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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

One of my favorite Bible stories is shared in Mark chapter 10. It is the story of a blind man named Bartimaeus who is calling out to Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus stops and asks Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”. “Rabbi,” Bartimaeus said, “I want to see!” Seems logical. A blind man would want to see. What I love though is that Jesus asks and lets Bartimaeus answer.

When Jesus began His public ministry, His entire focus was on others. He was healing every type of disease, teach-ing what it meant to love and care for others, and preaching about the way to eternal life. His intention for people was to see how important it was to treat others with love, respect, and kindness. Giving up of Himself so that others might know what it means to think of others in these ways.

Unfortunately, most these people who followed Jesus were not hearing the message of love and kindness Jesus brought. They were following Jesus because they were getting their needs met in a certain way. Thinking of them-selves and not of what Jesus was proclaiming through these miraculous healings, the giving of Himself, and the eter-nal message He was speaking.

Recently though I thought what would it be like to turn that question that Bartimaeus asked around? Instead of asking what Jesus can do for us, what if we asked Jesus, “What do you want me to do for you?” According to the scriptures here are some of the answers we would receive:

LOVE ME & ONE ANOTHER: Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: "Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

OBEY MY COMMANDMENTS: “If you love me, obey my commandments.” John 14:15

TRUST ME: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3: 5-6

SHARE ME WITH OTHERS: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20

In this month of love when we celebrate Valentine’s Day, let’s ask Jesus what we can do for Him! That might be the best Valentine of all.

With transforming hope,
Pastor Bob Schoenknecht

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