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Faith Toward God (7)

In our last broadcast, we learnt some lessons from the faith of the woman with the issue of blood, and were to move on in this broadcast, to focus on the story of Jairus, as recorded in Mark 5:22-42. However, it has become necessary for us to review the lessons we learnt from the faith of the woman with the issue of blood, and further elaborate on the essential lessons of the story to rid our lives of unbelief. First, let us relate in a nutshell, the two-in-one story recorded in Mark 5:22-42: Jairus had approached the Lord Jesus to come and heal his daughter who was ill, and at the point of death. The Lord agreed to go with Jairus; and as He went, a throng of people followed Him. On the way, a woman who had been menstruating non-stop for twelve years, having heard that the Lord could heal her, was determined to obtain her healing. So, she went in the press of the crowd, determined to touch the hem of Jesus garment to get her healing. The woman touched the hem of Jesus garment, and was instantly healed! Having been healed, the Lord knew that someone had touched the hem of His garment, because virtue had left Him. So, He stopped, looked around, and asked who had touched Him, but His disciples wondered why He would even speak of someone touching the hem of His garment, when there were so many people milling around Him, who obviously came in contact with the hem of His garment. Eventually, the woman came forward, owned up, and the Lord pronounced wholeness upon her. Now, as a result of this interruption by the woman with the issue of blood, time was ticking on. So that, by the time the Lord had finished with the woman with the issue of blood, some people came from Jairus home to inform him that his daughter had just died, and that he need not trouble the Lord any longer. But before Jairus could absorb the news and tell the Lord not to bother coming any longer, the Lord Himself, who had apparently also heard the sad news, immediately said to Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe. And then, He continued on to Jairus home, but this time, with just three of His disciples and Jairus in tow. Upon arriving at Jairus home, he saw that people had gathered to mourn and to commiserate with the Jairus Family. And when the Lord commented that Jairus daughter was only sleeping and not dead, the mourners laughed Him to scornan obvious sign of their blatant unbelief. Eventually, the Lord sent everyone in the house away, and went into Jairus daughters room along with her parents and the three disciples who had gone with Him, and there, He raised Jairus daughter back to life and handed her over to her parents. This is the two-in-one story. Now, let us proceed to review and expound on the lessons we learnt from the faith of the woman with the issue of blood.
1. The woman with the issue of blood came to touch the hem of the Lord Jesus garment without His prior knowledge, and without His invitation or express permission. However, based on what she had been told, she believed that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus garment, she would be made whole. So, she went on to touch the hem of the Lords garment and was instantly healed. The faith of this woman was based on what she had heard about Jesus, which she obviously believed, and acted upon. So, if you have heard something about what the Lord Jesus can do, you dont need to wait for an invitation; appropriate it by faith and you shall not be disappointed. Please let us note that whatever you are told that the Lord Jesus can do, must be scriptural, and not the figment of a persons imagination. For example, if someone tells you that you dont have to be born again to get into heaven; that the Lord Jesus will usher you in even if you are not born again; then, you should know that you have been lied to, because the Lord Jesus Himself said in John 3:3, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. And in John 3:5, He says, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Now, in John 3:16-21, the Lord Jesus said, 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. This is Gods word about the salvation of manany man; be he a president, a governor, a senator, a wealthy man, a civil servant, a gateman, a taxi driver, a Moslem, an Arab, a Jew, a Nigerian, an American, a Chinese, and so on. It is unbelief not to go to the Lord Jesus in prayer, and ask Him to come and save you. You dont even have to go to a church to do that. But men who delight to do evil, would rather remain in evil, than give it up. But even though many people may choose to continue in evil, you dont have to follow them. Today is your opportunity to believe in Jesus, and to receive the free gift of His salvation, with the assurance of everlasting life. Friend, you should be giving thought to what will happen to you after you dieand this ought to be a matter of grave concern to every human being; so, we counsel that you go now to Jesus, and ask Him to come and save you from perishing in hell forever!
2. The woman acted on what she had heard about the Lord Jesus, because she was convinced that it was true, so much so, that the throng that had surrounded the Lord, could not keep her from touching the hem of His garment. Indeed, she kept right on saying to herself, If only I can touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed; and so she accomplished her task and was healed. When you see a man without a conviction, he is lackadaisical about those things he is not convinced about; but when a person has a conviction about a thing, he will go all out to obtain what he is convinced aboutregardless of obstacles and opposition. This was the case of the woman with the issue of bloodshe was convinced that her healing lay in her touching the hem of the Lord Jesus garment, and so she went in the press regardless of the inconvenience, and discomfort, and she got her healing. In order to eliminate unbelief in your