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…                                                                                                                                

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8            

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2019 Luke 17:17.

Luke 17:17.    ​And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
Well it’s Sunday once again, but this time we coming to you from the hot and hazy capital of Jamaica, Kingston. Now the ole fella is a li’l bit in doubt here, for it’s shortly after five in the evening, and I can’t make up my mind whether we should have church or not, because there’s a lot of stuff to share with you re my recent activities in this wonderful land. In any case, whatever I decide, I will have to leave you shortly, until whenever I come back from dinner with one of my sisters. 
Oh yes, I have plenty sisters here in J.A; not the biological kind, but the even more important, actual caring and LOVING kind, who enriched my stay in J.A fifty something years ago! And those kinds of people are ever so important in our lives, whether you see them constantly, or once in a blue moon; just knowing that they are there, and they care, adds a whole lot of satisfaction and glow to our souls. Sorry, got to go now, sis is here. (smile) See you soon. 
Back now mih people, shortly after nine my time, but ten, for many of you. Tried mih best to get back sooner, but just couldn’t make it happen, couldn’t do mih sister a Spanish; eat and run. (smile) Then when I walked into the hotel lobby a group of medical people from the same graduating year were sitting there and they coerced me into joining them for about half an hour. And ah sorry, but the way it looks like we not having no church today. But don’t worry, the ole fella went to church this morning, up in the chapel on the university campus. 
To tell the truth, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been in there. I knew about it, but in those days I suspect that I was not as God conscious as I am now. However the service was good, though somewhat long, with plenty praise and worship. The young lady who led us in that was truly excited about leading worship and I believe her enthusiasm flowed over into many of us. The University Chorale sang for us; a truly fine group of singers. 
The service was a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the U.W.I Graduating Class of 1969 and the U.W.I Mona Library Open Week 2019, and the theme of the whole thing was ‘A HEART OF GRATITUDE!’ And as our preacher, Rev. Dr. Henroy Samuels so rightly said in his sermon, the graduates of that class who walked the campus some fifty years ago, looked good and were still healthy because of their heart of gratitude, exemplified by our return to celebrate and give thanks. Those were certainly true words. 
And the scripture was taken from Luke 17, where Jesus healed the ten lepers. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he (Jesus) entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ (Luke 17:11-13) They had to stay afar off because their illness was contagious. 
And as always, Jesus did show them mercy. ‘And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.’ (Luke 17:14) Back in those days, lepers were total outcasts and could only be integrated back into society, if they happened to get cleansed, by showing themselves to the priests and getting their permission. Thus Jesus’ directive for them to go to the priests. Now that’s the good part of the story, but what happens next is the kind of thing we’ve been talking about – a heart of gratitude. 
Hear the Good Book: ‘And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.’ (Luke 17:15-16) Right there we see a major problem. Ten men were healed, apparently nine were Jews and one a Samaritan, the bitter enemies of the Jews. But as life would have it, only the Samaritan returned to give thanks to Jesus and the Father. 
As the minister said this morning, who knows, the Jews who didn’t return and give thanks might have believed that because they were the Chosen People, they were entitled to it. and that’s a major problem in our society today! Too many of us believe we’re entitled to too much, and are not grateful and thankful for what we have. We complain so much about what we don’t have, instead of giving thanks for what we do have. But hear the end of the story: ‘And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ (Luke 17:17-18) That was a stinging rebuke to His Jewish people. 
According to the scholars: ‘17:18. Stranger literally means “of another race of people”; it therefore refers to a Gentile. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. This non-Jew, Jesus points out is more spiritually minded than the nine leprous Jews. Yet “strangers” (to cite a use of the word from outside of the Scripture) were forbidden to enter the temple’s inner confines by prominent signs in the temple precincts.’ I guess that might have made it somewhat difficult for the Samaritan to show himself to the priests. (smile) But anyway, good manners and a grateful heart dictated that the other nine should have returned to Jesus and gave Him thanks. 
They were brave and bold enough to beg Him for mercy, but when He showed them that mercy, they couldn’t even come and say a simple ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Unfortunately, that’s the way too many of us also behave today, even supposed believers. Too many of us are not grateful for all the Lord has done, is doing, and has promised to do on our behalf! And that is totally wrong my brethren. Now hear how Jesus ends it. ‘And he said unto to him, (the Samaritan), Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.’ (Luke 17:19) 
And as the scholars say: ‘17:19. All were healed, but only one gives Jesus thanks. His salvation is complete.’ Ah friends, yuh see the great difference some thanks and gratitude made: The Samaritan was granted salvation, while the Jews were still adrift in their ungratefulness. Please, don’t allow that to happen to us nuh. It doesn’t take a whole lot to say, thank you and be grateful. It could certainly make a big difference in our lives, both here on earth, and in heaven too. Much LOVE!
 
