“Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, ‘May you never bear fruit again!’ Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. ‘How did the fig tree wither so quickly?’ they asked. Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.’” (Matthew 21:18-22 NIV)
“If all things are possible with God, then all things are possible to him who believes in him” (Corrie Ten Boom 1892–1983).
We have been affected more than we realise by the scientific and materialistic outlook of this age. We are inclined to believe only what we can understand or what can be explained, and to reject all else.
The trouble is, science has become a sacred cow. Everybody believes in the laws of science, but many reject the laws of God, our Creator and sustainer, with whom nothing is impossible. They can believe that God will give them peace because they could almost do that themselves if they had enough time, patience and love. But they cannot believe that God would heal because they can’t understand how He could do it. The same often applies to material things – God’s people don’t always believe in God’s power in these areas. It is sheer arrogance to doubt a word or a promise from God simply because we don’t understand it. It is reducing God to the level of our minds.
What do I know from my own experiences? I know that Christ is alive, personal and real and closer than we think. I have felt His presence. I have seen the changes He has made in me, in my life, in lifting a mood, in taking away confusion and doubt, in breaking down my stubborn will, in melting my pride, in getting me to do the right thing, in being obedient. I have an active ministry at age 90 and I have witnessed God’s power to provide.
I know that I belong to Him – I am His child. I know that without Him I am absolutely powerless to do what I know I ought to do, to change my own character, habits or disposition. But I know that He can change them. He can help me overcome any weaknesses or failures. I know that without Him I couldn’t write these messages each week and make any sense.
But although I am well aware of my own inadequacies, I have never been more aware of the adequacy of Jesus Christ and His ability to change that which I am unable to change, providing of course that I am obedient to His leading. I also know that Jesus is interested in every detail of my daily life and of yours. And why not? If He has numbered the hairs of our heads, if He notes the fall of a sparrow, would He not care about what we do every day and how we do it? Would He not be concerned about how we relate to other people, about our behaviour, about our concerns for others?
Many of us simply refuse to believe how practical God is: what to say in an important conversation – if we will listen; to help us make the right decision with a difficult choice – if we will let Him; to give renewed strength to the weary – if we will go to Him.
Why do I have this sudden urge to tell you what I believe? Perhaps it’s no different to many things in life that we take for granted or choose to ignore – sometimes we need to be reminded.
Have a good week.
Optional Bible reading: Matthew 21:18-22
This is one of a series of weekly messages of encouragement, now in its twenty-sixth year, originating from Gympie, Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia. A companion Bible study page is available each week. To subscribe via email send here with the words ‘Subscribe Word (or) Subscribe Word & Study’. Our ministry is free and emailing lists are confidential. Tell a friend or why not put a note in your church newsletter or pew sheet about this ministry – we welcome new subscriptions.Pastor Ron Clarke OAMWord for the WeekMbl.: +61 488 424 321