Hope, Faith, And Faithfulness


King James Bible Study – [And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. – Mark 8:34]

Date: Saturday, October 14, 2023
Chapters: LUKE 8
Message: Hope, Faith, And Faithfulness

Hello My Friend,

I am late once again getting this out, I even woke up super early on a Saturday to get it done early because I had a birthday party to go to that was ninety minutes away. You do not know the trouble I had today, from an allergic reaction to something I ate to my husbands new truck overheating, and we did not even get to the party. We both chalked it up as a day to just spend time together since we barely get to see each other during the week. It occurred to me as yet another day of late Bible studies that God’s time is God’s time and the devil has a pretty good reason to keep me from getting these out lately as there has been a lot of talk about Him since we began reading the Gospels. I tell you what, the devil may delay us, but then again, we may be right on time as God seed fit. I am reminded of the song, Four Days Late, [Lord, we don’t understand why You’ve waited so long, But His way is God’s way, not yours or mine, And isn’t it great, when He’s four days late, He’s still on time.]

As we continue in the reading of the Gospels, Luke, gives his account of some of the things that we had already learned of in previous chapters. First, when Jesus tells the parable of the sower to the crowd of people. Notice what Luke adds to his account, Jesus, had more than the twelve disciples who had walked with Him daily.

[Luke 8:1-8  And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,  2  And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,  3  And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.  4  And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 5  A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.  6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.  7  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.  8  And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.]

[which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities,] You see, Jesus had more than just the twelve He had chosen to walk with Him through His entire ministry, there were several others that did as well. So, you can imagine the crowd that walked with Him and ministered to Him and the other disciples. I can attest that when Jesus touches you and heals you from your infirmities you will follow Him, [Hebrews 6:17-19  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:  18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:  19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;]

[A sower went out to sow his seed:] I was not going to touch on this since I did yesterday, but as God would have it He pointed out to me how Luke words this parable, this caught my eye in particular, [it withered away, because it lacked moisture.] The stony heart is perhaps the most dangerous heart than all the rest when you stop to think about it because it does not let the Word of God sink in. This is why so many people get saved and never see the Holy Spirit work in their lives, then turn on God because their lives take such a turn for the worse. We cannot accept Christ as our Saviour and remain living the way we lived, and while God does not expect us to know everything that we need to let go of right away, He does expect us to let go of them once we learn the truth, [Hebrews 6:9-10  But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.  10  For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.]

[And when he had said these things, he cried,] You remember how we talked about how we all perceive things differently as see and hear them? Well, the disciples prove this by telling what they saw and heard. Keep in mind that they do not contradict one another, they actually compliment one another as they tell their side of the story. Jesus, knew exactly who believed in Him, but that did not stop Him from hoping that some of them would tender their stony and thorny hearts to receive Him. Jesus, explains it this way.

[Luke 8:12-15  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.  13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.  14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.  15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.]

[which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it,] Most days when I pray for God to bless the reading of His Word I will say, “Hide it in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” An honest and good heart, meaning faithful and true to their receiving Christ as their Saviour wants to learn of God and change their ways as God would lead them. You know, God’s will for you is not the same as His will for me. While we are to abide in His Word, there are some things that you may be able to handle that I cannot so God sees fit to lead me away from that temptation. The same is true for us, and if we are honest with ourselves we will see that while we hate the patience that comes with being obedient to His Word, it does bring forth a fruitful life with Christ, [Colossians 1:5-6  For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;  6  Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:]

[and bring forth fruit with patience.] Think about it, a tree does not provide fruit all year long, it goes through seasons. First, it grows leaves on it, then it buds, then flowers grow on it. Then the flowers fall off and that is when the fruit begins to grow on it, and it must remain on the tree until it ripens. When it is ripe, that is when we must take it off and use it or it will rot on that tree. The the leaves fall off and the cycle begins all over again throughout the life of the tree. This is a picture of a fruitful Christ and is exactly how Jesus grows, purges and produces more fruit in us through obedience and patience, [Romans 5:3-5  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.]

We cannot force a tree to produce fruit in an instant, therefore, we cannot expect God to do everything for us in an instant all the time. We need time to grow in the Lord, and that is exactly why we are to keep living our lives to please Him while we wait for them. Jesus goes on to tell us this through another parable.

[Luke 8:16-18  No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.  17  For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.  18  Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.]

[that they which enter in may see the light.] Once we receive Christ as our Saviour and the Holy Spirit moves in we are not to hide Him, we are to embrace Him and let Him do His work in us. Stop taking eternal life for granted, even through the most trying of times we can see the Holy Spirit working as long as we are willing to let Him do what He came here for, [James 1:3-4  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.]

How fruitful we become in our walk with Christ is determined by our faith and faithfulness to the Holy Spirit as He directs us. Luke, actually brings up things that we have already learned about early on in Jesus’ ministry, it is as though he was reminded by the Holy Spirit to write it down. Luke, now tells the story of Jesus testing their faith as they were in a ship on their way to a country called Gadarenes, pronounced, Gad-ar-ay-nos’, which was actually interestingly outside of Syria, and Him falling asleep as a storm arose.

[Luke 8:22-25  Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.  23  But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.  24  And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.  25  And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.]

[and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish.] Do you think that Jesus did not know that it was storming? Do you think that He did not know that they were all freaking out, especially when the water started coming onto the ship? As the Master of the sea, rains, winds, and every other element, Jesus, knew exactly what was going on. I guarantee you that they were more fearful of Jesus that day stopping the storm than the storm itself. So, imagine what fear they must have had when they arrived to find this man running up to Jesus.

