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Encouragement for Today - Thursday, July 2, 2015
Nicki Koziarz

JULY 2, 2015

Focus Brings Freedom
NICKI KOZIARZ

"Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called the blind man and said to him, ‘Have courage! Get up; He’s calling for you.’" Mark 10:49 (HCSB)

A few months ago, my daughter’s 4x800-meter relay team made it to the State Track and Field Championships. My daughter told me her only goal was to beat the team with the yellow uniforms.

Her competitive nature has at times thrown off her running ability, so I looked my girl in the eye and said, "Taylor, remember: Stay in your lane. Run hard. And pass the baton!" She nodded her head and took off.

And do you know what happened? Her team not only finished the race strong, but they beat the school record!

Focus brought her freedom.

Some time later, as I came across the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52, I was captured by the focus of this blind beggar. There he sat on the side of a road in Jericho calling out to Jesus for mercy.

But Jesus seemed to just pass him by.

The Bible tells us that many people around the beggar told him to be quiet. But he was focused and just kept calling out to Jesus.

Finally, the man was told "Take heart. Get up; he is calling you," (Mark 10:49b, ESV). After a short exchange, Jesus told Bartimaeus his faith had healed him, and he became whole and able to see.

Bartimaeus’ focus brought him freedom.

It is so easy for me to lose focus. Even while writing this devotion, I’ve turned away three times to look at something else on the Internet. But I want to have this extreme focus Bartimaeus had, so when Jesus is passing by through my everyday life, I’m ready.

I don’t want to miss miracle moments with Jesus because I allow life to distract and detour me.

So today, to help me focus, I’m reminding myself (and you, my friends) those same three things I told my daughter:

1. Stay in your lane.
We have everything we need to encounter Jesus, right where we are. We are not invisible. Jesus sees us. Just stay in place.

2. Run hard. 
Persevere like Bartimaeus. He had the benefit of encountering Jesus face-to-face in that moment, but through the work of the Holy Spirit we now have the benefit of having Him with us at all times. Keep praying. Keep meditating on the Truth of God’s Word. Stay the course. Keep speaking His Name.

3. Pass it on. 
The last verse of this story says, " … Immediately he could see and began to follow Him on the road" (Mark 10:52b, HCSB). I smiled when I read that. It’s as if Bartimaeus thought, "I am theproof of Jesus' touch and so where He goes, I will go!"

What has Jesus done in you that others need to see? Pass on the proof.

Stay in your lane. Run hard. And pass it on. No matter how blurry life seems to be, focus on Jesus will always bring us freedom.

God, help me to see You passing me by today. I want to encounter all the miracle moments You have for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Mark 10:51, "Then Jesus answered him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbouni,’ the blind man told Him, ‘I want to see!’" (HCSB)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Visit Nicki Koziarz’ blog today to win a beautiful framed print with a reminder of today’s devotion!

Sometimes focusing on Jesus happens best when we underwhelm our schedule, so God can overwhelm our soul. You might enjoy The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one thing that distracts you from focusing on Jesus?

What can you do today to keep your focus on Him? Share your ideas in our comment section. You never know how you might "pass on" some encouragement to someone else reading the comments.

© 2015 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org