…it is our bounden duty…to give thanks and be grateful…for all the Lord’s blessings…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2019 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.    ​And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
 

Rise and shine fellow warriors in Christ’s army! The trump has sounded! It’s time to gird ourselves in our protective armour and head for the frontlines, where our General, Jesus, the most highly named and exalted Commander in the universe is already there waiting for us. And like His snow-white steed that’s pawing the ground in great anticipation, He’s also eager to join the battle this good-looking summer morn, which just happens to be Monday, the first day of the new workweek (smile). 

And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get back on the merry go round of work after a couple days off, especially with summer in the air and weekend trips to the cottage up north getting into full gear. But work we must if we want to survive, so we have this fail-safe pick-me-up we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s declare (yeh!) it all together now nuh, so that we can rise to the occasion.  

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And brother, yuh see how quickly we start feeling better; our eyes light up with a new gleam, our souls suddenly feel refreshed and we feel like we could fight an army or move a mountain single handedly! Wow! That’s because the Holy Spirit is working in us to give the Lord’s answer to our humble, sincere, but ever-confident prayer! And why yuh think that is eh? 

That’s because Jesus says that whenever we pray, whatever we pray for, if we believe, we will get it. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) And He also says that if we ask for anything in His name, He will do it. ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

What great promises friends! But we also know that there are certain provisos to those promises, they all depend on them being in the Father’s will, timing and purpose for our lives and coming from sincere motives of the heart; they just can’t be wishy-washy, selfish, self-aggrandizing prayers. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘14:13-14. In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf.16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works.” (vs.12) The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

But what is Jesus really talking about here eh? It’s basically about faith; the level of our faith in Him and the Father. In the passage in Mark above, He had just cursed the fruitless fig tree and caused it to suddenly wither up. That gave Him ‘the occasion to expound concerning faith, prayer and forgiveness.’ And He began thus: ‘Have faith in God.’  And that’s the whole sermon right there in a nutshell my people! 

Remember He also said these things on the subject: ‘According to your faith be it unto you,’ when He touched the two blind men’s eyes. (Matt.9:29) And when the disciples couldn’t heal an epileptic child, and wanted to know why, He admonished them: ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) 

Some important points to notice there; even a li’l faith is a powerful thing, and some jobs call for not faith alone, but also for fasting and intense prayer. And please note that in almost every occasion on which He healed someone, Jesus made it a point to invoke his or her faith into the healing. 

Note the occasion when the Roman centurion approached Him for his servant’s healing, then said that Jesus did not need to come to his house to do it, He had the power to do it right there. Jesus replied in astonishment: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ Matt.8:10) Yes friends, a heathen Roman centurion showed more faith in Jesus’ awesome power than any of His own people! 

And what a wonderful example of great faith is the woman with the twelve year issue of blood who fought through the throng believing if she only touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed. And when she did, she was healed instantly. But Jesus also noticed that something was wrong, because He felt some of His power go out of Him, and asked: ‘Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?’ (Mark 5:25-33). 

But Jesus persisted in looking around to find the culprit, (smile) and eventually the woman fell down before Him and admitted the truth. ‘And he (Jesus) said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:34) And there are many more instances of Jesus calling on people to show faith, which we have no time or space to get into today. But I’ll leave us with one of Jesus favourite jibes to those who reused to belief Him. ‘O ye of li’l faith.’ 

And sadly, in these ungodly and evil times, He’s saying that about a lot of us supposed Christians. Please friends and fellow believers, let’s rise up today and begin giving Him serious occasion to change it nuh to ‘How great is thy faith!’ That would surely warm the cockles of His holy and oh so LOVING heart! It’s about time we did something to cause that, don’t you think? Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6) 

P.S. Sorry that the Bit’s somewhat late…and somewhat long, but good, (smile) but I had some pressing problems that I had to deal with first. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2017 Luke 8:50.

