Faith

1) BRIAN MASON MESSAGE - 14 03 13

 

And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

St Luke chapter 8 verse 48

What gracious words came from Jesus when He spoke to this dear woman. Not one word of criticism for reaching out and touching the hem of His garment. This is so different to the harshness of the world which is destructive rather than creative. God is in the business of restoration as He through Jesus looks to seek and to save that which is lost. What a lovely Jesus we see who reaches out to all who will reach out to Him. None of the rejection which is so common in the world. None of having to buy that which we really need in life. No in this wonderful person of Jesus we find God reaching out to all who will come to Him and not one is rejected who will come on God’s terms.

Great crowds were surrounding Jesus at the time this dear woman had come to seek Him. Jesus was almost being crushed in the crowd which was pressing Him on every side. Yet this woman was desperate in her need and would not be deterred in her seeking of the one person who she had heard about who she knew to be the one who could make her whole. This woman ignored the crowds and focused herself on being able to reach out and touch Jesus. She managed to get near enough to reach out and the instant she touched the hem of His garment she was healed.

 

 

This was a woman who had been brought to the end of herself. Extremity had caused her to act in a way she would probably never have done had her need not been so great. The pain of suffering an issue of blood for twelve years had been the driving force for her action. No one before had met her need. Instead all she went to amongst many physicians had failed to bring healing but instead had drained her money.

 

She had no one to turn to or help her struggle through life, for life had become almost impossible to her. That was until she had heard of Jesus.

 

What reports she must have heard. Here was someone who lived for others and poured out Himself to meet the needs of others. Not a selfish thought with Jesus. For what uttered from Jesus on another occasion were the words of life, not of death.

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

St John chapter 10 verse 10

No half measures here but an abundance. Not a filling to the brim but an overflowing. Jesus is no skinflint or one who uses the world’s measures. Here is seen one who pours out His life in abundance to those who come to Him in faith. As soon as the woman touched Jesus she was instantaneously healed. Jesus knew virtue had gone out from Him to heal someone. He asked who it was whom had touched Him.

 

There was no condemnation in His words but a gentle enquiry as He knew that someone had come to Him in faith. Those in the crowd thought it a foolish question as this was a great crowd. Jesus was not concerned that someone had touched Him but that someone had touched Him in faith. Just one word but without faith it is impossible to please God. On another occasion Jesus spoke about faith in these words.

Have faith in God.

St Mark chapter 11 verse 22

This is not so much as faith in God but the faith of God as this accepts God as He is and that His word is true so that we reach out and act on the basis that it is impossible for God to fail no matter what is before our human eyes which says it cannot be done. Nothing is beyond our Jesus. He cannot fail for He is God and He created the heavens and the earth. The one who is the creator is the restorer and the healer. 

Jesus knew someone had reached out in faith; a faith which could not be denied. When Jesus asked who had touched Him it was with an admiration that someone had recognised who He was and that He could make even human impossibilities to obey Him. 

Nothing has changed today with Jesus. He is still the same Jesus waiting for those who will come to Him for restoration, healing or to receive all that God has to give to those who are hungry and thirsty for the deep things of God rather than accepting the watered down Christianity of the present day. Jesus is still calling for those who will launch out into the deep and through faith say whatever the mountain or seemingly impossible situation before us to be to be gone. It is the believer rather than Jesus that has changed.

 

 

It is being brought into line with Jesus rather than watering the Word down to our own level. Why can I be so confident that Jesus will still act today in response to faith. It is the Word of God which cannot lie. It has to be true. Will we be bold enough to take the word of God exactly to mean what it says because it cannot fail as it speaks of one who cannot fail. Have we fully grasped the significance of the following words?

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Hebrews chapter 13 verse 8

Let us reach out in faith no matter what is before us and accept that these words still have the same power today as they have ever had because of the one to whom they speak. This wonderful, glorious, Jesus is still there for us to reach out and touch. Have you reached out to Him for restoration to receive the forgiveness of sin? Have you come under the conviction of your sin and repented? Has your sin not in part but the whole been crucified?

 

For just as Jesus was crucified for your sin so your old sinful life needs to be crucified. All of it needs to be dead. You cannot still keep some of the old flesh life and be fully crucified. There can be no compromise as is seen in all but the remnant Church today. It is all of us crucified to be able to enter into all that Jesus has for us.

