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God's peace can help us live above anxieties as we learn to trust in Him!

The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

Newest! The Lord Your Healer

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

First step of discipleship
revive devotions
Advanced Discipleship

The Bible Teaching Commentary on Genesis: The Book of Foundations

Commentaries that specialize on training the teacher!

Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God


Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

A Faith that Counts
Mark 11:20-24

Abiding in Christ: Walking in Jesus

Paul J. Bucknell

I wonder if by hanging around Jesus certain things will rub off. This quite often happens with our friends that we spend time with. Their expressions, attitudes and even decisions are imitated. I often hear one of my older children say something in a certain way and instantly I think of the friend from which that A Faith that Countsexpression originated.

As I read this next passage, I realized I was quite desperate. It didn't take long before I remembered my trip two weeks ago to Indianapolis. I forget what I was doing, but suddenly I received a revelation on my prayer life. It is rather embarassing, but I'll tell you anyway. I often ask for things but don't believe God.

I was totally shocked. I was not sure how many prayers I have absolutely wasted. Perhaps they were not totally wasted. He doesn't mention that those prayers without faith are absolutely of no value. But if the purpose of asking is to get, then something seems to be missing. I really sensed that I needed to start praying in faith. I thought of one of the things we had been asking was for a larger dining room table. This might sound silly, but we just don't fit around it anymore. I prayed, asked and believed, or so I thought. Each time I talked to our children at home I would ask if anything else special has happened. "Everything is fine," I would hear. I was disappointed when we returned home not to find a larger dining room table.

"20 And as they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 And being reminded, Peter said to Him, "Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which You cursed has withered." 22 And Jesus answered saying to them, "Have faith in God. 23 "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. 24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you." (Mark 11:20-24, NASB)

Some might say that one doesn't pray for such things. We do. When we have a need, we bring it to the Lord in prayer. Jesus said three things which seemed to indicate that praying for things like tables would be okay.

  • Firstly, we have Jesus illustration of cursing a fig tree and having it die the next day. This did not seem to be a spiritual matter. And if it did provide the basis for a spiritual lesson, that is what I thought our table would be for our children.

    Secondly, we have Jesus' extreme example of telling a mountain to be taken up and cast into the sea. I see absolutely no spiritual significance in this illustration. It only emphasizes that the content is not as important as the faith.

  • Lastly, we note Jesus' words 'all things.' He really does seem to emphasize that He is not merely speaking about some spiritual matter nor excluding it of course. Our faith makes things spiritual.

The fact that no big dining room table was there at my house forces me to conclude that I didn't really believe. I doubted. Jesus could not have spoken more clearly on these matters. As a good technician He pinpoints where the problem lie. Fortunately, I have seen answers to prayer. My faith, or the lack of it, was not shaken. What does disappoint me, though, is my readiness to forget about my newly found discovery. I seemed to drop right back down to dull ineffective prayers.

This passage woke me back up again and is stimulating a review of my experiences of prayer and faith and the results. I remember that one time during an evangelistic meeting that we were hoping for a real big turn out. I don't remember. This one brother worked so hard preparing a large number of supplies and was praying so hard. I felt for him. It was as if the Spirit of the Lord came upon me and gave me the faith to believe that though there were fewer attending, that we would still see a big turning of hearts to the Lord. I believed and with my brother we saw the fruits of those prayers.

A study on Elijah, Abraham and others will help clarify the nature of faith. One can simply look for the answer to the question, "Where does faith come from?" Here are three starting points. I sense they interrelate.

  • Faith comes from being with God. It rubs off. Faith is a special anointing from God.
  • Faith comes with training - step by step one believes and grows in faith.

For now, I have begun to cry out for more faith. I have confessed my poor faith. I am hardly concerned with my dining room table as with having my prayers be pleasing and glorifying to our good God. I can eat off the floor, but I don't want my prayers to be faithless. =>>Next

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus Series

Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

Paul J. Bucknell

The Beginning
John 15:5

The marvelous way the Lord instigated this series.

Impossible Love
Mark 8:1-9

Jesus responded to their needs. The disciples responded to their resources.

Genuine Friendship
John 15:15-16

I don't want my Heavenly Father to treat me the way I treated my son!

A Vial of Love
Mark 14:1-9

Our relationship with God is to take priority over our works.

Following is Not Easy
Mark 10:46-52

I wanted Jesus to be with me, but I didn't really want to be with Him.

Listening Carefully
Mark 7:17-18

The Lord wants me to sit down and listen to Him.

A Faith that Counts

I was not sure how many prayers I have absolutely wasted.

Staying Focused
Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus found these planned retreats can be rudely interrupted.

Discovering Treasures
Mark 10:21-27

What were they amazed and later astonished at?

Worth it all!
Mark 10:28-31

His disciples would often if not always be required to make a sacrifice of one kind or another.

The Capsizing of Religion
Mark 3:1-6

Many churches just wouldn't want Jesus attend!

Family of Jesus
Mark 03.31-35

If you or I were part of this crowd, wouldn't we do the same thing as they?

(The following chapters are part of the full book which can be purchased separately or as part of the D#3 Digital Library.)

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus by Paul J. Bucknell

Growing Confidence in Jesus
Mark 7:31-37

What Jesus I am following?

A Word on Christian Suffering
John 15:1-2

We didn't do anything wrong to deserve such pruning! John 15:1-2

Genuine Worship
Mark 12:28-34

Anything not built on this one command is best left in the periphery of life.

Dreams to Dust 911
Mark 13:1-3

Jesus felt compelled to take their dreams to the dust.

A Faith of Action
Mark 11:27-33

The world starts getting concerned when the church starts practicing its faith.

The Felling of Fame
Mark 2:1-2

Stopped in my tracks. Time to deal with my desire for fame.

Perspective on Worry
Luke 12:25-26

We are really surprised at Jesus' comments about our worry.

Overcome Fear of Man
Mark 11:27-39

Outnumbered. Outflanked. Out-educated. Compromise was begging Jesus to conform for acceptance.

Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted: (C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988

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