FRUITFULNESS!!

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Fruitfulness in our lives is one of the characteristics of obedience to God. It is also a key to a happy and fulfilled Christian life.

Confusing fruitfulness with business

The world is driven by performance measures and outcomes indices. Coming from such a framework, we are apt to confuse fruitfulness with numbers, knowledge, activity and cost-effectiveness. Our culture constantly reinforces the notion that if we want to be worthwhile and productive people we must learn to stand on our own feet, stand out in the crowd and aim for higher output. Church life can also be like that, if we over-emphasise programs, participation and laws.

Make no mistake, God is interested in output. It is in the heart of God for His work to continue and prosper. Whenever that purpose is frustrated something is lost. Consider the sense of incompleteness in the following: a net without fish; a well without water; a banqueting table without guests; a shepherd without sheep; a field without a crop (or a stalk without seeds), a proclamation without a response; a promise without fulfilment; clouds without rain; a lost coin that is never found; a sheepfold where a lost sheep is never found.

However, fruitfulness goes beyond mere activity. God is a Creator and He loves his creation. The first command recorded in the Bible was to, “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 2). Having created the universe and everything in it out of absolutely nothing (theologians call this “ex nihilo”), He endowed plants, fish, animals and finally men and women with a divine capacity to continue the same creative work. Fecundity is a gift from God. Drought in our lives is a consequence of the Fall. Every time a tiny seed is formed or germinates, every time a flower is pollinated and turns into fruit, every time a life is formed in the womb and brought into the world, a miracle occurs.

The handiwork of God continues. I was at the birth of my last sister and the sense of creation is overwhelming – how much the One who made it all possible! The Bible says that all things have been (and are still being) created for God’s pleasure (Revelation 4:11).

God made man to be creative. He wants each of us to be fruitful and has given us the mandate and means to do so. Imagine the result of doing otherwise. The prophet Jeremiah lamented, “the harvest is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved”. (Jeremiah 8:20) People were hungry and crying out for relief, but the crop failed once again and they were left facing disaster. I know people who are spiritually empty; they have nothing to show for busy lives, their hands are empty and they pass by feeling they have not realised the purpose for which they were born.

This principle extends beyond the concept of bringing something new into the world. It embodies the whole purpose of life. On one occasion, Jesus disapproved of a fig tree without fruit at a time of the year when it should have been covered with juicy figs. The Holy Spirit is grieved at the life of a Christian without spiritual fruit. Our fruitfulness brings glory to God and is a sign of our discipleship (cf Luke 6:44-45).

What is fruitfulness?

The concept of fruitfulness is used in the Scriptures to indicate a non-hierarchical view of the church. Using imagery of the vineyard, fruit-trees and fruit, Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He wants our goal in life to be to produce fruit for Him. Genuine Christianity is about producing fruit for God rather than measuring ourselves against other Christians.

Often, when we talk about fruit, someone will open the Bible at Galatians 5:22, 23, which teaches us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. An important list, but being fruitful Christians and churches is much more than these. The fruit of the Spirit are largely about character. What about the results of who and what we are? Striving harder to be fruitful is not an adequate response. Jesus said, “Abide in me.” Abiding is not striving. It is about relationship. Fruitfulness is a natural consequence of a developing relationship with Jesus Christ, not just what other people see in our lives.

It is much deeper and richer than numerical growth or the amount of things we do. God is primarily concerned about the kind of tree we are, rather than how busy we are. If we are part of the correct plant, the quality of fruit will take care of itself (Matthew 7:16-20). Fruitfulness is being like the parent plant in nature and reproducing its life (cf 2 Peter 1:4).

God wants to bless us and make us blessings in our community. When we operate in His life, we are equipped to overflow to the world. Filled so that we can overflow. Made fruitful so that others can enjoy the benefits. Releasing faith so that the needy can be touched by His presence. Spreading good news, restoring relationships, filled with love, faith and the sense of His purpose. As people see the appropriate fruit in our lives they will be attracted to Christ for all the right reasons.

How to be more fruitful

If God wants us to be more fruitful, how can this come about?

