May 20, 2015

Matthew 17:19-20 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, 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.”

Talk about a challenging Scripture! Faith is a subject about which we all know too little. As has come up just recently, faith in faith doesn’t get you very far; it quickly devolves into wishful thinking. It makes a world of difference in whom you believe. The life of Paul is a good illustration. His faith and his obedience to God were such that at one point, handkerchiefs and aprons he had used in his work as a tent maker were taken to sick people and they were healed and delivered. (Acts 19:11-12) Even so, he was imprisoned, shipwrecked, and finally martyred. However, he could and did make the triumphant declaration that “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) A long time ago I realized that the thing about a seed, even one as tiny as a mustard seed, is that it has life in it; under the right conditions it will grow and multiply. A static faith isn’t much use. My father used to say, “Give all you know of yourself to all you know of Christ.” Our knowledge in both halves of that is incomplete as long as we are on this earth, but it should be growing. The more we know of Christ the more we trust Him, and the more His power is manifested through us. We’ve got to remember that even Jesus didn’t utilize the power of God for selfish ends, either to feed himself after a 40-day fast (Luke 4:1-4) or to deliver Himself from the unspeakable agony of scourging and crucifixion. If we are seeking the fulfillment of this Scripture for selfish reasons we are seeking magic, not the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

In one of only two times the Lord has spoken to me in what could have been an audible voice (though I’m sure a microphone wouldn’t have picked it up) He made it very clear that there are a lot of things in the world today that He’s not happy about as they stand. However, He’s not through with things, and I’ve got to be comfortable with that. I am to seek to grow in faith and knowledge, (Ephesians 4:13) exercising both in submission and obedience to my Lord. I am to operate in the complete boldness of knowing that God can do absolutely anything through me, and at the same time the complete humility of knowing that I can to absolutely nothing apart from Christ. (John 15:5) I am to seek His will in everything and know that it will be accomplished, on His schedule and for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the privilege I am having of conducting the wake and funeral of a brother in Christ. Thank You for using me in the wake last night, and that You will use me in the funeral today. I pray that Your presence and Your words through me would draw many of those present to repentance and faith. I pray that his life would produce much fruit even now, even after he has shed his physical body. May Your will be done in every detail of today, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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