ALTAR CALL: Leave Jericho, follow Jesus!
LEAVE JERICHO BEHIND and follow Jesus.
Taking her message from Mark 10: 46-52, Minister Sharon Lavia told the congregation at Haggatt Hall Wesleyan Holiness Church last week Sunday that Jericho represented a place of darkness and infirmity, a season of unproductivity, dryness and poverty. She therefore urged those present to leave their burdens and sin behind and make the decision to follow Jesus.
Lavia said people often found themselves in undesirable situations and circumstances that left them destitute and wondering how in the world they got there.
She alluded to the fact that when Jesus was introduced to blind Bartimaeus, who was in a place called Jericho, he too probably wondered how he got stuck there.
“Everyone was passing through but he was stuck,” Lavia said. “God is saying it’s time to come out. When you are in a place for a long time, you begin to own it, you get comfortable and you become satisfied; even make peace with it. Who wants to be sick, blind and poor all their lives?”
Devil a liar
She added: “If you are in unfamiliar territory or a prisoner of your circumstances and it seems like there is no way out, the devil is a liar. Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’.”
As she shared the story of blind Bartimeaus, Lavia noted that the blind man was told to hold his peace when he cried out to Jesus.
To this, she declared: “The enemy will try to silence you whenever you make a move towards God. He will use every means, tactic and lie to stop you from getting to the place where God wants you.
“But you must press towards the mark of the high calling of God and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from getting what God has for you.”
The minister said when one answered the call to go to the Master, some things had to be left behind.
“You must leave some stuff to follow Jesus. The blind man threw off his old garments. They represented his old life, old way of thinking, old mythologies.”
She urged the congregation to leave their baggage and infirmities, and get rid of the friends who wanted to pull them back into the past and encourage them in a life of sin.
She noted that when Jesus called Bartimaeus and he received his healing, he did not sit back on his bench and said “now I can see”. Neither did he celebrate the return of his sight, throw a party or look up old friends and family, she added.
He simply made the decision to follow Jesus.
Lavia urged her listeners to make the decision to leave Jericho and follow Jesus, and do it “before it is too late”.