First, we have to strengthen our connection to Christ, graft ourselves firmly onto the vine and draw deeply on the sap of the Holy Spirit. The absence of fruit in the branch of the vine casts doubts on its union with the central stem If we are really fruitful in every area of our lives, this will extend to our family life, work, play, church, personal habits, words, deeds, vertical relationship with God and horizontal relationships with others. In the natural world, the branches of a tree hold the leaves which, through the process of photosynthesis, convert the sun’s light they catch into nutrients, which they then in turn move on into the plant. More leaves grow and fruit is produced by the branches. Faith and fellowship with God are like that (cf Psalm 1:1-3; 92:12014; Jeremiah 17:7-8). However, if the branches are not solidly connected to the vine stem, the sap cannot flow freely to nourish them, and fruit is not borne as it could be.

Second, we need to allow God to cut out of our lives things that hinder growth and fruit. The planting and nurturing of a vineyard requires constant and intensive care. No plant bears fruit instantaneously; it is the result of a process, and so it is with us. Jesus said God will remove unfruitful branches. Therefore, even a large, apparently thriving branch in our lives may need to be lopped off because it is unfruitful; to leave it there will impede the growth of branches that are fruitful. What is the point of having prolific growth if the vine has lost its goodness (cf Jeremiah 2:21)?

Third, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to be free to reproduce His fruit in our lives. Our role as maturing Christians is to yield to the Spirit of Christ in us. It is only His power, not our strength, learning, wisdom or personal charisma that makes us fruitful for God.

Do we, as branches, truly abide in Jesus Christ—or do we only occasionally connect to Him? Is the good fruit of God being produced in us through this on-going, unbroken relationship with His Son? Are we being nourished by the True Vine, and what evidence can we produce of our spiritual growth?

God evaluates us only in terms of our growth to fruitfulness, expressed as Christ-like love and personality. Such fruitfulness comes only from our interrelationship with Him. God deals with us in whatever way will lead to further growth – sometimes it is gentle, sometimes it appears harsh. It is always for the same purpose, to bring out the fullness of our potential as fruitful branches, deeply rooted through Jesus the vine, and bearing fruit to the glory of God.

Fruitfulness doesn’t just happen by chance. To be fruitful in every-day life can be daunting, as we all constantly fall short. However, if we truly, perfectly abide in Christ as the true Vine, this process of fruit-bearing is, as it were, natural or automatic, the product of this mutual indwelling. The more we abide in Him, the greater the fruit that is produced.

Fruit in the desert

Fruitfulness does not depend on our personal circumstances (though how we react to those circumstances is important). There are times in our lives when we feel we are in a spiritual desert. It is hard to get excited if there is nothing obviously sustaining us. No great church, deep teaching, meaningful Christian friendships, only hot, dry, sandy conditions that make us want to give up. But even there we can draw on the life of the Spirit to sustain us.

Dry seasons of our lives can be frustrating. We may feel nothing is happening, that the odds are against us and we are buried by our difficulties. The one person who continues to see the potential is the Holy Spirit. He sees every seed, every life, every unborn dream and vision, every hope that appears to be going nowhere. When he comes he causes even the desert place to spring into life and fruit to be produced. Humanly speaking, it may not be much to look at, but given the odds its existence is a miracle.

God made you to be creative

God made you to be creative. Are you “abiding” in Christ, getting close to him? Is the Holy Spirit conceiving in your life the small beginnings of new fruit that will remain, evidence in your life of the presence and character of God, of who and what He called you to be, for His glory? This is the first step to maximising your potential and a satisfying life.

Faithfully trusting God is the only pathway to true fruitfulness. The world offers other options, other standards, but none results in lasting fruit. Only as we place our faith in Christ for daily guidance will we bear fruit for eternity. Begin each day by reading God’s Word. As He reveals His mind to you, obey everything you understand and ask for wisdom when you don’t. The Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to know. That’s the way to bear healthy fruit that will last forever.

Whatever your personal circumstances, you can make a difference. The fruit the Holy Spirit develops in your life can be the very thing that attracts others to Christ.

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Get Well Prayer!

Idaraesit, this is for you!

Lord, hear our heartfelt prayer for the healing of our Christian sister.

We pray for Your mercy, Your compassion, Your grace and Your love, in making her whole and well again, her church & friends misses her.

Make the work of those treating and helping her full of Your perfection, and grant her a quick and complete recovery.