Luke 8:50.   But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

Well friends, it’s Saturday, we’re alive and kicking and into the weekend in full swing now! For that we should be grateful and give our great God some thanks for His grace and mercy, because that’s the only reason why we’re still alive today. Many people have not been so fortunate or blessed. 

But then again friends, is there ever a day when some sort of disaster isn’t taking place in our world? I understand that tropical storm Jose has now strengthened back to hurricane status and is heading for the East coast of North America, including the Eastern Canadian Provinces. 

And on another sorrowful note, the island of Barbuda, which was flattened by hurricane Irma now has no one living there, for the first time in some three hundred years. 

It was so badly devastated that they had to move all the residents to the sister island of Antigua. It’s a good thing that Antigua did not feel the full force of Irma, otherwise it would have been truly catastrophic. 

But what to do eh? We just have to have hope and carry on, for we know that once there is life, there is hope, and once there is hope, anything’s possible. And normally on a Saturday, we’d turn to those priceless quotes from our friend Anselm, in his heroic endeavour to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

However, because of hurricane Irma, I have only received one missive him from him this week, and that was yesterday. He lives some where in Florida and was most likely without power until then. He is apparently one of the fortunate ones, because there are millions down there who are still without power. 

And yesterday’s quote aptly said: ‘Believe in yourself.’ And that’s something we all need to do friends, if we hope to have any success in any and every aspect of our lives. However, I would like to add one proviso to that statement…but first, believe in God! 

Now that’s the kick-starter for ALL things; belief in Almighty God! For without that assurance and trust in our Creator and heavenly Father, nothing will go right in our lives. 

That brings us to our Bit, where, Jesus, on his way to a synagogue ruler’s house to heal his daughter, got waylaid into some other healing, and then a messenger came and told the ruler: ‘Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master (Teacher). But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’ 

Yeh friends, everything in our lives first has to start with belief of some kind, and the best kind of belief is that which is based on Almighty God! It’s only logical my brethren. If He is the creator of everything, then there is none better to put our belief, our faith and our trust in! 

How did Jesus put it? ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ (John 14:1) And so should we, seeing that Jesus IS the Son of God, as well as our Lord and Saviour, who sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be cleansed and set free from our sins. 

Oh my people, our Christian experience is based strictly on belief, on faith, on sincere trust in the Holy Trinity, consisting of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If we don’t believe in their ascendancy, then our Christian faith is valueless. 

Jesus made the connection very often. Look at when the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years, believing she could be healed if she could only touch the hem of His robe, pushed through the crowd and did exactly that. She was healed immediately. 

And what did Jesus say to her afterwards? ‘Daughter, be of good comfort (cheer): thy faith hath made thee whole (well); go in peace.’ (Luke 8:48) 

And it works both ways friends. Hear how Jesus admonishes the crowd that followed Him only to be relieved from their physical hunger and not their spiritual lack. ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye have seen me, and believe not.’ (John 6:35-36) 

And like wise He chastises Phillip, when he asks Him to show them the Father. ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father? 

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself (on my own authority): but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works‘ sake.’ (John 14:9-11) 

And we’ll end with this admonishment to Thomas who refused to believe that Jesus was indeed risen from the dead until he saw His scars. ‘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 20:29) 

Yes faithful followers, that pertains directly to us, who have believed in Jesus and all that He has said and done, without actually seeing Him in the flesh, like the disciples did. We are indeed blessed for that act of faith! Please don’t doubt, or ever lose that belief. Much LOVE!

…again we say…belief in Jehovah God…is the true beginning…and the sure foundation of…EVERYTHING…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2016 Luke 8:50

Luke 8:50.    But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

‘Oh Lord we give you praise and thanks, honour and glory, because through your LOVE, your grace and mercy, you sacrificed your only begotten Son, so that we worthless sinners could be saved, every single one. Thank you Lord for your forgiveness.  

From the very bottom of our hearts, we sincerely thank you for Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, and we bless and revere your holy name. We promise to be always faithful and obedient to your word, so that one day we can dwell securely and joyfully with you in heaven. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!’ 

Oh friends that’s just a li’l ditty I concocted on the spur of the moment to begin our daily meditations. It’s not spectacular, but it does contain all the important and relevant elements of our faith and hopefully it will bring our focus to rest on Almighty God, our Creator and Provider as we try to build our faith, encourage each other and further the good news, the wonderful gospel of Christ.  

