Apples of Gold

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Have faith in God

'Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.'

Mark 11: 22-24.

Many years ago I had a real character of a Foreman. He was a fair man, happy if the work was done and an angry camper if it was not finished on time! If anyone under his command was found not pulling his weight, our Foreman would take him aside and holding him by his lapels this is the message he would utter.

‘I want you to listen very carefully to this message. I am going to tell you to do something. When it leaves my lips, it will be a request, however when it hits your ears, it will be a command! Do you understand?’ A quick nod of the head then back to work! We got the message, loud and clear.

It was the first few words in our text that made me think of that time with our Foreman. What tone of voice did Jesus use with His statement, ‘have faith in God?’ A command from on High or a gentle request?

This is indeed a most challenging text? It is almost as if God is placing before us a blank cheque book, with His signature upon it. A guarantee that whatever is requested will be met in full. Do we have true Christian boldness and courage to put God’s Word to the test? There has not been one person in history that He has failed.

How often do we go forward each day in our own strength rather than in God's? We only urgently call upon our God and His strength when we are in trouble. Is that the way we should be living? No and a thousand times no! Our duty is to honour God, and the only way in which we can do that in this life is by relying completely upon Him for EVERYTHING.

It was said of a friend of mine who died recently that his great strength was that he leaned heavily upon his Saviour. 'Take my yoke upon you for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.' Jesus delights to carry our heavy loads. He has strong shoulders. He also has the power to meet all our needs.

All too often we suffer because of little faith. Looking inward and seeing no good thing. Looking at our circumstances and cringing with fear and trepidation.  We dread the mountains and hills that lie in our path. 'Hills at the presence of our God, like wax shall melt away.' 'Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth.'

Do we worry about the past? Have we a fear in our heart about tomorrow or even what we have to face today? 'Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.'

Perhaps we may be feeling down and our soul seems like a dry parched land. We wander around like the dove with a tear in her eye, as one whose heart is full of heaviness, yearning for a glimpse of our Beloved. We long for better days. We pray, 'restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.' 'Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.'

Faith is taking God at His word. Dare we do that today? Dare we take up His challenge? Is He talking to us today or is this written for someone else? My friend you will not receive a clearer message from God to your soul today than this!

If you are still reluctant to take up His challenge, then let me ask you this simple question. What have YOU got to lose?

WHATEVER is lying upon your soul today, whatever is in your heart, whatever you desire the Lord to give you or do for you, then He bids you to ask Him for it.

Do not be like the woman living in the Welsh valleys. Having heard a sermon on this text, before going to her bed, she looked out of her kitchen window and asked that the mountain behind her house be removed. Having enjoyed a good nights sleep she pulled back the curtains in the morning and sighed, 'I thought so!'

We all need to be stirred up in our souls to expect great things from our Saviour Redeemer. His promise to us today is, if we ask, we shall receive. It is a simple message, laden with love. Do not complicate it by allowing self to get in the way of the answer.

For those who may have suffered much in recent days through chastening and have spent many days and nights in the school of affliction where fear and trembling as constant companions, He says this. 'Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury, thou shalt no more drink it again.'

Christ drank the cup of God's wrath in our room and stead.

Are you burdened with sin lying heavy upon you today? 'Thy sins and iniquities I will remember no more.' Why? Because the eternal sacrifice has been made. There is no more offering for sin. Jesus Christ has paid the price in FULL on our behalf. Kiss ye the Son this day. Rejoice and be exceeding glad. What a friend we have in Jesus. Oh for a closer walk with Him.

Time my friend to get upon our knees and do business with our God. May we be given arms to embrace Him, may we glorify and enjoy Him with each breath that we take. Let your light so shine before men that they will know that you have been with Jesus. As we put forth our petition before Him, may we see no man save Jesus only.

'What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.'