life, you must be convinced enough to hold on to the truth that has been written about the Lord Jesus in the bible, so much so that, even if people made fun of you, you would not relent. To energize you to hold on to your conviction about the Lord Jesus as written in the bible, you must commit to memory, and recite, what has been thus written, especially in the face of contrary events. Such recitals we called, confession of faith. Your confession of faith in the Lord Jesus, and in Gods word, will keep you focused on God and His promises to you, in spite of events to the contrary. Keeping before you Gods promise of eternal life to all those who believe and continue with the Lord Jesus Christ, is a sure way of ensuring that you dont fall by the wayside, but rather be energized to continue with the Lord, even when persecution arises. At the time of the birth of the Lord Jesus in human form, through Mary, the bible records many things that were said about Him. But while many of the listeners merely marveled about the things which were said about Jesus, the bible tells us in Luke 2:19, Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. Some translations say that Mary treasured the things which were spoken about the Lord Jesus. Because she treasured them, she did not let those things vanish from her heart; rather, she stored them up in her heart, and gave deep thought to them. Little wonder then, that in John 2:1-11, Mary could approach the Lord Jesus about there being no more wine at the wedding at Cana; even though she had never seen Him perform any miracle before then. And this was how the now well-known miracle of the turning of water into wine came about. So, if God has spoken to you about something; for as long as it has not come to pass you ought to keep it in your memory, and keep reciting or confessing it, until it comes to passthat way, every trickle of unbelief that may seek to creep upon you will be eliminated, and your faith in God will be affirmed and established. What God told Joshua in Joshua 1:8, holds true for all those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation today: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Beloved, prosperity does not necessarily come because you are giving money to the work of God, or because you are a hardworking person, or because you are the best in your profession. True prosperity (not the mundane display of opulence without righteousness which is pervading Christianity today but more particularly, the assurance of eternal life), comes as a result of storing in your heart, and meditating on, the word of God, with a view to heeding what has been written therein. True prosperity and good success are really the result of obedience to the word of God, which is itself an act of faith! For a Christian or anyone for that matter, to seek prosperity and success any other way is unbelief. Therefore, doing the word of Godobedience to the word of Godis an antidote to unbelief.
3. The woman with the issue of blood was only after the hem of the Lord Jesus garment, and that was what she touched. Neither the hem of Peters garment, nor the hem of any of the other disciples garment, would do. With what the woman had heard, she knew that there was no need going to a reseller when she could go directly to the manufacturer. You must recognize and believe that the Lord Jesus is indeed the Son of the living God, the Redeemer of mankind, the mighty Healer, the miracle Worker, and so on; and so trust that when we go to Him, we shall receive what we desire in so far as He is willing to grant it to us. We must never put our trust in a pastor, a church, a denomination, a mantle, a body of water in a particular location, sand from a particular location, olive oil from Jerusalem, and so on. Believing in the efficacy of these things is to disbelieve Jesus! We noted in our last broadcast that unbelief is not the absence of any belief whatsoever; but, it is our refusal to believe in the Lord Jesus and the word of God for our salvation! Hence, it is possible to believe in a man of God, in a particular church, in a particular church programme, in a church denomination, and so on, and yet be living in unbelief, because your belief is not in Jesus, nor in Gods word! So, if you are attending a particular church, because of the man of God, and not because God directed you there, your attendance is unbelief, and not an act of faith! To be unable to receive the word of God unless it is preached by a particular preacher, is to have faith in the preacher, rather than in the word of God. Let us explain what we are trying to say here: You can listen to a radio programme via a transistor radio, a stereo, a mobile phone handset, the internet, etc. It will be foolhardy to insist that it is only when you listen to a transistor radio that you can receive the information from the radio station. In the same way, the word of God is like a radio broadcast, and can be received through many authentic preachers. To insist that except a particular man preaches, you cannot be blessed, is unbelief in itself. So what happens when the man dies? Going to a pastor, a prophetess, a bishop, or a church, which God has not led you to, is unbelief; whereas, if God told you to go there, and you did, it is an act of faith in God! Brethren, it is faith in Jesus; not faith in a man, that truly proves our faith or confidence toward God. If we are to eliminate unbelief from our lives, we must, like the woman with the issue of blood, seek to touch the Lord Jesus, and give heed to His word! Therefore, another antidote to unbelief, is not to have confidence in maneven if the man is a mighty man of God; our confidence must be in God at all times!

In summary, the antidote to unbelief, is to have a conviction about the truth that is in the word of God; commit to obeying Gods word or doing whatever God asks you to do; and, have no confidence in any man including yourself; rather, put all your confidence in God.

Let us pray!