[Luke 8:26-30  And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.  27  And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.  28  When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.  29  (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30  And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.]

[there met him out of the city a certain man,] Matthew accounts to this as well, but mentions two men, [Matthew 8:28  And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.] This is not a contradiction, while both men did approach Jesus, he was the one who revealed who He was, or rather the evil spirits that were inside him did. The man had to have some faith in God in the first place in order for the evil spirit to come out of him every once in a while, but this time that spirit would be gone for good. The devil’s demons cannot possess a saved soul, but they can oppress a saved soul, which is why so many Christians feel ripped apart sometimes. There is only one person who can cast those demons away from us and that is Jesus, [1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:]

[What is thy name? And he said, Legion:] A legion is actually a regiment of the Roman army, which is a number that originally consisted of three thousand men, but in the time of Christ consisted of six thousand. So, that gives us an idea of how many demons were in this man and confirms to us that several demons can posses one soul. When Jesus asked what his name was it was not that He did not know the man’s name as He already knew who he was, He asked for the sake of those who were with Him, and that the demon would actually reveal who he was. Mark, also gives the account, which has the legion of demons that were haunting this man to be two thousand, [Mark 5:13  And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.]

Unlike the Holy Spirit, who is alive forevermore, demons do have a lifespan and will be destroyed whenever the thing they possess is destroyed as well. We learn this when the legion asked Jesus if they could go into a herd of pigs that were nearby. Watch what happens when Jesus allows them to enter the pigs.

[Luke 8:31-35  And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.  32  And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.  33  Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34  When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35  Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.]

[he would not command them to go out into the deep.] You see, even the devil and his demons must obey God, and do not believe for one second that they do not know the Scriptures, they know and they tremble at His Word, [James 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.]

[and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake,] It occurred to me why the pigs started running around like mad and ended up falling into the lake, they did not want the demons inside of them either. Once the pigs were swallowed up in the lake they died and so did the demons. It does not matter if the living creature is a human, angel, Satan, or a demon, every being will bow to Jesus and anyone not saved will be destroyed, actually they will be cast into the lake of fire, [Jude 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.]

[Then they…found the man…in his right mind: and they were afraid.] Well, the man may have been happy and ecstatic that the legion was out of him and he was now of a sound mind, but the people were not. In fact, they wanted Him to leave right away.

[Luke 8:36-39  They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.  37  Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.  38  Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,  39  Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.]

[Return to thine own house,] Why did Jesus want this man to tell his family and everyone else about Him, but did not want the Jews to do the same thing? Well, for one, His passion had not come yet so it was not time for Him to be revealed to them as the Christ, although true believers already knew that He is. The other reason is that He was getting the Gentiles prepared for the day that He would give His life for them. Jesus, was showing them that He is not the King and Saviour of the Jewish believers, but to all believers, [Romans 2:9-11  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  10  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  11  For there is no respect of persons with God.]

Let me tell you something about the faith of true believers, they may have their ups and downs about the size of their faith, but they never give up that last piece of hope that Jesus will take care of their needs. There are four testimonies from God’s Word that are my absolute favorite and they are Job, Elisha, the Shunamite woman, and the woman with the issue of blood. We do not know her name, but we do know her faith.

[Luke 8:43-48  And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,  44  Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.  45  And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?  46  And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.  47  And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.  48  And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.]

[having an issue of blood twelve years,] For twelve years this woman sought a cure for her pain. For twelve years, she spent every penny she had to find some answers. So, when she heard all the stories about this man named Jesus who was healing everyone He touched, she found a newfound hope that perhaps He may touch her and relieve her from her pain. When she found out that Jesus was in town, she rushed over to Him to get a chance to meet with Him, but the crowd was so large that she could not get near Him. Finally, she came close, but there were so many people around that it was near impossible. That was when she thought to herself, “If I could only touch the hem of His jacket.” I feel her pain and my only hope is that one day Jesus would heal my pain. Then perhaps what I am going through may just be what Jesus wants me to go through in order to know that His grace is sufficient to ease my pain, [2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.]

[Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee,] My husband tells me that I do not make sense sometimes when I am trying to convey something. I actually tell him that he is a lot like Peter because he just says what is on his mind, but as I read this I believe that we are both like Peter. Here these guys are walking with Jesus, seeing the people just grabbing at Him, when Jesus asks who touched Him. Of course, Jesus knew who touched Him, He was just trying to get her to confess that it was her. We can have all the faith we want, but unless we invite Jesus in, He will not push Himself on us, [Revelation 3:20-21  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.]

Today’s Prayer: Jesus, Thank You for the great sacrifice You made so that I can be made whole. I do not have to do anything to save my soul because You did it for me, You saved me simply by my faith in You. You promise that we will see You one day and live with You forever in Your kingdom, but until then You expect us to have a little patience as we live our lives in Your Light. Lord, Lead me and guide me, fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit that is within me to enable me to not only walk with You, and talk with You, but be a reflection of You. I do want to be fruitful, and know that with constant communication, faith, and patience You will produce the fruit in me that others will eat and produce in them. Let me never lose sight of my faith, even it is only the size of a mustard seed at times, I know that You can cast that unfruitful tree into the sea and produce one that is fruitful. I love You, and pray this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.

God Bless You, I am praying for you,

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