Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 October 2022 James 5:13.

James 5:13.        Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? let him sing psalms.

Well my Scrip-Bit friends and family, what’s up with you this Thursday autumn morn eh? I sincerely hope that my missive finds you all in good health, and if not, that you are getting good medical help as well as prayer from your fellow believers. For, as James, Jesus’ brother, writes in the Good Book: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) And all of that to say, that prayer is also extremely important in the life of a believer when he or she is sick. We all run to the medical people, or the medicine cabinet as soon as we feel somewhat off kilter, but friends, the first place to run is always to Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. 

Now, He might send us to the medicine cabinet or the doctor, but it is ever so important to get Him involved in whatever sickness we are experiencing. For though we have come a long way in terms of medical technology, there are many times when man and man-made medicine can’t cure our illnesses, but Almighty God certainly can, if He so desires. It’s happening all the time around our world, where doctors sign off on patients, claiming they can’t do any more for them, but eventually through faith and prayer they get healed. 

So, it’s not like it doesn’t or can’t happen. Much of the time it’s because we don’t try, that’s ask for divine healing, or we don’t believe that we will get it. Remember Jesus’ admonition. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ (Matt. 7:7) And James corroborates his brother’s words by stating: ‘…ye have not because ye ask not.’ (James 4:2) And even when we ask: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures) . (James 4:3) So my people, persistent asking, seeking and knocking isn’t always successful unless our motives are right, because God looks at our hearts before He contemplates our pleas. 

Anyway, getting back to our subject of healing through prayer. Here’s what the scholars say on those verses above: ‘One of the Old Testament names of God is Yahweh-Rapha, meaning “The Lord That Heals You” (Ex. 15:26). Illustration: The healing power of God is evidenced in a number of instances in Scripture. God heals by preserving health (Deut. 8:4), and advising good nutritional habits (Ex. 15:26; Lev. 11) and a healthful life-style (Lev. 12-14) and through the application of medical treatment (James 5:14), forgiveness of disease-causing sin (Num. 12:13), and the prayer of faith (James 5:15). 

Application: Although God does not always choose to heal, He sometimes does. When a Christian is sick, he should confess his known sins, and God may heal him if the sickness is caused by sin. He may also be led to ask his elders to anoint him with oil and pray for his healing. Some diseases experienced by Christians today could be prevented by trusting God as Yahweh-Rapha, and allowing Him to deal with those things in their lives causing stress, anger, and worry. (First Ref. Ex. 15:26; Primary Ref. James 5:14-16; cf. Matt. 19:14)’ 

Now, that should certainly give us much food for thought, especially with the way sickness is still paralyzing our world despite our high level of medical technology. And I think it’s imperative to quote this very meaningful verse of scripture that the scholars referenced above. It comes after Moses made bitter water sweet for the Israelites at Marah after all their complaining. He said to them: ‘If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ (Ex. 15:26) 

Now, that should give us even more food for thought. Remember all the plagues that the Lord sent down on Egypt because Pharaoh refused to set the Israelites free? Like the plague of blood, where all the water in Egypt was turned to blood, the plagues of frogs, of lice, of boils, of darkness, the death of the first born of every Egyptian family, which led to the Jewish Passover, still celebrated to this day, because Jehovah Rapha saved the sons of the Israelites by getting them to put the blood of an unblemished lamb on the lintels of their doors, and the angel of death ‘passed over’ those doors that had blood on them. 

Consequently, for argument’s sake my brethren, let’s look at the kind of life we are currently living; sinful, disobedient, idol worshipping, denying the authority, even the existence of Almighty God, then put that in context with what Moses said to the Israelites. Isn’t it highly likely, very logical, that a lot of our problems stem from our sinful, disobedient, ungodly behaviour? It surely is! But the only way to find out is if we turned back to Jehovah God, He of many, many wonderful attributes, especially those of grace, mercy and forgiveness. It’s high time we revert to godliness, because our current behaviour is getting us nowhere, but destruction. 

And I believe this verse of scripture should also be very instructive in our thoughts and ponderings. It comes after Cousin Sol built the first temple in Jerusalem dedicated to the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord said unto Cousin Sol in a night vision: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr. 7:14) 

There again my fellow believers, it’s clearly spelled out that God requires righteous and goldy behaviour from us, strong and true belief in Him and His glorious power, constant communication with Him, and obedience to His will and Word. And any society that’s lacking in those requirements will never truly prosper. We can deny it all we want in this new age of supposed human renaissance, but the truth still remains that if we don’t serve our Creator, Almighty God, the way He desires, we won’t have a joyful or prosperous society. 

And what’s so sad is that despite trying all our man-made solutions, which any fool can see aren’t working, we still refuse to try a return to God’s fold. But as they say, we reap what we sow. And that’s the gospel truth, as we are indeed reaping the strife, sickness, and economic problems of our ungodly behaviour. But for those of us who are still hanging in there, trying to fight the good fight, the Lord has bestowed many undeserved blessings on us, what we call our Thursday Blessings, tools to help us do His earthly work. However, they need to be declared so that they can be activated. 

So as one strong and sincere voice, let’s declare them right now. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, it’s time for us to go out and use those divine blessings to bring others to Christ. Much LOVE!

…the wages of sin is death…so why the surprise at the dying of our sinful society… 

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