Lead and guide those around her
to provide what she needs: encouragement, assistance and support.

Lord, we pray that You will wrap Your loving arms around her, giving her comfort, strength and peace,
drawing her ever closer to You,
as You lead her through this trying time.

In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen.


Humble Yourself

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                  “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”

                                        (James 4:6)

Humility means putting God and other persons ahead of our own selfish interests. Humility comes with the knowledge that God’s creation as a whole transcends our own narrow interests.

Humility is a function of a circumcised heart that has been touched by the surgical blades of the Holy Spirit. Humility reveals the presence of the Holy Spirit in an individual.

Humility is a function of LOVE. Love is the force that triggers off humility. You cannot be humble if you do not love. Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  If you love something, you bring yourself under total subjection of what you’re loving. That is why Christian wives who Love their husbands are submissive. (Ephesians 5:24 & 33). Therefore, if you are not humble, you do not have love in you, and the Author of Love is not in you.

A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith, he can counterfeit hope and all the other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit humility. He wears it like a perfume. In fact, it is through humility that other graces can be spotted in a man. If he is humble, then he fears and loves the Lord, the only Supreme Authority. For this reason, other graces is added to him because he sought first the kingdom of heaven.

Love is the propellant that fuels humility. Even until death, Jesus was humble. It was not the nails that kept Him on the Cross, it was love. For the scripture says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”-Isaiah 53:7 (NIV). So, instead of asking His Father while praying at the garden of Gethsemane to send His legion of angels to defend Him, He humbly said, “…My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”- Matthew 26:39 (NIV).

He who wants to learn true humility should reflect upon the Passion of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ by humility, washed the feet of His disciples. Show me a man who is proud and arrogant, and I will show you a man whose heart is far from Jesus.

True humility is a sign of superiority over the former self. As soon as the Holy Spirit begins the sanctification process in us, we become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Humility replaces the pride of believing that we are made perfect by the law and our individual efforts and not by His Grace which comes through faith in Christ Jesus. Humility takes away the believe that all we have achieved is by our power and might.

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you. For that reason, Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

A humble heart is a heart that is ready to receive Grace from the Almighty; “But he gives us more grace. That is why the Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.””- James 4:6 (NIV). Grace and pride cannot dwell in the same place. I’ve never heard of it. The soul’s true greatness is in loving God and in humbling oneself in His presence, completely forgetting oneself and believing oneself to be nothing; because the Lord is great, but He is well-pleased only with the humble; He always opposes the proud. “…These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”- Isaiah 66:2. He uses the basket to fetch water just to disgrace the proud bucket. Chai!!

Humility is accepting the fact that we are so unqualified to receive God’s unmerited favour (Grace). Humility is accepting the fact that God calls the most unqualified to do His work, to bear His glory. For example:

  • He called Moses, a stutterer and a murderer to carry out His salvation purpose for the children of Israel.
  • He used Rahab the prostitute to save the 12 spies who were from Israel.
  • He used 4 lepers for His miraculous provision for Samaria.
  • He even used Paul who was a persecutor of the followers of the “Way” as they were called then. God made Paul a great instrument in His vineyard, today Apostle Paul is responsible for a greater part of the books of the New testament. The list of the unqualified that the Almighty used to reveal His glory is inexhaustible.

A proud person believes that he is too qualified, and begins to think it is by his power that he accomplishes his feats. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.

There have never been, and can never be, and there shall never be any sin without pride. In the third temptation of Jesus, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour and asked Jesus to bow down and worship him and take the kingdoms. (Matthew 4:8-9). That temptation tested Jesus’ humility. If Jesus was proud, He would have bowed down to the devil so He could rule the world. He would have sinned against His Father if He had bowed.

The first degree of humility is the fear of God, which we should constantly have before our eyes. Our Lord and saviour demonstrated this through His reply to the devil; “Away from me Satan! For it is written: worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”-Matthew 4:10 (NIV).

The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it. The Bible records that the devil departed from Jesus as soon as He gave that reply. (Matthew 4:11).

There is something in humility which strangely exalts the heart. Or is it not His Word that says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”- 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)? Has His Words ever changed? I think and I know not. Remember, it was pride that changed angels into devils. “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. “And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12). Also, “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honour.”- Proverbs 18:12(NIV).

