Saturday, June 11, 2011

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Faith! The word is common among the Christian community. We hear about it in our churches, talk about it among friends and small groups, and pray for it in our quiet time with Jesus. It is something that is easily found, but not easily held on to, or so we think.

I was recently in Illinois visiting some friends, when the Lord used something so simple to teach me something so profound. I thought I would share it with you.

Most of us are familiar with the scripture of the mustard seed. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus is speaking to His disciples answering their questions as to "why they couldn't drive out the demon?" Jesus answers with this; "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."

All my life I grew up thinking about that little mustard seed and what could be accomplished with such small faith, which meant, at times, mine was even smaller that that tiny little seed. While this scripture is true, I would like to share with you what I learned about that little seed and why these words from Jesus meant so much to the disciples he was talking to. This is a broader picture.

The mustard plant is a weed.

- noun [weed]
1. A valueless plant, growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury to the desired crop.

2. An undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted.

While faith is not valueless, or undesirable, the picture Christ may be painting for us is something that should be desirable by all. Below is a picture of one type of a mustard plant.

When driving through Illinois, I noticed this beautiful flower. I was admiring the beautiful farm land and cute little farm houses and of course this beautiful flower. Because we were among farms, I naturally thought this was something that was being harvested. My friend who I was driving with told me it was a weed. "A weed?" I said, " It is too beautiful to be a weed!" "It is unwanted by the farmers," he said, "But they can't stop it. It is wild mustard plant."

Every year the farmers plant their crops and then harvest them. In the winter the land freezes over. Come spring, everything begins to bloom, including the mustard weed. No matter what the farmer does, there is no getting rid of this undesirable weed. They don't harvest it, and what is more, they don't even plant it. By the time weed blooms, the farmer is just getting ready to plant the thawed field. By the time the farmer is ready to plant the field the, the beautiful mustard weed has already gone to seed.

Once the tiny little seed has fallen to the ground, the farmer is ready to plant his own crop. He sprays the little yellow plants with weed killer and begins to sow his beloved crop. Soon the plant dies, but it is only gone for a season. Because safely nestled into the fertile soil lies the seed that will sprout yet another plant next spring. With that small mustard seed, that has been sown, the plant spreads and insures it's existence for yet another year.

I believe we can learn a lot from this delicate plant and it's tiny, minuscule seed. When we sow one seed of faith, when we do as Jesus said and believe Him, that faith, that is the size of a mustard seed, breeds more and more faith. Until what was once only one small seed....

Becomes....Field's of Faith!

Again, He said, "What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like, or what parable should we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches, that the birds can perch in it's shade." Mark 4:30

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