Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 November 2021 Mark 5:36.

Mark 5:36.     Be not afraid, only believe.

Grace and peace friends! Grace and peace from our heavenly Father this damp and cloudy Thursday morning in my neighbourhood! But as we know, that unwelcome physical day is no barrier to our living for Jesus, because in that grace and peace He gives us the wherewithal to handle whatever we need to in His awesome name. Ah mih people, God’s grace covers everything, every aspect of our life, and it just keeps overflowing when we stay in touch with Him. In other words, His grace is perfect! 

And when you add His eternal peace to the mix, your life becomes so wonderful, so miraculous and mysterious that you find it hard to believe. But please believe it, because it’s true! With Jesus in our lives, any number can play at any time, unexpected adventure is always in the air, we just have to believe and be prepared, waiting expectantly with bated breath.(smile) For who knows where He will lead us on any particular day? But it’s for sure that wherever He leads, He will also be there to protect, since He’s faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us. 

And the beauty of the situation is that we only need to believe. And there are so many scriptures which highlight the importance of believing that we ought to look at some of them. Now let’s begin with this one from John’s first epistle, where he says: ‘And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and LOVE one another, as he gave us commandment.’ (1 John 2:23) 

And if you don’t believe John, then listen to Jesus with this seminal, formative, ground-breaking scripture. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Oh my people, that’s a scripture we all know and quote but obviously don’t truly or fully believe, otherwise there wouldn’t be as many doubts about Jesus as are currently running rampant through our church, and the fear and anxiety that are holding so many supposed believers’ prisoners of doubt. 

Don’t forget Jesus’ words to Martha when He asked that they roll away the stone from her brother Lazarus’ grave, and she balked because of the expected stench that would emanate from the tomb. ‘Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?’ (John 11:40) 

And listen to Jesus again as He was on His way to heal the daughter of a synagogue leader, but tarried a moment to talk to the woman with the issue of blood who had touched the hem of His garment and was made whole. To her He said: ‘’Daughter thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:34) And what is faith eh mih brethren? Simply, strong belief in something or someone. That woman believed that if she could only touch some part of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed, and that’s exactly how it turned out. 

But while Jesus was dealing with the woman, the synagogue leader’s people came and told him that his daughter was dead. However, ‘As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:36) Meaning to keep on believing that He would do what He set out to do; that is heal his daughter, which He eventually did. (Mark 5:41-42) 

And how can we not remember Jesus’ memorable words to the disciple Thomas who refused to believe that Christ was risen from the dead until he saw Him and put his hands in the scars of His wounds. When Jesus finally appeared to Thomas, He said to him. ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:27-29) 

That’s us friends! Jesus is referring to people like us who haven’t seen Him in physical person but still believe in Him and all that He stands for. Then we have that very interesting situation when Bruh Paul and Silas were in prison in Philippi, praying and singing psalms at midnight and a sudden earthquake occurred, broke down the prison doors and set all the prisoners free from their chains… but none escaped. 

And when the jailer found that his prisoners were all accounted for, He turned to Bruh Paul and Silas and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (household).’ (Acts 16:30-31) That’s exactly what he did. After hearing the word of God, he believed! He and his whole household were baptized. (Acts 16:32-34) 

Now, there are many other scriptures encouraging belief, but we’ll end with these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (put to shame). For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ (Rom. 10:9-12) 

And that’s the truth in spades! The Lord treats ALL who call upon His holy name richly, regardless of who or what you are. One caution here though. The scholars tell us, re ‘Confession made unto Salvation: One is not saved by his mouth’s confession, but rather, the mouth testifies readily of the grace of God in Christ which has been received by faith.’ So the confession of the mouth is just a vehicle for one’s testimony. (smile) 

And one of the many benefits of sincerely believing in Jesus is that He endows us with numerous blessings which enable us to be His ambassadors and do His earthly work. However, since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared, (chuh!!!) let’s declare what we call our Thursday Blessings in strong voice with mucho gratitude. 

Altogether 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 our responsibility to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as Christ shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…only believe…only believe…in JESUS…                                                                                                                                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2020 John 20:29.

John 20:29.     Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen me, and yet have believed.

