Episode 23: God is so much more powerful than our enemy and stands ready and willing to strengthen us in the fight. The question is, do you believe that?
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Dona Watson Show. I'm your host, Dona Watson. I'm just an average American Patriot who loves God, her family, her country. I try really hard to listen to God's voice. Sometimes I write stuff. Come with me, together let's explore this crazy experience we call life. Welcome to the show.Speaker 2:
Hello, hello, everybody. Welcome to episode 23: "Lord, I Believe...Please Help My Unbelief!" Well, some of you noticed that I missed a day or two, and there's a couple of reasons for that. Life gets in the way. And also I had to ponder on this content for a couple of days, revisit it, circle back around, and here I am. You see, it seems like there's a common theme that keeps revisiting my life. And it's almost as if God has been impressing on me how great his power is. In a way, this is part two of my previous podcast , number 22, but where that episode focused much on having a defensive posture, today I want to talk about how to assume a more offensive posture when we're under attack from the enemy. I love the gospel of Mark because of the prevalence of this theme, how God's power and authority and how he gives us the ability to carry out his will when we abide in him. Mark is a short book. It's only 16 chapters. It was written for people who had a lot in common with us today. According to the early church fathers, it was written by John Mark, who was the son of a widow named Mary. And she hosted meetings of the early Jerusalem church in her house. It's even possible that the Last Supper took place there at her house. In which case, Mark would have been a young man. He would have known Jesus when he was a young man. Mark was cousin to Barnabas and he accompanied Barnabas and Paul back to Antioch after their famine relief, that's mentioned in the New Testament, their famine relief mission to Jerusalem. He then went with Barnabas and Paul on part of the first missionary journey as an assistant, but at Perga, Mark turned back. My Bible study notes that when the apostle Peter wrote to the churches in Asia minor shortly before his martyrdom, he sent greetings from Mark, whom he called "my son." We find that in first Peter 5, then shortly before Paul's execution, he asked Timothy to "bring Mark with you for he's useful to me in the ministry." We find that in second Timothy chapter four. After Paul's execution, Mark is said to have moved to Egypt and established churches there and served them in Alexandria. According to the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox tradition, these churches became the very first Coptic Orthodox churches, I believe , making Mark the father of the Coptic Orthodox Church. I'm not going to go too far into that because , other people know much better than I do. I just have a touching knowledge on that subject.:
But all of this history is really important because I want us to understand who Mark was and what his frame of reference was when he wrote what we now know as the gospel of Mark. He probably knew Jesus and the disciples personally. He had seen many miracles performed by Jesus, and then by the disciples, and later by Paul. He knew the hardships of being persecuted as a follower of Jesus and a missionary in the early church. But most importantly, he had seen the power of God up close and experienced it personally before he wrote this book.Speaker 3:
In writing out Jesus' story--and many scholars believe that Mark was written before the gospels of Matthew, Luke and John were written. But Mark showed Jesus to be the authoritative and divine Son of God. It's likely that Mark wrote this book in Rome just before or just after Peter's martyrdom. He wrote it for the Roman Gentiles to share with them who Jesus was and why he was the Messiah, what the Messiah was and why that was important. He shows us the human side of Jesus and the divinity of Jesus. And he explains to us why Jesus came. He calls people to repent and respond in faith to the good news. And Mark talks a lot about the importance of belief. In my previous podcast, I mentioned some of the miracles that Jesus performed and how with God, the impossible becomes possible. And today I want to touch on the importance of our belief that God can do the impossible. Mark strengthens us with several instances of miracles that Jesus performed. For instance, in Mark 7, Jesus heals the Gentile woman's daughter because of her faith. He responds to the faith that she showed in him. In Mark 9, a man brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing, basically saying, "If you can, Lord, please heal my son." And Jesus replies to him, "If you can? Everything is possible to the one who believes." Mark writes that, "Immediately, the father of the boy cried out, 'I do believe; help my unbelief.'" And Jesus cast out the demon and he healed the man's son.Speaker 2:
In Mark 5, we find a woman who had suffered for many years and who thought to herself, "If only I may touch his garment," (Jesus' garment), "I shall be made well." She did. And she was healed. Christ told her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction." These are only a few of the many miracles that Mark recorded, but these particular ones all have one thing in common. These accounts record the importance of belief. In Matthew 10, Jesus reflects to his disciples how difficult it can be for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. This surprised the disciples and they asked, "Well then who can be saved?" And Jesus answered them, "With man, it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God." In the next chapter, Mark 11, Jesus talks even more directly about faith. Let's look at Mark 11:22-26.Speaker 3:
"Jesus replied to them, 'Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, everything you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.'" So I want to encourage you today with the might and power of God, he is greater and more powerful than our wildest imaginations could imagine. Just creation alone gives us a glimpse of what God is capable of creating--with just a word. All things are possible with God. When we remain repentant and keep our hearts aligned with God's, we have the authority to command. And when we truly believe, it will be done. The Lord sees our tears and hears our cries. Psalm 6:8-10 tells us this: "For the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea for help; the Lord accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and shake with terror; they will turn back and suddenly be disgraced." Yes, the Lord accepts our prayers. The Lord accepts your prayers. And the enemy will be defeated. God's power is amazing. If he can create all of nature with just a word, he is fully more than capable of keeping his promises to you. I believe that right now, God is calling his people, us, his church, to seek his face, to seek his will. And if there are any mountains in the way, for us to command those mountains to be gone. Has God given you a promise in your heart? I encourage you today to not give up on that promise. Remind yourself of it and stand strong, knowing that God will keep his word to you. Have faith. And if you falter, cry out like the father we see in Mark: "Lord, I believe; please help my unbelief." Know that Jesus will come through for you. Nothing. And I mean, nothing, can defeat him. That's all I have for you guys today. Gone a little bit longer than normal. Maybe that makes up for the day that I missed.Speaker 1:
Anyways, until next time, remember guys, God loves you. He is more powerful than our enemy and he will win. I love you guys. I'll talk to you later. Bye!