If you have a similar story to mine, going to church is what you did as a Christian. Going to church for most has become what Christianity is all about (before the pandemic). You go to church, you sing a little, listen a little and then go home and do it all over the next week but that is not the picture of church that we get from scripture. Jesus is the head of the church; He showed us what to do and then empowered us to do has He did. Yes I am using this verse a lot but I am hoping that by reading this verse over and over you will start seeking that same power and believing that same power for today. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.” Then we saw the disciples do the same in Acts 5:14 “Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” As Jesus responded to John Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor,” this is the church.
                Now be honest with yourself; how did you respond to yesterdays blog about the healing power of Jesus, our great physician. Did you think wow I really want to be part of that healing power? Did you feel sorrow because we do not have it? Did you say to yourself I have never seen that and I’m not sure it is possible in our day? Did you say yeah right or that’s just charismatic. Did you think God gave us doctors to heal as part of His plan? Many have accepted the lack of power in the church as normal Christianity. When you read about the ministry of Jesus you can either say nice story or you can repent and plead with God to turn His face to shine on us once again so that same healing power will flow once again just as it did with this lady. Mark 5:27 “When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.  34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” That is the church in action.
                Then a man approached Jesus. Mark 5:23 “He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.” There is a large crowd pressing against Jesus and this lady reached out and touched Him. The crowd would have seen it and knew Jesus was on His way to heal the young girl but they were just walking along. This is like the church today. The kingdom of heaven could be near but the church is content going their own way, singing songs about Jesus and listening to old, old stories but never reaching out and repenting and expecting that healing power to return to the church. People will say of course we have reached out but nothing happened. Yes that is true, so you have to ask why nothing happened. Nobody seems to want to know. Jesus said repent and the kingdom would come near. Most people who attend church go to a church led by men or women where a belief system is taught. For example the other day I saw in the news that Beth Moore said she is no longer part of the Southern Baptist Convention. Here is the problem with that. She makes it clear she is still a Baptist. She will just move from one convention to the next but never realizing truth. Its not just the Southern part she needs to repent of, it's the Baptist part yet she will keep teaching those Baptist traditions.
                We are not seeing this power because men and women stubbornly follow their own tradition. Jesus said Mark 7:6 “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” So because of this rebellion towards God, we are feeling his wrath. Here is a part of Leviticus 26:14 “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you. 18 “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. 19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit. 21 “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve.” As Isaiah said God is not listening. This is not how it is supposed to be. Jesus showed us how to defeat satan and heal the sick and it has nothing to do with our own power but by being clothed with power from on High. No you don’t go to seminars or read someone’s how to book where they teach you how to heal or speak in tongues or cast out demons. You too can learn with twelve easy payments with our beginners guide to casting out demons! There are all kinds of guides, which will do you no good. When the power of God does move you will know, just as they saw with Jesus.
                Notice what happens when Jesus continues on His way after healing the woman. He was not in a hurry nor did He have a car to drive to get there faster. People think if the ambulance or doctor had just got here sooner, they would still be alive. John 11:5 “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea. 11 Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up. 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been   speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him. 17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
    40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.”
                Don’t do it! Don’t listen to that voice that tells you that could never happen today! Believe God will move that mountain. The lady was healed because of her great faith. So Jesus is on His way and Mark 5:35 “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?” Okay call off the ambulance, send the doctor home; it is too late. Then we have this amazing statement from Jesus. 36 “Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Jesus is telling you the same but do you believe Him or will you laugh at His words like the crowd at the house. Luke 8:51 “When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep. 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.” There are people today who actually believe she was just sleeping, but she was as dead as Lazarus was. In both cases Jesus said they were asleep and was going to wake them up but they were dead. Paul gave those listening to him a warning of which we also need to take heed. Acts 13:40 “Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: 41 “‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.” Make sure you don’t scoff at what God’s word states very clearly. As we saw in Habakkuk, Babylon came and destroyed them.
               One of the misconceptions many have today is that people were stupid back then. That is not the case unless aliens really did build the pyramids. People knew when someone was dead, which is why they laughed at Jesus. She was dead and they knew it. Thankfully Jesus didn’t do what a doctor would do and confirm the time of death and move on. How many people have had bad news about their health and were only given a few days or months to live. The doctor says I’m sorry there is nothing else we can do. We will do everything we can to make you comfortable. Jesus doesn’t say that, Luke 8:54 “but he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.” This is the same power that is supposed to be available to the church. Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your / my heart may be enlightened in order that you / I may know the hope to which he has called you / me, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Pray that prayer for yourself.
                So are you laughing or do you believe. Don’t be afraid; just believe! If you want more than the powerless church we presently have, then turn from your wicked ways and return to the ways of God. As I said earlier it is not just about leaving one group for another but leaving the ways and traditions of man and following Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. Pray that God will open eyes and ears. “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”