Fresh Hope – 30th June 2018

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Bible is very complicated, and that in order to please God you have to jump through any number of hoops, most of which you fear you cannot attain to as they are far too high.

This common understanding is nothing more than a ‘misunderstanding’.

It’s based on what you have been misinformed about during your years spent picking up stuff from people that you assumed knew all about such things. Well, the truth is…they didn’t.

In order to establish how simple it is to have a relationship with God, you have to ask the most important question in the universe; the question is the very one that Jesus was asked way back in the Bible…

John 6:28-29 Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’

I’m sure that the people asking the question were expecting some lengthy discourse on religion and how to do God’s work. This would have included hours of prayer and fasting and beating yourself down so that God might be pleased with you one day. But instead, Jesus blew them away by declaring that God actually requires you to only believe…full stop.

Now of course, there are so many others things in living a life of faith, but never complicate the very starting point that God requires…ONLY BELIEVE.

As we look at the following Bible account of a girl that had just died, you would imagine that there would be a lot to pray and say, and a whole lot to do in terms of religious stuff, in order for anyone to stand a chance of getting her back to life…

Mark 5:35-43 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’ Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’. Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around she was twelve years old. At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

And yet, after being confronted with such a major problem, Jesus really only uttered one sentence…’don’t be afraid, only believe.’

It’s not complicated. Jesus didn’t say, ‘if you pray for three hours I’ll do it for you.’ No, He said, ‘only believe.’

You too may be facing situations that seem impossible. In the natural, you can’t see how you could ever be healthy or how your family could ever be restored, but God is saying to you, only believe and the answer is on its way.

Get your faith moving today in the right direction, and get your focus simply on the God of miracles and you can overcome any obstacle that stands in your way.

Mark 9:23 Jesus said, ‘Everything is possible for the one who believes.’

Pastor Mark

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