Humility is the mother of many virtues because from it obedience, fear, reverence, patience, modesty, meekness and peace are born. He who is humble easily obeys everyone, fears to offend anyone, is at peace with everyone, is kind with all.

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.

May the Lord bless His Word for us in Jesus name, Amen!!

By: AY & ID.


Thoughts Control.

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The world we live in has compromised “good” with a lot of deception that looks good but is really evil. Matthew 7:13 says that there is a lot of sin in the world and that many people are heading in the wrong direction because of it. Many Christians stay away from the obvious sins of the world and live in their own space where they try to uphold what is right and avoid being involved with people and events that don’t support Christian ethics. But too often our mind wanders off into curiosity as we watch the world and the fun it seems to be having – and that curiosity can lead to sin. We do this because we don’t know how to control our thoughts.

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We have been programmed from birth to accept some of the deceptions of the world and to believe that as long as we don’t deliberately break any of the Ten Commandments, then we’re doing just fine as Christians. And unbelievers accept this as a protocol for life, as well. After all, we haven’t killed anyone, robbed any banks, shouted out in profanity or slandered a Minister of the Gospel so that makes us a lot better than most people, so we’re okay – in our own eyes.

This is likely one of the greatest deceptions that many of us face. We miss the true benchmark, which is the Word of God aka the Bible, and we compare ourselves to other people and to what THEY deem as acceptable, and we follow them instead of God. Remember Cane? He thought the same thing and look what happened to him! God asked for a blood sacrifice and Cane thought that his offering would be better because HE was a gardener and wanted to give what HE wanted. But his thoughts were sinful and caused him to not only act on them, but to become jealous and to even kill his own brother.

When WE decide what is right and what is wrong we literally put ourselves out there as a target to be attacked by the devil. Why? Because it’s our thoughts that begin the process of anything good or bad that we do. If we think on something that is sinful, the devil will encourage us and influence us in every way possible to get us to act on that thought, and the more we meditate on it, the more he works on us to do it. Before long, we will act on it and then twist the scriptures to justify it so that we don’t feel guilty. This is a deception that can destroy us.

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The only way that we can control our thoughts is to focus on the Lord, study His Word and meditate on them day and night so that the thoughts of the world cannot have any room to enter in. And when we do this, the Lord will be very present and give us peace so we won’t be tempted by bad thoughts.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” … Isaiah 26:3

Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” How do we love God with our mind? By studying the Bible and filling our mind with the things of God.

We’re also told in Joshua 1:8 that, “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.”  God has promised that He will bless us when our thoughts are on the things that He has set out for us.

But He also warns us that it’s not a simple journey because as soon as we begin to read the Bible so we can think on the good things, the devil gets angry and works even harder on us to get us to stop reading and go back to thinking his way. And he doesn’t give up easily.

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John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” And the only way that we can overcome his attacks is to read more and pray harder, and the more we read, the stronger and more like Christ we become and the easier it is to defeat the devil.

In James 4:7, it says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. [read, study, pray, praise God] Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

How do we resist the devil? By ignoring the bad thoughts that come at us and focussing ONLY on what God has to say about any subject that we’re concerned with. The devil will always be ready to fill our thoughts with things that are wrong but that seem right, and the only way we’ll know if the thoughts are from God or from the devil is to study the Bible and know what God has to say about them. Then we can resist [or cast down] the thoughts that we know are not from God, and we can act on the ones that we know ARE from God.

There is a saying that flooded the Christian world a few years ago – “What would Jesus do?” or “WWJD”.  If we’re ever in doubt and don’t have the time or the ability to read or pray about a situation that is coming against through thoughts that are challenging us, then we can simply stop and ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do if He was here facing this?”

When we can think the way Jesus thinks, then we can keep ourselves pure in thought and out of trouble.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” … Philippians 4:8.

By: AY & ID.


Which To Read?

“Make careful choice of the books which you read: let the holy scriptures ever have the pre-eminence, and, next to them, those solid, lively, heavenly treatises which best expound and apply the scriptures, and next, credible histories, especially of the Church . . . but take heed of false teachers who would corrupt your understandings.”