 

This is what Jesus means when we read another scripture for it is in scripture alone that we find the final authority of God. Not the words of man but the Words of the Almighty God. God declares:

Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate.

2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 17

No separation, no holiness. No holiness, no seeing the greater works that Jesus spoke would be seen. 

Let us be separated unto holiness, a people set apart for their God who through faith, that is, the faith of the Holy Spirit through them will not only see mighty deeds done in the name of Jesus but can enter into all that God has for those who believe all things are possible. In this place of faith we will know the height and depth of all the fullness of God which is found in Christ Jesus. He will not fail: He cannot fail.

2) Message 23 10 13

 

And the ass said unto Balaam,  Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day?  Was I ever wont to do so unto thee?

 

Numbers chapter 22 verse 30

 

The speaking of the ass to Balaam defies human logic.  To the human mind this is nonsense and in no way can this be believed.  Yet to the man and woman of faith this presents no problem.  To those who live by faith human reason has no part to play for they live in the realm of God and it is only those who live by faith who can enter this realm.  That all do not have faith is made clear:

 

And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

 

2 Thessalonians chapter 3 verse 2

 

Faith, though, is essential to both coming to know God and going on with God.  Before this is considered a consideration needs to be made of Balaam.  That Balaam was considered to be a man of God is shown by Balak the king of the Moabites sending for him.  The Moabites, though, were not the people of God and therefore why should Balak have been seeking Balaam’s help.  Balak was up to no good for he wanted Balaam to go and curse a certain people.  These people were God’s people who God had brought out of the enslavement of Egypt.  Just as Pharaoh had been afraid of the vast numbers of the Hebrews so Balak feared this vast number of people.  Balak’s people were engaged in acts which anyone who belonged to God should have kept himself separate from for this speaks of:

 

The rewards of divination in their hand.

 

Numbers chapter 22 verse 7

 

Balaam dismissed Balak’s request straight away.  God makes clear that He seeks a separated people unto Himself:

 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

 

2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 17

 

Whether this was the Jews in the Old Testament or Christians today the message is still the same.  That which is of God must be set apart wholly for God and must not have anything to do with that which is not of God.

 

God told Balaam he had not to go ( Numbers 22:12).   Balak, though was persistent.  He sounded convincing as he offered reward to Balaam “ I will promote thee unto very great honor” (Numbers 22:17). Balaam stood firm. Yet today when the offers of rewards to many who call themselves Christian come they are drawn away from being separated unto God.  Sight rather than faith has become the norm.  The rewards to those who are drawn to the flesh life and the temporal out- weigh the rewards of the spiritual and the eternal.  This is very different to what was of value to Saint Paul.  He saw life in a different light, that of God’s light.

 

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

 

Philippians chapter 3 verse 7

 

In the end Balaam agreed to go to Balak believing that he had heard God speak for him to do so.  However, God was displeased and sent His angel to stand in the way to prevent Balaam going to Balak.  Balaam did not see the angel standing in the way with his sword drawn.  The ass saw the angel and knew that she could not pass and in doing so was preserving her master’s life. 

 

Balaam became angry with the ass and it was at this moment that the Lord opened the mouth of the ass and caused her to speak to her master.  God moves in wonderful and unusual ways to guide and protect His own when they are in danger of going their own way or are placed in danger.  Sadly many still refuse to listen to His warnings and persist on still going their own way.  What this shows, though, is that not all who call themselves Christian today know the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior.  When a sinner has heard the word of God speaking to their heart to show that they are a sinner and that God’s way to receive forgiveness is through repentance this calls for a response. 

 

Some will reject the offer whilst others will see they are being offered a new life and will reach out in faith and accept the free gift of God.  Human reason like in the case of those who can never bring themselves to accepting that an ass can speak will never come to accepting God’s offer of forgiveness by faith.  Yet it was God who was speaking to Balaam through the ass.  At the cross God spoke to mankind through God the Son.  It was God the Father providing the means of reconciling sinners unto Himself. 

 

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.

 

2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 19

 

By the world this is individuals who are given the chance of being reconciled through the shed blood of Jesus who in His atoning death on the cross had accepted death in their place so that those who repent of their sin could be forgiven and become sons of God.