And to help us do that, check out these two quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. And the first quote provocatively proclaims: ‘DON’T stop believing…  Every day we get up, we will have something to deal with. But we must not let these things stop us from believing in God, ourselves and others. Our belief (or faith) in good is the fuel that will keep us going. In spite of the daily challenges, there is still so much good to believe in, to experience and to tell.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my people? It certainly is! A couple things we believers cannot stop doing is believing in good, in God, and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for if we do, we’ll be completely lost and most likely captured by the evil enemy Lucifer and end up in Hades with him. And believe me, that won’t be a very pleasant situation. 

And the second quote says: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ Those are more words of truth my brethren! 

Now technically speaking we all can’t lead, since leading inherently supposes followers, but all Christians ought to have some leadership tendencies in them. As Anselm says, we ought to have actions that inspire others to dream, to learn, to stand strong and faithful, to rise up to the level God has planned for them. That’s what our faith is all about! 

And to back up our contentions, let’s turn to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’ 

That’s what Jesus said to Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue, whose daughter He was on the way to heal, but then Jairus’ servants brought news of her death and the father slumped in grief. Yes friends, two simple but powerful and overwhelming statements: ‘be not afraid, only believe.’ That’s how Mark records it. (Mark 6:36)  

And they are not very easy to do when negative circumstances come against us, like in Jairus’ position, but we need to just keep on believing my people, for its ‘a mark of our Christian maturity when we can do it successfully. Remember the words ‘give up,’ do not exist in our vocabulary. 

And note too, that while Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house, a woman with an issue of blood for twelve years, made her way through the enormous crowd believing that if she could just touch His garments she would be healed. And she was too. So much so that Jesus looked around and declared: ‘Who touched me?’ 

The disciples were amazed that within the throng of people Jesus would ask such a question. ‘And Jesus said, somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue (power) is gone out of me.’ (Luke 8:46) 

Finally the woman came to Jesus and acknowledged that she was the one who had purposely touched Him and was immediately healed. ‘And he said unto her, Daughter be of good comfort (cheer): thy faith hath made the whole (well) go in peace.’ (Luke 8:48) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘8:48. The woman likely had superstitious notions about how she had been healed, but Jesus clarifies what took place.’ It was all because of her strong belief, her unshakeable faith! So friends, a lot of what happens to us also depends on our faith and the strength of our belief in Jesus Christ.  

Now let’s look at another scenario where Jesus again invokes the power of belief. This time a father brought his epileptic son to the disciples, but they were unable to heal him. 

‘Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless (unbelieving) and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer (bear with) you? bring him hither. And Jesus rebuked the devil (demon); and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart (privately), and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt:17:17-21) 

So friends, although Jesus rebuked His disciples for their lack of belief, of not strong enough faith, He eventually acknowledges that prayer and fasting are important elements in faith works. 

And we’ll end with a quick explanation from the scholars. ‘17:15-23. As a grain of mustard seed: This seemingly impossible obstacle or difficulty stands in the way. Since Christ alone is the glorified Saviour, the disciples’ ability to work depends totally upon His empowerment.’  

That means we also need His empowerment my believing brethren; the only difference is that we now have His Holy Spirit dwelling with us and back then they had Jesus in person. Ah mih people, yuh see the power that is possible when we believe. We shouldn’t have to be told to believe, but some of us still need it. So please believe! (smile) Much LOVE!

…only believe…only believe…all things are possible…if you’ll only believe…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2014 Mark 9:23

Mark 9:23.     Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Well well my Canadian Friends and Neighbours, the party done now! Thanksgiving Day is over now, although the practice of thanksgiving must be an ongoing movement. I hope we all had a good time, we didn’t over do it, and the Lord was pleased with our devotions.
 
I didn’t do much myself, just had a quiet day, since we had our small family festivities on Sunday. And furthermore, the weather in my area didn’t lend itself to any raucous celebrations –cloudy and unfriendly – although I know that didn’t stop a whole lot of others from being raucous and rambunctious. (smile)
 
I surely hope that we didn’t give Lucifer and his evil compadres any space for advancement in our souls, but most importantly, for those of you who sang our Monday Morning battle Hymn so boisterously yesterday morning, knowing that you did not have to go to work, I certainly hope that you all have the wherewithal to go out and labour this Tuesday morning after the festivities. (smile) Yuh know it always catches up to us.
 
Now let’s take a gander at our Bit. ‘Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’
 
It deals with faith and belief, and today we’re going to look at situations of faith, of people coming to Jesus for help through some kind of inbred faith, some of which astonished even Jesus.
 
