Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 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.

Ah friends, once more we have been blessed with another wonderful day on God’s marvellous creation called planet earth! And believe me, there’s method to God’s madness for allowing us to see another day. It means we still have things to do in the great plan that He’s mapped out for us since the beginning of time. 

So let’s be joyful and declare as the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)  Yes my fellow believers, under the circumstances, it’s the only attitude that makes sense. 

And furthermore, since the psalmist wrote those words, we have even more reason to celebrate because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died to cleanse our sinful souls, reconcile us to the Father and offer us the magnificent gifts of salvation and eternal life by simply believing in Him and being obedient to His Word! Wow! What a Saviour!  

And this summer Sunday morning I’d like us to sing an old hymn, a favourite of mine in my youth, which tells of Jesus’ great sacrifice on our behalf. It’s called, ‘There is a green hill far away.’ 

Please sing loudly and lustily with me. ‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there. 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Oh precious people, it is so good to offer up praise and thanks to our God after what He’s done for us. Just look at it nuh; Jesus was the ONLY one who could unlock heaven’s’ gate so that we might enter because He was sinless! And he did it so selflessly, enduring the horrendous pain without any complaints! 

Meanwhile, we soft, pampered people today, cry and complain so much if we have even a li’l hang nail. (smile) I don’t think many, if any of us, could have borne even one tenth of Jesus’ suffering without going crazy from the abuse and the pain. 

However, thankfully, we’re not called on to do that, but we are called on to bear some trials and tribulations in this earthly life, which we should try to do without too much caterwauling and complaining.  And the formula for doing that is given at the end of the hymn above. ‘LOVE Jesus, trust in His redeeming blood and diligently try to do His work.’ 

It’s all right there in a nutshell friends, just waiting for us to put it into action. And that’s exactly where we as supposed followers of Christ fall down. We talk a good talk, but can’t match it with our walk. And that’s not right, because the only way others will want to come to Jesus is by seeing His grace and truth, mercy, forgiveness and LOVE in action in our lives. 

And it’s high time we start doing better, if we want to carry the day for Jesus. But we need to first believe that it’s possible and then that we have the necessary parts to do it.  

Listen to Jesus’ admonition to Jairus the synagogue ruler when he heard that his daughter had died. ‘But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’ 

Yes friends, the starting point for everything is BELIEF! If you don’t believe, generally speaking, it won’t happen. Now let’s look at a couple of other instances where Jesus invoked belief. 

Let’s begin with His early morning journey from Bethany to Jerusalem. He was hungry and approached a fig tree expecting to find figs because it was fig season. However the tree was barren of all fruit. Jesus then declared to the fig tree: ‘Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.’ (Matt.21:19) 

Obviously the disciples were amazed at the fig tree’s sudden demise. ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:21-22) 

And friends, please note that the important word in that last sentence is ‘BELIEVING!’ If you don’t believe, all your prayers are useless. 

Now let’s turn to our final example, that time when Jesus heard that His friend Lazarus was deathly ill, but He stayed where He was for another two days before returning to Bethany. By then Lazarus had died and his sister Martha met Jesus on the way and criticized Him. 

‘Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ (John 11:21-27) 

Ah friends, Martha surely believed, but she did not understand Jesus’ intention to raise her brother in the current time. Thus when they took Him to Lazarus’ tomb and He ordered them to roll away the stone from the mouth, ‘Martha saith unto him, Lord by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (John 11:39-40) 

And we all know that after Jesus spoke to His Father, for the people’s sake, He ordered Lazarus to come out and he came out, alive and well and many of those who saw Jesus’ work, believed. 

I ask us now friends, do we believe that strongly so that we can see the glory of God? For all of our sakes, I sincerely hope so. Much LOVE!

…without belief…not much is possible…

 

 

 

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