help wants to see and thank the “angel” who came to his or her aid.
Christians feel that way about Jesus. That’s why we love to sing such songs as Carrie E. Breck’s “Face to Face” and Andrae’ Crouch’s “Soon and Very Soon.”
And we love to read the Scriptures on which the hymn writers based their lyrics. For example, the last chapter of the last book of the Bible (Revelation 22) assures us that one happy day we will indeed see our Savior’s face. We will look upon the One to whom we owe our very lives, upon the One sent to earth by God in order to seek and to save those who were, so to speak, on “death row,” having no hope of escaping the death sentence that had been given to them because of their sins.
When we see Him face to face, we’ll be ever so glad to finally be able to tell Him how thankful we are that He saved us.
Until that time, we’ll have to be content with talking (praying) to Him. But as we wait to see Him face to face, we can express our gratitude in another way. We can tell others about the wonderful Savior who came into our lives and changed the very course of our earthly existence and the eternal one that is to come.
Since the salvation Jesus provided for us is far more significant than the restoration of physical sight that the twin brothers received from their “angel,” how can we keep silent about it? They didn’t keep silent about their miracle, so why should we? In fact, how can we help but tell others about the One who gave us a new kind of life?