1. As there is a more excellent appearance of the Spirit of God in the holy scripture, than in any other book whatever, so it has more power and fitness to convey the Spirit, and make us spiritual, by imprinting itself upon our hearts. As there is more of God in it, so it will acquaint us more with God, and bring us nearer Him, and make the reader more reverent, serious and divine. Let scripture be first and most in your hearts and hands and other books be used as subservient to it. The endeavours of the devil and papists to keep it from you, does show that it is most necessary and desirable to you.

2. The writings of divines are nothing else but a preaching of the gospel to the eye, as the voice preaches it to the ear. Vocal preaching has the pre-eminence in moving the affections, and being diversified according to the state of the congregation which attend it: this way the milk comes warmest from the breast. But books have the advantage in many other respects: you may read an able preacher when you have but a average one to hear. Every congregation cannot hear the most judicious or powerful preachers: but every single person may read the books of the most powerful and judicious; preachers may be silenced or banished, when books may be at hand: books may be kept at a smaller charge than preachers: we may choose books which treat of that, very subject which we desire to hear of; but we cannot choose what subject the preacher shall treat of. Books we may have at hand every day. and hour; when we can have sermons but seldom, and at set times. If sermons be forgotten, they are gone; but a book we may read over and over, till we remember it: and if we forget it, may again peruse it at our pleasure, or at our leisure. So that good books are a very great mercy to the world: the Holy Ghost chose the way of writing, to preserve His doctrine and laws to the ‘Church, as knowing how easy and sure a way it is of keeping it safe to all generations, in comparison of mere verbal traditions.

3. You have need of a judicious teacher at hand, to direct you what books to use or to refuse: for among good books there are some very good that are sound and lively; and some good, but mediocre, and weak and somewhat dull; and some are very good in part, but have mixtures of error, or else of incautious, injudicious expressions, fitter to puzzle than edify the weak.

Here’s A Guide To The Value Of A Book

While reading ask yourself:
1. Could I spend this time no better?
2. Are there better books that would edify me more?
3. Are the lovers of such a book as this the greatest lovers of the Book of God and of a holy life?
4. Does this book increase my love to the Word of God, kill my sin, and prepare me for the life to come?

Be Guided!!


Random Stuff: GRACE!!

God’s grace is not a gentle shower washing away the problem. It is a raging, roaring river whose current knocks you off your feet and carries you into the presence of God.

Grace is the unmerited favour of God. Romans 3:23-24 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” We have all sinned. We all deserve to be punished throughout all eternity for our sins, but Christ Jesus has already taken our punishment. God, by His grace, that is His unmerited favour toward us, can now be just in saving us, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Our redemption is in Christ Jesus, and not in ourselves.

In Ephesians 2:8-9 we read, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” We are saved by the unmerited favour of God through our obedient faith. There is no way that anyone could ever be good enough to go to heaven, because we have all sinned. We all deserve to be punished eternally. There is no way that anyone could ever earn his way to heaven, because heaven will be a gift of God for those who go there.

Our Lord says in Luke 17:10, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” We cannot do enough to earn our salvation. We read in Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” There is no one of us that deserves to be saved. It is only by the grace of God that anyone will be saved.


Faith: The Haemorrhaging Woman!

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*Scratches head*… I don’t know where to start from, because faith is a very inexhaustible and elaborate subject matter. It sprouts into several facets as far as the term “everything” is concerned. I’ve spent days and nights trying to unlock the proper tenses and words to use in the explanation and description of faith other than what is written in the Scriptures but to no avail. Nevertheless, the Will of God will never lead anyone to where His Grace won’t protect or sustain. For whatever the Lord ordains, He sustains. In other words, I will write as the Spirit guides and directs. I will follow, by His Grace, what is written in the scriptures; how it is defined and projected. I proceed. *sips pure water*

According to “The Hall of Faith,” i.e. Hebrews 11:1, faith is “…being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (NIV). In other words, faith says Amen to everything that God says. Faith takes God without any ifs. If God says it, faith says, I believe it; faith says Amen to it.

