Today: Psalms 24; Mark 5:21-43; Mark 6:1-6; Exodus 27-28

Psalms 24

“The earth is the LORD’s and all it contains, the world, and those who live in it.” Psalms 24:1

While Satan does rule this earth right now, he is only renting it for an allotted amount of time. God still is the TRUE OWNER of this planet. He created it. He owns it all. This is a marvelous thing! Why? Because He is the “king of glory.” He is “the LORD strong and mighty!” “Lift up your heads” and open the doors of your hearts so “that the king of glory nay come in!” Hallelujah!!

"Encounter Between Jesus and the Hemorrhaging Woman" painting by Daniel Cariola

Mark 5-6 – FAITH

“Do not be afraid, only believe.” Mark 5:36

Let’s look at some things Jesus and Mark tell us about faith. In Mark 5, when the ailing woman touches Jesus’ cloak and is instantly healed, Jesus tells her, “Your faith has made you well…” (v.5:36)

Then before He raises Jairus’ daughter from the dead, He tells the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” (v.5:36) Then Jesus sends away all those faithless people who were mocking him. He includes only the girl’s parents and his closest friends, people of faith, before bringing the little girl back to life.

When Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth, people there were not impressed. They knew His family, his brothers and sisters. Some of them likely remembered when He was only a child. How could this familiar person now be a prophet? They could not believe. Mark tells us that Jesus “could not do any miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few people and healed them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.” (v.6:5-6)

Jesus, and Mark, make an unmistakeable connection between faith and healing. The inference seems to be that stronger faith allows Jesus to work miracles. And lack of faith somehow hinders Jesus’ work.

This idea has been turned upside down by some who teach that if you only believe something enough, muster up enough faith, Jesus will make it happen. Sometimes people who aren’t healed are blamed for their maladies because they must not have had enough faith.

But this is a distortion of these passages. We don’t control Jesus. Strong faith doesn’t MAKE Jesus do anything. To physically heal someone, or not, is always up to God. Sometimes He does. And a lot of times He doesn’t.

We are currently living through this time when Jesus us with us in SPIRIT form, as the Holy Spirit. He chooses to perform physical miracles sometimes now but those are not promised. SPIRITUAL healings — things like sanctification, deeper faith, understanding, wisdom, joy, peace, fruits of the spirit — ARE promised during this time. We CAN claim those by faith, by believing without fear. But even then, God is totally in control of what that looks like, from beginning to end. He determines how, what, when, where, and why.

It is clear though, that there is a correlation between faith and Jesus working in our lives. Our faith opens up a doorway that Jesus chooses to work through. Faith IS extremely important, not faith in any particular miracle necessarily, but faith in JESUS — that He is God, He is personal, He hears you, He cares about you. He will work in your life if you ask Him to.

LORD, please help us to no be afraid, but only believe!

Exodus 27-28

More incredibly detailed instructions from God for the Jewish altar, and clothing for Aaron and his sons. As you read this, imagine how ornate, how beautiful all this must have been… all the gold, silver, and bronze, fine twisted linens of violet, purple, and scarlet, engraved onyx stones set in gold filigree, precious stones of turquoise, sapphire, diamond, jacinth, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, and jasper. The final effect must have been spectacular! This was important, the house where God would dwell. Nothing was too outrageous; the sky was the limit! God wanted to make sure all the Israelites understood how extraordinary and significant it was that the God of the universe had chosen to make His home with them.