 

It is one thing to know forgiveness of sin through the blood of  Jesus Christ, it is another to go on and live a holy life.  That God’s standard is holiness is shown in this verse:

 

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

 

1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 7

 

This is a clear call to separation from the world with all its rebellion to a holy God.  God’s people are to be different.  When they are born again they receive a new life.  Many only go as far as receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior.  God, though, wants to see them become holy as the Spirit which indwelt Christ during His earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit, dwells within and changes their life to become like that of Jesus.  This is a life of  sacrifice, compassion and love which puts all on the altar for God and in doing so lays the life down for others.  May we each day press into more of the fullness of God so that Christ may be fully formed in us.  Then God has a people who are totally separated unto Himself and holy, ones who like Saint Paul are prepared to lose everything in order to gain Christ. 

 

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

 

Ephesians chapter 3 verse 19

 

It is when we are filled with the fullness of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit that we will live by faith and not by reason.  To these a speaking ass is but a small thing as we know our  God for they have their God dwelling within.  We can rejoice in this closing verse for it is truly the living Word of the living God.

 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

 

Ephesians chapter 3 verse 20

3) Message 30 April 2014

 

And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering

 

Genesis chapter 4 verse 4

 

Adam and Eve had two sons. The eldest was Cain and his brother was named Abel. Interestingly like Isaac’s sons Esau and Jacob it was the younger who found favour with God.

 

There could not have been a greater contrast between Abel and Cain. Abel was said to be “a keeper of sheep but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” (Genesis 4:2) You might say that both had occupations which were necessary to daily living. Now it was not the occupations which were unacceptable to God, it was that the hearts of Abel and Cain were as different as it was possible to be in the sight of God.

 

Cain brought an offering to God. “Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.” (Genesis 4:3) To the human mind this would be seen as all that was needed to please God. In God’s eyes this was unacceptable for this was Cain trying to justify himself through the works of his own hands. God makes clear that it is faith not works which justifies sinners before Him. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) From the outset of God dealing with man He was showing that man could never be the means of reconciling himself with God.

 

Abel by contrast “brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” (Genesis 4:4) Abel offered the blood of a lamb to God on behalf of his own sin. Abel in doing this acknowledged that he was a sinner in the sight of a holy God who needed to have his sin covered so that he was accepted by God. The offering of the blood of a lamb established the only acceptable offering to God and that was through the offering of blood. The establishing of the law demanded the offering of blood on behalf of sin. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is ne remission.” (Hebrews 9:22) The offering of blood once a year by the high priest could only cover the sins of the people and not take away the guilt of sin.

 

There was another lamb who John the Baptist saw. This was God’s lamb. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus was the only one who could deal with sin. Jesus as God the Son had to leave the glory He shared with the Father in Heaven in order to reconcile hell deserving sinners with a holy, righteous and pure God. The sinless one was made sin so that sinners could be forgiven. It was mine and your sin which did its worst and condemned Jesus to die on the cross. 

 

It was God’s love which did its best in offering a free pardon to guilty sinners. This free pardon was obtained through the shedding of the blood of Jesus on Calvary’s cross. Do we realise that it was God Himself who went to the cross and took our punishment in accepting death on our behalf. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we who were condemned to hell at physical death now have the opportunity of having our sin forgiven.  Instead of needing to bring an offering of blood like Abel the sinner has the opportunity to repent of their sin and take Jesus as their sin bearer and receive forgiveness from Him. 

 

The great truth of the Reformation is justification by faith. Even though the Roman Catholic Church has denied this great truth of scripture down the centuries there is no other way to receive forgiveness of sin. To rely on justification through works of self is as unacceptable to God as was Cain’s self-righteous offering. Anything which in any way devalues the one perfect offering for sin by God Himself is an abomination to God and will never bring justification. God’s way of justification has been provided once and for all through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. He obtained our forgiveness as a free gift and we either accept or reject this gift. By accepting or rejecting we decide our own eternal destiny.

 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

 

4) Message 23 July 2017

 

“Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”

Genesis 13:9

Almighty God what a privilege it is to live a life of faith. Abram had the faith to let Lot chose which part of the land he would like to take. Abram knew that you had a plan for his life.

 

He had the faith to believe that which part of the land he chose the other part which was left for Abram would be in the centre of God’s plan. In living the life of faith those who have exercised their rights to waive their rights have let God choose for them.

 

This is the way the natural is transformed into the spiritual in obedience to the voice of God. Sadly few are prepared to go the way of faith in these days of being centred upon self as often heard in ‘pray for me.’

 

O God speak in these days the words of life which shall open hearts to waive their rights and let God chose for the.

Amen.

 

As the Lord Jesus leads 

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