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 25 April 2018 Romans 10:9.

Romans 10:9.    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.

And thankfully the spring rains are falling gently on the land, caressing it, making it ready for the farmer’s seed and the riotous outburst of nature that comes after a cold and dark season of winter. Glory to our great God my people, for arranging the seasons the way He has, bringing us out of winter’s darkness with a sudden burst of light and colour in spring! 

And before we get into the meat of the message here are some hors d’oeuvres to whet our appetites. (smile) The first one tells us that ‘Prayer is our greatest privilege and our highest responsibility.’ And that’s gospel truth! I just wish more of us would realize the incredible importance of prayer in our own lives, as well as that of Christ’s body, the church, for that is the way we communicate with the Spirits of heaven. 

And the next sampling of soul food (smile) comes from Watchman Nee (1903-1972) a renowned Chinese preacher, who was locked up for his faith in 1952 and died in prison in 1972. He says: ‘Prayer is the most wonderful act in the spiritual realm, as well as the greatest mystery in the spiritual realm.’ 

More gospel truth my people! There is nothing like prayer in either realm; it both soothes the soul and allows us to communicate with our heavenly Father. Glory to God! 

Now let’s continue with the series of messages on the great and wonderful, ever-faithful promises of our unbelievable God, beginning with this heart-warming and reassuring scripture in our Bit. ‘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.’ 

Oh friends, what a glorious promise, the most important and extravagant of them all. Salvation is so easy; believing and confessing, that I can’t understand why everybody isn’t clamouring for it. I guess many of us are following the human edict, that if it’s too easy, it’s too good to be true. 

But friends this is not a human, but a divine edict from high heaven, so it doesn’t necessarily follow the laws and rules of man. Remember our God’s thoughts and ways are much higher than ours. So please, please believe and accept it nuh, because our eternal destination – inside with Christ, or outside in hell fire with Lucifer – depends solely on our acceptance of Christ as Lord and Saviour or not. 

And Bruh Paul continues: ‘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 (Gentile): for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ (Rom.10:10-12) 

Oh my brethren, it’s the same God that rules over ALL, and is generous to ALL who call upon Him! And the scholars explain: ‘10:10-11. Confession is 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 mouth is basically just a reflection of what’s in the heart! The heart is the true receptacle of our faith. 

Now let’s turn to this monster promise of God, that we all know and like to quote, but oftimes ignore it. Listen to Isaiah as he declares of the Lord: ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 

He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-31) 

Oh brother, oh brother; what a promise! And we’ve seen it kept right throughout the scriptures, from Abraham to Bruh Paul! All the men of faith were able to withstand much pressure and continue God’s work because of His enabling Spirit. 

And Bruh David weighs in with his two cents worth (smile): ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5) 

Mamacita! What else can we ask for eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! For the Lord provides everything we need…and in abundance too, for He’s a most generous and magnanimous God! So there are the facts friends. I can only tell you about them, I can’t make you accept them, but the wise will. 

And for those of us who have shown our wisdom by accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour, let’s declare to the unbelieving world, our present situation in Christ through our Wednesday Wail. In loud voice and strong sense of purpose 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 that future with Christ is truly mind boggling! Much LOVE!

…to live with…and for Christ…is the most awesome and amazing life possible…