There Are No Ifs!!!
When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. He asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion?”
A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”
Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.
He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”
“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”
Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.“
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried,
“Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!“
Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!” Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, “He’s dead.” But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up.
After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked,
“Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”
“There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer.”
Prayers are the threads that weave the fabric of faith which binds us to God. Matthew 17:20, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Leaving there, they went through Galilee. He didn’t want anyone to know their whereabouts, for he wanted to teach his disciples.
He told them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him. Three days after his murder, he will rise, alive.”
They didn’t know what he was talking about, but were afraid to ask him about it.
Teach with Your Life
The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth. They will tell you not to get married. They’ll tell you not to eat this or that food—perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by believers who know better! Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out. God’s Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy.
You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.
Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.
Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them.
The people will all see you mature right before their eyes!
Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.
-I Timothy 4, The Message
Lord, help us to walk in Faith, trusting unswervingly in Your Promises, knowing that you are not like men who can lie; for it impossible for You to lie — You are the only Faithful and True.
Your Word endures forever. Your Love never fails. Help us to stake our lives in eternity on it and restore to us the Joy of Your Salvation — for it is only by Your Joy, that we receive really steadfast Strength to face and go through any adversity.
Let Your peace which is far beyond and above every human reason, logic and understanding guard and sustain our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, who is the Living Word which abides forever and is unchanging and unbroken from Everlasting to Everlasting –You are Lord of all. Help us to rest in perfect peace in You, the Word that is Faithful and True. AMEN