Well I guess the best way to get into winter mode is to have two snowfalls as close together as possible. (smile) Yes, that seems logical. Anyway, by the time we cleaned up the first one yesterday, we had another one last night – not as bad as the first, but snow is snow! (smile) But thankfully the sun is shining brightly this morning, so we have an abundance of sunshine, both physically and spiritually through our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus! Nothing could be better for our souls! 

And what’s there to talk about this morning eh? Oh, I truly forgot that we’re now into the month of December when we celebrate the birth of Christ, so the Christmas hustle is on, just with a Covid-19 flavour. (smile) Yes, we’re into the church season termed Advent, where we symbolically look forward to and celebrate the first coming of our Lord a couple of thousand years ago in the manger at Bethlehem, with all the glory and pageant of angels singing, shepherds and earthly kings coming to pay Him homage, bringing gifts of frankincense, incense and myrrh. 

Yeh mih people, it is one of the big celebration times of the Christian’s year, when the Father acknowledged that we were irreparably lost and sent His only Son to earth in the form of man to eventually save us from our abominable sins and the overwhelming cloud of darkness which we were then living under. To show us the light, and provide salvation, eternal life for those who were willing to believe in Him. What a glorious start to a new way of life that was, though many refused to believe and accept Him at His word. 

That brings us to the point in His story, after he had sacrificed His innocent blood on the cross of Calvary, and rose triumphantly from the dead, even His disciples refused to believe that He was their real Lord and Saviour, alive in living colour. And He showed Himself first to some of them, who believed. But one who wasn’t there, Thomas, refused to believe until he had placed his hands in the scars of His hands and side. 

And when Jesus finally appeared unto the twelve at once, and offered Thomas the chance to ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believing.’ (John 20:27) Only then did Thomas delightedly crow: ‘My Lord and my God.’ (John 20:28) 

But Jesus had a warning word for Him and for all of us who would come after Him down through the ages.‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen me, and yet have believed.’(John 20:29) What a serious statement and warning that is my people, especially for believers in these deceitful, treacherous and uncertain times. 

Believing is of the utmost importance for us to get through them. We can’t only talk belief in these days of utter confusion, we need to show our faith, our belief in serious action, to let others know that we truly hold Christ as our Lord and Saviour and that He is, and will keep on helping and guiding us through the fear and anxiety caused by all the disaster happening in our world. And if they want to be as worry free as we Christians are, they need to, and can certainly accept Him as their Lord and Saviour, and He will also deliver them from their fear and anxiety. 

But only by our actions friends, by highlighting our compassion, LOVE, mercy, grace and genuine forgiveness, by helping them in whatever sphere they need help, can we ever hope to win them over to Jesus. They especially need to see His awesome peace within us, in this much less than peaceful time. We must action these momentous words of Jesus. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27). 

Oh precious people of Christ, when we truly believe, a divine kind of peace rises up in us, giving us the confidence to face the world no matter what comes against us. But then we must sincerely believe in Christ Jesus to get that kind of peace, for the world doesn’t give it. What the world has to offer is not real peace, but an insincere kind of peace; faked, just like so many more of its offerings. But when we truly accept Christ and what He has to offer, it makes a big difference in our lives. 

Here’s how He characterizes it: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Wow mih bredrin, what powerful, but oh so true words! Jesus has conquered hell, death and the grave, so He does have the authority to make such an earth shattering statement! And if you truly believe in Him, then you too will be able to find an inner peace despite all the turbulence that’s happening around you. 

Yes, the essence of the whole programme isBELIEF! And sincere belief at that, not a wishy- washy, flakey, doubting, wavering kind of belief. And we’ll end with these marvellous and true words of John the Baptist, who was the harbinger, sent to bear witness of Christ’s coming and His divine personhood. ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but hath the wrath of God abideth (remains) in him.’ (John 3:36) 

Now it could not get any plainer than that; believe and you have life, do not believe, and you perish. And the very important thing about it all is that every individual has to come to that decision for themselves. Others can lead or guide you, but it needs to be a personal decision to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. So for those of us who have truly done so, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world in no uncertain terms, our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if you truly believe, and endure unto the end, then your future will be indeed more glorious that you can ask or imagine.Much LOVE!

…believe…only believe…that’s all Jesus asks…