Mustard Seed Faith…
Posted October 19, 2012on:
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
I read Mark 11:22 during my morning devotions. The devotion comes to my inbox as a ministry and one I enjoy spending a few minutes of my day reading and praying into. It always amazes me JUST how those devotions are presented. How clever the writers make connections, spin their love for God and His promises and offer the rest of us an opportunity to share in their ‘moment with God’.
It is a fresh outlook on some ideas. (As the Bible usually is; read the same verse for a year and you’ll have 365 different ideas and insights and new looks on that verse.)
What I especially enjoy is when God hits me up side the head.
I hear you, “EXCUSE ME?”
Let me explain. When I read that verse above, (Mark 11:22, “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.) I was blown away. “Why?” you may well enquire.
My faith has NEVER wavered. I believe in God, His son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I believe they exist and that one day, I shall meet ‘them’ face-to-face. (Well, I’ll be on my knees face to floor, but you get the idea…) So, WHY did this verse connect with me today?
Well, the first reason is I asked God, before opening the e-mail that He would speak to me. He did! First line of the devotion. Amazing, ‘eh?
The second, that took me all of a minute to figure out, is that we’ve been needing to make some pretty big decisions and none feel quite right.
Do we purchase the home we‘ve seen and fallen in love with, or not? Do we stay put and renovate, waiting for the market to pick up? Do we re-mortgage (our mortgage is due for renewal in Feb.) and remain, giving up the thought of moving? All questions plaguing us, (along with normal day-to-day concerns and worries).
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
Well, that makes it easy. For those who are not yet at this stage of faith, and may not understand what that means to me – “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Means that no matter which road we choose; no matter what happens after we choose; no matter what, HAVE FAITH IN GOD. Okay. With God’s help, I can do that.
To some, having faith in God and then watching as they see their world crumble as Job’s did; it means they didn’t have enough faith; or they didn’t DO enough.
God DOESN’T tell us He’s going to give us an easy life. He tells us if we have FAITH in Him we will have ETERNAL life. Not if we have LOTS of faith. Matthew 17:20 (NIV), He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
I feel peace. No matter WHICH choice we make, I feel confident that God will be with us and watch over the proceedings. If he chooses to remove His blessings; well, they are HIS to remove… Heaven WILL be perfect. Those who believe will be made perfect. I have FAITH.
FAITH: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1; NIV.
I will be praying that God chooses to honour whichever decision we make and I will be praying that whichever decision we make is in keeping with His plans for us. I could use more prayer… *smile*
I searched the word ‘FAITH’ on BibleGateway.com.
Faith resulted in 423 occurrences in the NIV 1984 text.
336 results in the King James Version.
453 results in the updated NIV. (New International Version)
ALL versions, in all searches, turned up this passage first. It certainly isn’t first chronologically. It’s definitely not the first ‘faith’ in the Bible. Yet it begins (and ends) my search for a way to explain FAITH. (Mostly, ’cause – how DARE I think to come up with a better explanation than God himself? Yup, I’m not stupid…) I’ve chosen to use the NIV for its readability and because I’m most comfortable with this or the KJV. (I like the language, but many are not familiar with it.)
Click BibleGateway.com to search YOUR favourite Bible version for text.
New International Version (NIV)
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.
People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw HIM who is invisible.
By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets,
who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,
quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.
Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—
the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,
since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
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