But before we get into the scriptures, let’s hear a word on the subject from Gramps Schuller – Dr. Robert H. Schuller – from his Hour of Power Devotional.
 
It’s titled ‘FAITH’ and it says: ‘Lord, I believe in the sun, even when it is behind the clouds; in the seed, even when it lies unsprouted under the ground; in faith, even when I have been betrayed; in LOVE, even when I have been rejected; in hope, even when I have been hurt; in God, even when you do not answer my prayers. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s what it means to have faith! Even when things aren’t going your way, you still stand strong in your belief in Jesus.
 
Now let’s look at the particular situation which occasioned our Bit from Jesus. A sorrowful father had brought his young son to the disciples for healing. The lad was infected by a dumb (mute) spirit, which caused him to have crazy, dangerous seizures, but the disciples couldn’t heal him. (Mark 9:17-18)
 
Jesus’ response was: ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer (bear with) you? Bring him unto me.’ (Mark 9:19)
 
And as the Lord would have it, the youngster had a seizure as soon as they brought him before Jesus. ‘And he (Jesus) asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child (from childhood). And oftimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us.’ (Mark 9:21-22)
 
That’s when Jesus repeated the words of our Bit: ‘If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.’ (Mark 9:23-24)
 
Yes my people, in some form and fashion, deep down the father believed, that’s why he brought his son to the disciples in the first place.
 
The scholars; describe it thus: ‘9:24. He had a certain faith; but it was confession of his undeniable inner turmoil and doubt that marked his faltering faith as truly authentic, if imperfect, trust. Before God honesty is a wise course.’
 
That last sentence is gospel truth my brethren! If we are anything less than totally honest with God, we’re simply wasting our time, for remember He reads the motives of our hearts, not our outward actions.
 
Jesus healed the lad right there and then. He had no choice, since the father had backed Him into a corner with his declaration of apparently sincere though confused and troubled faith.
 
But later on, in private, when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the spirit, He answered them: ‘This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.’ (Mark 9:29)
 
And the scholars have an interesting comment on that verse: ‘9:29. While some manuscripts omit fasting, it seems crucial to the context. Jesus does not seem to have resorted to prayer in the course of this healing. Perhaps he refers to a life-style of prevailing prayer that yields a reservoir of spiritual power for just such a crisis as this.’
 
Who knows Friends? But to influence spiritual power, prayer and fasting, in a serious and sincere manner, are of the utmost importance!
 
And I believe we have time for one more example of strong faith and belief. Jesus was on His way to raise the daughter of a Jewish ruler Jairus, when this situation occurred.
 
‘And a certain woman, which had an issue (a flow) of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered (no better), but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press (crowd) behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.’
 
(Scholars note: Popular belief had it that a person’s dignity and power extend to what he wears.) ‘And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague (affliction). And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue (power) had gone out of him, turned him about in the press (crowd), and said, Who touched my clothes?
 
And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5: 25-34)
 
Oh my people, what a great story! But back in those times it was a very dangerous game that the woman played.
 
Listen to the scholars explain: ‘5:33. The woman would be fearful of a rebuke, since her bleeding rendered her “unclean” according to Jewish law. She ought not to have been mixing in the crowd, nor reaching out purposely to touch a man. That she owned up openly indicates that her interest lay not only in physical health: she wanted to be right with Jesus Himself. Her faith, not the grasp of her hand, brought restoration to her.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s the power of faith! So today, while we go about the Lord’s business, please let us embrace a faith as strong and as courageous as the folks we’ve read about, and let’s allow it come out, to show in all our words and actions, because that’s our duty as ambassadors for Christ. Much LOVE!
 
…like the woman with the issue of blood…let’s bow down and confess to Jesus…so that we can be made right with Him…
 
P.S. Oh Friends, it’s long and late, but it’s beautiful! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2014 Mark 5:36b

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

 

Oh Friends, it was one of those nights when the early to bed, early to rise situation was replaced by the late to bed, therefore late to rise tactic. And believe me, the rising wasn’t made any easier by the gentle riddim of the falling rain. (smile) But we all know that once there’s hungry hope and expectant faith, all things are possible.
 
And that’s worthily enhanced by our word from my almanac for today: ‘BELIEVE!’
 
