Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lack of Faith

Lack of Faith

“Prophets are respected everywhere except in their own home town and by their relatives and their family.”  (Mark 6:4)

Three things struck me in Mark 6: 1 – 6:

Jesus was a teacher who taught with wisdom.  Since I perceive my mission as learning and teaching, I ask Jesus everyday to grant me wisdom and power so that I can fulfill my life’s work.

His town people lacked faith in him because they thought that they knew his origin.  I approach the word of God everyday in order to know Jesus better.  Familiarity with Jesus should increase my faith and not breed contempt of him.

Faith is a condition for miracle.  Jesus performed few miracles in his town because of their unbelief.

Lord Jesus, teach me wisdom.  Train me to teach like yourself.  Grant me strong faith in you.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh

“Little girl, I tell you to get up.’  The little girl got up and began to walk about.”
  (Mark 5: 41)

In the healing of Jairus’ daughter, I observe the following:
Jesus is not afraid of bad news.  He was not moved when they reported that Jairus’ daughter had died.  It reminds me of the Psalm which says, “Those who fear the Lord fear no bad news.”

When Jesus got to the house of Jairus, he found mourners weeping and wailing.  When he told them that the girl was asleep and not dead, they laughed at him.  The mourners “see” life through their senses.  There are two reactions to the word of God.  The natural man who lives through his physical senses reacts in laughter, mockery or indifference.  The supernatural man, who lives through faith, responds through reverence and belief.  Who laughs last?  When Jesus raised the little girl to life, he had the last laugh.  When we believe, we will always have the last laugh.

Lord Jesus, grant us profound respect and faith in your word.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Success Principles

Success Principles

“My daughter, ‘he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free of your complaint.”  (Mark 5: 34)

The cure of the woman with hemorrhage presents me with these success principles:  
  • Definite Major Purpose

  • Faith

  • Persistence

  • Master Mind Principle

For the woman, her definite major purpose was to be healed.  
After having tried many doctors and failed, she learned about Jesus and believed that Jesus could heal her.
She took action.  She tried to get in touch with Jesus.  There were too many people trying to do the same.  She was blocked.  She persisted.
To finally get to Jesus, some people had to make way for her.  They were moved by her urgency and insistence and they cooperated with her.  This is an application of the master mind principle.

This woman with the issue of blood is rich in faith.  She sold everything she had in order to attain her definite major purpose, good health.  If I desire to know Jesus as this woman desired to regain her health, I will succeed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Jesus and Crisis

Jesus and Crisis

“Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he (legion) ran up and fell at his feet and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me Jesus, Son of the Most high God? ….”  (Mark 5: 6 – 8)

What impresses me in this incident is Jesus’ reaction to sudden crisis.  He is utterly calm.  I encountered him a short while ago sleeping soundly in the face of a severe storm and gale.  When he was confronted here by the Legion, he did not shake.  Can I imitate this calm?  What is the source of this profound calmness of Jesus?  Jesus is deeply aware of who he is – the Son of God.  I too by virtue of my Baptism I am a son of God.  Why do I often lack faith in who I am?  I believe the reason is a result of sense evidence.  I see too many failures around that I wonder whether I am not being presumptuous or simply na├»ve.  What do I need?  I need a strong and dynamic faith, the type of faith that does not look right or left at the storm or the gale but is focused Jesus.

Lord, grant me this faith.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Storm

The Storm

“Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped.  But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion asleep.  They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care?  We are going down!’  And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now!  Be calm!’  And the wind dropped, and all was calm again.  Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened?  How is it that you have no faith?”  (Mark 4: 37 – 40)

There was calm before the storm broke.  The behavior of Jesus before and after the storm was the same.  He was asleep.  The Storm though violent did not wake him.  How do I react to crisis?  It is unrealistic to expect calm all my life.  Maturity implies a realization that life is up and down and a willingness to accept the ups and the downs.  

Jesus asked his frightened disciples:  “How is it that you have no faith?”  Without faith that God is with us, we cannot handle crisis calmly.  Romans 8: 28 teaches us that even the storms and crisis work for us.

Monday, May 08, 2006

When I am afraid

When I am afraid

“Master, do you not care?  We are going down!  And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now!  Be calm!’  And the wind dropped, and all was calm again.  Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened?  How is it that you have no faith?”  (Mark 4: 39 – 40)

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you,
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I put my trust and have no fear,
What power has human strength over me?”  (Psalm 56: 3 -4)

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth
Should change,
Though the mountains shake in the heart of the
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”  (Psalm 46: 1 – 3)

“Therefore let all who are faithful
Offer prayer to you;
At a time of distress, the rush of might waters
Shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me;
You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with glad cries of deliverance.”  (Psalm 32:  6 – 7)

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
To devour my flesh –
My adversaries and foes –
They shall stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war rise up against me,
Yet I will be confident.”  (Psalm 27:  1 – 3)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Receive the Word with Faith

Receive the Word with Faith

“This is what the kingdom of God is like.  A man throws seed on the land.  Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know.  Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.  And when the crop is ready, he loses no time:  he starts to reap because the harvest has come.”  (Mark 4: 26 – 29)

The seed is the word of God.  The land is the soul of man.  When man is prepared to receive the word of God through faith, the word starts sprouting and growing in him of its own accord.  O my soul, prepare yourself to receive God’s word through faith.  Receive his message, his Rhema and believe that the message is true and expect what it promises.  The word of God says that those who believe that what God promises them will come to pass are blessed.

I am today in a period of grace, a time of favor.  I have so many of God’s promises.  I believe all.  Through prayer and affirmation, I keep my faith in God’s promises to me alive.  The word surely will sprout and grow.  This is God’s promise.