On our travel back home from our holiday stay, we were listening to Bishop G.E. Patterson. His sermon was “All Things Are Possible” from the Book of Mark 9:14-24. It was the healing of a man with a dumb spirit. Jesus asked the father, “How long has this spirit been upon him? And the father answered since he was a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
And when I heard the word IF I told Ineda, the word was poured into my spirit to teach on If And Buts About It. We’ve all heard the phrase, “No ifs and buts about it”. In my intellect, it was a phrase of certainty or without a doubt. An example, a parent tells their child to clean up their room and they don’t want to hear no If And Buts About It. If they fail to clean their room, there’s no If And Buts About It they would be punished.
The phrase no ifs, ands, or buts has an interesting etymology. The first known written use of the expression comes from the early 1500s in a work by Thomas Moore. At that time, the phrase was simply ifs and ands. At this time, the word and was not used simply as a conjunction, it was a synonym of the word if. Thomas Goodwin is credited with adding the word but to the phrase in a sermon in 1680: “The Grants of Grace run without Ifs, and Ands, and Buts.” Goodwin was a Puritan theologian, often called upon to preach before the British Commons. This brings me to what was entered into my Spirit and not my intellect, the man who brought his son to Jesus said, “but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us” and Jesus tells him, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
As Christians we often say that with Christ all things are possible; Christ’s love is unconditional; I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me, and God is in control. First God is not in control of the bad things that happen in this world or you. He gives us free will, and we decide for ourselves. He doesn’t tell you when and what to eat or what to wear, we have free will to make those decisions. But, let me add one more word to the phrase Ifs, and Ands, and Buts, the word About. We learned from our English class that If, and, and but can be used as conjunctions and they are also conditional words. Let’s explore these conditional words. In the conversation with the father and Jesus, the word if is a conditional word, the father says to Jesus if thou can do anything and Jesus tells him If he can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. The father believed and his son was healed.
The next word is and. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a great example, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
It is easy to know that but is a conditional word. We use it all the time in our daily lives. An example, I would go to worship with that ministry but they don’t look like me or this is not the way I was brought up. Sunday mornings, the most segregated time of the week in the world. Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. 1 Corinthians 1:25-27 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Now the word about, as we go through our daily lives busy doing those things that seem necessary or important, I am reminded of Jesus’s parents after the feast of the Passover, they returned to get Jesus thinking He was with relatives but found Him not. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Of all those things that we deem important or necessary, are they more important than we being about our Heavenly Father’s business? You may ask, “What is our Father’s business?” His business is to preach Jesus the Christ to the lost, that they are an inheritance to the Kingdom of God and have eternal life. So there is no Ifs Ands Buts About it, that there is a certainty that we must believe that Jesus is who He is and He did what He did, and we can have whatever we desire and can have everlasting life if we believe. The Scripture says “If we have the faith of the grain of a mustard seed, the small seed known to mankind, ye shall say unto this mountain (sickness, depression, indebtedness, or whatever your mountain is) Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
So as you enter into a new season, believe all things are possible with no ifs ands buts about it. Have the assurance and certainty that no matter what it may look like, God is with you. From this moment forward, you are walking into a new season. I won’t be troubled by what I see, by what I’m told, nor what deception the enemy may try to put in my mind. For in the battle of the mind, the battle is not yours, it belongs to the Lord.
Lord you know our circumstances more than we know, you know that which lies ahead. You know those who surround us, help their unbelief. As the Prophet Jeremiah declares For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 3 John 2:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. Give me blind faith that I shall call those things that’s not as though they are. Give me a childlike faith that I don’t question your Word, whatever you command of me, I will believe and do. I love you, Lord. Fill me with your love and joy not just for my family and friends but for those who may hate or despise me. Let my love be as your love was when you told the Father to forgive them for they know not what they do. I give you all praise, honor, and Glory. Amen
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