After reading Hebrews 11:1, my mind went directly to the woman with an issue of blood and applied the meaning of faith to the remarkable circumstances that led to her healing. Here’s how I see faith from her standpoint, “I am so sure of the healing I hope for and I am certain that as soon as I touch His garment, I will be healed.” What could have prompted this kind of strong faith? Nobody would have ordinarily decided to touch just a garment to be healed. You see, to learn strong faith is to endure great trials, “She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse.” (Mark 5:26).

The story of the woman with an issue of blood is found in the 5th chapter of Mark. It is also recorded in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke and is actually a story within a story.

Jesus had just cast out a legion of demons from a man. He travelled by boat to Capernaum, the village of Nahum and there He was met by a large crowd. “Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there, seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet and pleaded earnestly with Him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’” (Mark 5:22-23 NIV)

Of course, Jesus our compassionate friend agreed to follow him and the crowd followed. Imagine a scenario where fans push and crowd just to get close to celebrities in shows/concerts/events. Even reaching out as they pass just to touch them, perhaps hoping some of their “stardom” will rub off.

Imagine Jesus passing through a crowd of that great magnitude with His disciples; imagine the surprise on their faces when He turns around to ask them, “Who touched me?” I would hear some say today, “Are you serious, you are asking us that question, really, with all the people pushing and grabbing from all sides?”

Let us get to know a little about this woman without a name. Jesus called her “Daughter” in verse 34 of Mark chapter 5 anyway and that is more than enough. The Bible says she suffered for a very long time. Verse 25 of the same Mark 5 records that she has been haemorrhaging for twelve years. Some ladies can’t even bear the thought of seven days, but twelve years! She had seen many doctors and paid them all she had and still had no relief. Hmm!

Consider the physical effects of this kind of affliction. She was probably anaemic, she would have suffered severe fatigue, and she was possibly weak and frail. But for her, it went deeper than all these physical discomforts. According to Jewish law (Levi. 12:1-8; 15:19-30), the bleeding woman was unclean. Because they were unclean, they were prohibited from their regular fellowship with others and worship of God. According to the laws of ritual purity, she should not have even ventured out into the crowd.

Leviticus 15:25 lays emphasis on her condition. So this woman was considered “unclean.” And “unclean” she’s been for 12 long years, which means she would have been isolated from family and friends. The Bible says she spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.

So for the will of God to be done, so that His name might be glorified, she heard about Jesus, the miracle worker and knew that if she could just touch the hem of His garment, she would be healed.

Verse 27 tells us that she believed all she needed to do was to touch Him and she would be healed, so she ventured into the crowd. As Jesus passed by, she reached out and touched the fringe of His robe. Immediately the bleeding stopped and she could feel that she had been healed. (Vs.27)

*Presses Pause button* But she stubborn o! Faith makes you stubborn, persistent and resilient. Do you remember the remarkable encounter between God’s angel and Jacob?? Jacob refused to surrender until he was blessed.

I know some of you are already tired of the long gist. Please endure the long gist and grab the message… Without knowledge we are lost, we perish. I love you too. *presses play button*

Notice that Jesus did not speak any words. She was not given any instructions to follow in order to receive healing. That act of faith – just to reach out and touch His garment – was enough to bring her complete healing. Because of Jesus’ response to her, we know that her act of faith brought the healing.

Jesus’ reaction was as immediate as was the healing. He knew that power had left Him and that someone had experienced a miracle. And turning to His disciples He asks, “Who touched me?” I guess that question was strange coming from a man who was being pressed at all sides. Jesus insisted with the question until she gave in. The Bible says in (Verse 33) that she came trembling probably because of fear of punishment for presenting her “unclean” self in the public. But Jesus’ response to her was gentle and loving. Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering. What an amazing story/gist! This story/gist has taught us both the importance of faith and the reward that follows when we exercise all faith.

There are other instances where Jesus says to the afflicted, “Your faith has healed you.”

  • Matt. 9:28-30
  • Matt. 15:27-28
  • Mark 2:4-5
  • Mark 10:51-52

Webster defines faith as: belief and trust in and loyalty to God. And we know what Hebrews 11:1 says about faith. How “confident” are we today? What “assurance” do we have in what we cannot see? God’s word says a lot about faith. It is full of example of men and women of faith. They were people who trusted in God, who believed in Him and in His purpose for their lives.

