“Only Believe”

Good Evening Everyone!

Believe it or not, friends just because I serve the Lord that doesn’t mean that I’m immune to needing a timely word from the Lord.  The Christlike Ministries NWA Daily Devotional for Thursday February 5, 2015 is just that for all of us today…a word from the Lord.  So, let’s check out today’s scripture, and then let the Lord speak to us through it. Amen!?!

“But Jesus, not heeding the word spoken, saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not, only believe.” – Mark 5:36 (ASV)

Yes, friends.  I am not immune to needing encouragement or getting in places where I get worried or anxious or get overwhelmed.  I don’t often talk about it, but I am just as liable to walk around with the cares of the world on my mind as anyone else.  I suppose maybe I should talk more about it because I’ve said many times that I’m no better or different from anyone else.  Just because God placed me in a ministry position that doesn’t mean that I stop needing to be ministered to. I still attend church with my family.  I still have someone I am submitted to that is a pastor to me, and there are times that I need the Lord Himself to speak to me through His Word.  I don’t want to appear to you as though I have all the answers, that I have everything in the Christian life and walk figured out, and that I’m as they all say “too blessed to be stressed”.

So, before you say it…I know that this verse was written in the context of Jesus having to heal someone’s daughter that was on her death-bed, but the Lord said this very thing to me when He reminded me of Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB) yesterday.  I suppose I should include those verses in this message, and so here they are:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

Do you know that the majority of the time when we get into anxiety, fear, worry, and even begin to doubt God’s ability to take care of us that those times are almost always tied to some care (or cares) of the world?  I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s certainly true for me.  The majority of the time when I have let that peace that surpasses understanding slip away a little…it’s because some care (or cares) of the world has begun choking it out…and I find myself to stressed to be blessed.

Lately, I’ve come to realize I have a health issue that isn’t going to correct itself, and will likely require surgery.  No one ever really likes to come to the conclusion that the only way to fix a medical problem is to make an appointment to see a doctor.  No, it’s nothing serious.  It’s a hernia that most likely comes from the half a decade or so I spent delivering and moving furniture for a living.  Unfortunately, I’ve ignored it for so long that it is now starting to give me legitimate problems, and thanks to Google I understand that either the Lord is going to have to perform a miracle or there’s going to be a doctor that’s going to have to perform a surgery to repair it.  No matter who you are…it’s never pleasant news to know that you’re most likely going to have to go through surgery.

In addition to that, there are times when I think about how tight things are here with my family and ministry financially.  At present, my wife’s income is the only money we have coming in, and there isn’t enough to take care of household and ministry expenses.  We only have one car that is running, and we don’t have the finances or a reliable enough person that would be willing to watch our daughter so that I could work outside the home.  I have to find the money to make sure that I’m able to keep the http://www.christlikeministriesnwa.com domain name for another year, the Lord has spoken to me about things He would like me to do with the ministry other than just writing and posting things online, and there’s other things that I would like to be able to do with and for the ministry that I can’t…and so for the first time in three years I’ve turned to you…the Christlike Ministries NWA family to sow into the ministry…and so far zero dollars has come in because people don’t really consider what I’m doing as a ministry.

As I’m writing this message I can feel that knot tightening in my chest.  Come on, friends, everyone knows that knot I’m talking about.  The one that comes from being overwhelmed…and I kid you not the Lord literally told me today that He has my back…and reminded me to lay that all at His feet.  In other words…Jesus literally said to me the same thing He said more than 2,000 years ago to the people who were gathered around as He walked in the room to find the girl was just sleeping.

Friends, it’s okay to admit that we’re having troubles.  It’s okay to admit we’re struggling.  It’s okay for me (even if I am considered a pastor) to say that I am not immune to getting into doubt, worry, anxiety, and even fear too.  After all, all those things really are is an absence of faith…and those things almost always come from some form (or forms) of the cares of the world.  Martha was convinced that if she didn’t do all the serving that it wasn’t going to be done because all Mary seemed to do was sit at Jesus’ feet.  Can you imagine the knot in her chest as she’s frantically trying to make a dinner worthy of Jesus, she was probably trying to tidy up the house, and who knows what else she was trying to do so that everything was worthy of a visit by the King of kings and Lord of lords…but He said that Mary was doing the needful thing.  How many of you know that it’s best to sit at the feet of the Master first, and then get up to serve because when you get up from the Master’s feet…everything you do isn’t just an act of service, but it’s an act of worship also because you’re serving out of a right heart and motive.  That’s for another message at another time, but the point is…we need to be more like Mary and less like Martha…especially when we get to being to stressed to be blessed.

Those are the moments when we need to stop everything we’re doing, realize that we are wearing ourselves out, and seek the feet of the Master so that we can exchange the things that are burdening and weighing us down for the peace and rest that only comes from leaving all of our cares, concerns, worries, doubts, fears, hurts, and everything else that weighs us down at the feet of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  “Cast ALL of your cares upon Him…because He cares for you.”

Friends, God doesn’t want us weighted down by the worries and cares and anxieties of the world.  He wants us to be at peace and rest, and the only way that we can find the peace and rest we need is by heeding the words He spoke.  Remember, the “Fear Not, Only Believe” is spoken by Jesus.  That means that those words were written in red, and that God Himself spoke those words through Jesus not only to the people there around Him…but for our benefit today.

I’m thankful and more at peace today because God took a few moments to minister to me, and to remind me that the best place for all of my cares is when they are laid at His feet.  He loves me enough to remind me of His love for me, let me know He’s aware of what I’m going through, and takes the time to remind me that He’s got my back.

What are you going through today?  Let the God encourage you today with the same words He spoke to me:  “Fear not…only believe”!

Let’s Pray:

Father God, thank You so much for Your Word. I pray for every member of the Christlike Ministries NWA Family that You would give them that right now, on time word that they need to help them hold on. I pray that You would remind us all that You have our back, that You are aware of what we’re going through, and that we can confidently cast all those things at Your feet.  In Jesus name. Amen

In Closing:

Believe it or not, friends, none of us are immune to giving in to the worries, cares, and concerns of the world.  That’s why God took the time to remind us when we get into those places that we can exchange those cares and burdens for His peace and rest.  If you find yourself in a place where you are feeling tired and worn out…it may just be that you are carrying around more weight than God meant you to carry.

Let these words speak to your heart like this did mine:  “Fear Not, Only Believe”!

Have a blessed and RESTFUL evening!

Blessings & Grace;

Pastor B

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