Now that’s one of the strongest tools in man’s arsenal, my people! So much so that Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th U.S. President, is reputed to have declared: ‘Believe and you’re halfway there.’
 
And there’s certainly a lot of truth in that statement, my brethren. The first action in any thing is usually one of belief; believing you can do it, or that the action is possible. As the Chinese Proverb also declares: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’
 
But Friends, we cannot take that first step until we believe that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is worth journeying for, is worth sacrificing whatever is necessary to achieve it. And believe me Friends – yes it’s a day of belief – anything that’s worthwhile striving for, will include a fair amount of sacrifice.
 
But the elementary position in it all must first be belief. As we said earlier, belief that the thing is possible, and also belief that you can carry it out to a successful ending. That’s why our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ placed so much emphasis in His teaching on belief.
 
Our Bit says it quite clearly: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’
 
And a very important aspect of any situation is that once we believe, we need to keep on believing, for belief is not a one time, one and done thing, but a continuous process, especially where Jesus Christ is concerned!
 
Now let’s look at the situation under which Jesus spoke the words of our Bit. And it was indeed a red-letter day, one of the many in Jesus’ earthly sojourn. For on that day, as He was on His way to heal a ruler of the synagogue’s (Jairus) daughter, a woman in the huge crowd who had suffered from an unusual blood flow for 12 years, BELIEVED!
 
She had spent all her money on medical treatment, but instead of getting better, she just got worse. But that day, when she heard that Jesus was in town, she hurried down to see him. ‘For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.’ (Mark 5:28)
 
What belief, what faith my people! So she surged through the crowd and touched His clothing. ‘And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:29)
 
Yes Friends, the power of belief is a helluva thing, especially if that belief is in Jesus Christ!
 
And the scholars explain the woman’s possible reasoning. ‘5:28. Popular belief had it that a person’s dignity and power extend to what he wears.’
 
And in that light, her actions make complete sense. But what’s also interesting is that with all the crowd milling around Him, and everybody pushing and shoving to get a better position, Jesus knew immediately that something was amiss; ‘knowing in himself that virtue (power) had gone out of him, turned him about in the press (crowd), and said, Who touched my clothes?’ (Mark 5:30)
 
The disciples were obviously astounded by His question, as there were so many people around Him. ‘And he (Jesus) looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:32-34).
 
Yes my people, faith can only come from belief! In fact, simply put, faith is strong belief!
 
And the scholars give us this interesting explanation of the woman’s behaviour. ‘5:33. The woman would be fearful of a rebuke, since her bleeding rendered her “unclean” according to Jewish law. She ought not to have been mixing in the crowd, nor reaching out purposely to touch a man. That she owned up indicates that her interest lay not only in physical health: she wanted to be right with Jesus Himself. Her faith, not the grasp of her hand, brought restoration to her.’
 
That brings up an interesting and oh so important question my brethren; how many of us sincerely want to be right with Jesus eh? So right that we fall on our knees and admit our wrongs?
 
Hopefully all believers, since it’s a rite of our faith, of our belief in Jesus! For now though, we’ll just leave that question and its answer to circulate in our souls, (smile) and continue with the story of that red-letter day.
 
The Good Book describes it thus: ‘While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master (Teacher) any further?’ (Mark 5:35)
 
And to that statement, the scholars declare: ‘5:35. Obviously, Jesus has intentionally let the time pass in which He might have preserved the girl’s life.’
 
And the Good Book continues: ‘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)
 
Yes Friends, all we have to do is BELIEVE!
 
So today, let’s get the ball rolling on belief nuh; particularly in strong belief in Jesus! And for those of us who already have that strong belief in Him, let’s go out and teach and show others by our words and actions how that belief plays such a great and wonderful part in our lives. For that’s what Jesus expects of His followers, of His true believers. In fact it’s our bounden duty as a true believer!
 
So let’s go out and do our duty, make Jesus proud of us by exhibiting belief and faith as strong as, if not stronger than the woman in the story with the issue of blood, thereby glorifying Him to all with whom we come into contact. Much LOVE!
 
…one can’t truly believe in Jesus…without it being showed in one’s actions and words… 
 
P.S. Oh my people, the lateness of the Bit was even further aggravated by my security company wanting to do an important update in the middle of my writing, then needing me to shut down the computer so that the update could take effect. It certainly was aggravating. But I guess that’s a part of the whole computer scene, and we just have to grin and bear it. Again, my humblest apologies. (smile) Much LOVE!