So how much faith does it take to experience God’s miracle in your own life? Matthew 17:20

Mustard seeds are very small. You can barely feel it. Its size has been compared to the point on the end of a pencil.

Jesus says we only need the smallest amount of faith to move mountains. Nothing will be impossible for us. (Mark 9:23; 10:27)

How do we obtain Mustard Seed Faith?

God gives us the measure of faith (Romans 12:3), Faith involves trusting. The woman in our story/gist trusted Jesus for healing. Jesus told her “Your faith has healed you.” Webster defines trust as: “Basic dependence on someone or something. Belief that something will happen or someone will act in a prescribed way.” Trust is found in our unswerving belief that the God of Heaven will indeed work on our behalf to bring His perfect will for our lives into being. It comes as a result of our faith, the stronger our faith, the more easily and quickly we trust. Every day we place our trust in something. We trust our cars to get us to our destination. We trust our network providers (MTN, airtel, Etisalat, glo, etc.) to get our calls through. We trust our doctors to heal our illnesses. So why is it so difficult to trust God? Trusting God means we believe in that which we cannot see and often-times may not understand. It means that we have to admit that we are not in control of our lives. Because we are human and our experience of trusting is with people and things that do fail us, we often find it hard to place our trust in God.

The first step in exercising your faith is to confess your reliance. The reality is that sometimes life is beyond us. Disasters strike and tragedies happen in our lives. As was with the woman in our story/gist, life can indeed be difficult and uncertain and there is much in life beyond our control and our understanding. We are left with raw emotions and tough questions. Answers are out of reach as we grapple with the question of why. In times like these, who do you trust? In whom do you place your faith? The Scriptures below tell us in whom we should place our trust. See Psalm 9:9-10 and Hebrews 10:21-23.

The next step in exercising our faith is to realize that God is bigger than life! Nothing, and I mean nothing, that we go through in life is beyond God. The truth is that we can and must rely on God in every situation in life. When life just doesn’t make any sense (by human standards) we need to trust in God. The more senseless life becomes the greater our need to trust. It is interesting to me that this woman believed that Jesus was able to do the impossible. She had been to doctor after doctor, exhausted all her resources, and been told there was no hope. Yet her faith in Jesus – believing just one touch of the hem of His garment would bring healing – was enough to accomplish a miracle!

What do the following Scriptures say about how big God is?

  • Matthew 19:26
  • Mark 10:27

Charles Colsen said, “True faith depends not upon mysterious signs, celestial fireworks, or grandiose dispensations from a God who is seen as a rich, benevolent uncle; true faith, as Job understood, rests on the assurance that GOD IS WHO HE IS.

The woman in our story/gist must have known “true faith.” She rested in the assurance that “God is who He is!” Does that mean she wasn’t afraid? Does it mean she didn’t have reservations? Remember, she was not just dealing with an illness, but she was also living with the consequences of the diagnosis. She was not only sick, but she was “unclean.” Her very presence in “the midst of the crowd” was a huge risk. Had anyone recognized her she could have been immediately stoned to death. Yet she felt the risk was worth it, she believed she would receive healing if she could but touch the hem of His garment. She was a woman of courage. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the presence of faith.” In fact, the only antidote to fear is faith.

Courage is not something we find within ourselves. It is the result of faith and even that is a gift of God.

(II Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV) When we feel weak, we can find God is our source of strength.

(Ezra 9:8, NIV) When we are pressured by life, God is our relief.

(Deuteronomy 33:27, NIV) When we need security, God is our refuge.

It is only when we completely trust God that He can give us the power of His direction and the power of His presence.

I Peter 4:19 (NLT) says… ”So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” Without trust in God there is no comfort, no peace, no strength and no relief. The full resources of God are at our disposal when we place our trust in Him. The key is to have faith!

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with these words from Ephesians 3:16-18 and Romans 15:13 (NLT), “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is… I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

So how is your faith today? Are there areas in your life you have not yet entrusted God with? Have you confessed your reliance on God and His provision? Do you believe with all your heart that God is bigger than anything life can bring you? With God, nothing is impossible! Just have a little faith (the size of a mustard seed)! Reach out and touch the hem of His garment and you can experience breakthrough today! *Drops mic*

PS: This post is dedicated to a friend: Ms. Idaraesit I.