Mustard Seed Faith

image

1.Faith as small as a mustard seed
Faith even the size of a mustard seed can move the mountains blocking the horizons of our hopes, shadowing the light and beauty of God’s love in our lives, limiting and bounding the scope of our service to Christ.

Faith the size of a mustard seed can make the improbable possible.

Faith can stand up to and move, indeed remove, the things that trap us, the stuff that scares the daylights out of us, the things that test and erode our confidence in God and make us wonder whether God is in fact able to make something of our efforts after all.

Long before this event–back in Matthew 10:8–Jesus had given the disciples full authority to "cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons." By this time they should be performing healings, cleansings, miracles, with absolute confidence and faith!

Yet, on this day, they are unable to heal even this little boy. So it is Jesus who must step in and do the miracle once again. And it is Jesus once again confronting his well-meaning followers that they are still a "faithless" generation.

The words remind us of other events; in particular, Luke 8, where Jesus and the disciples, on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, are caught suddenly by a violent windstorm; and the disciples rush in to wake Jesus, crying, "Master, we are perishing!" There, too, Jesus responds by asking his followers, simply: "Where is your faith?"

And now, once again, Jesus confronts the disciples with the same question: "Where is your faith?" He could not make his words any clearer: In v20, he tells his followers, "The reason you could not cure this young boy is because of your little faith."

image2. Nothing is impossible for you
Faith enough to move mountains. Mountains! What kind of mountains? Jesus is not talking about magic removals. He doesn’t say that prayer can push Mount Blanc into the Atlantic. Nowhere in the Gospels do we read about Jesus rearranging geography just for the sake of performing a miracle. There was another, very real mountain looming in front of the disciples that day; specifically, it was the mountain of healing that sick boy that had been brought to them.

Each of us is called by God to do something different. Whatever it is that God has called us to do, God has also given us full authority to do. What is your "mountain"?

It may be a mountain of sharing Christ with a person very close to you.

It may be a mountain of taking a stand for Christ in a new, more powerful way.

It may be a mountain of accepting new responsibilities, a role of leadership, in your service to Christ.

It may be a mountain of giving that last little area of your life, the one little compartment that you’ve not been willing to part with yet, giving even that part of your life completely over to Christ.

It may be a mountain of refusing to sit quietly any longer while your colleagues, acquaintances, co-workers, trample the name of Christ.

It may be to accept Christ into your life. 

It may be to be baptised.

And there’s even another category of "mountains" that may be standing before you today. These are the mountains which shout back at you–taunt you, even–saying, "You don’t stand a chance in getting past me!" Mountains of self-rejection; mountains of low self-esteem; mountains of doubt; mountains of discouragement brought into sharp focus by past failures.

Once again, the promise holds: Christ has given you full authority to get past these mountains; and with faith even as big as a mustard seed, you can do just that. You can do it because Christ promises you that you are accepted–by him.

You can do it because Christ promises that he can make all things new–even a life that’s been marked by failures, disappointments, rebellion, anything at all.

God can begin to remove these mountains from before you even today!

image3. You can say …. and it will happen

"Faith the size of a mustard seed." It’s so significant that that’s all it takes.  Is there anyone among us today that honestly perceives himself or herself as having "great, big faith"? No, we always manage to see ourselves as the "weakling." We always manage to pick out someone else that seems to have "so much more faith than I do." The promise of God here is, he will work with even us weaklings!

Faith, according to the writer of the book of Hebrews, is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." The promise of Christ, though, is that we don’t have to be super heros! We simply need to muster up faith the size of these tiny little seeds–and the mountains will begin to move.

There are some things that Christ has commanded all of us

1. He has commanded us to "be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our] minds" (Romans 12:2).

2. He has commanded us to "go … and make disciples" (Matt. 28:20).

3. He has given us the authority to serve and conquer "in Jesus’ name."

Each of us is called by God to do something different. Whatever it is that God has called us to do, God has also given us full authority to do. What is your "mountain"?

"The Little Engine That Could" approached the base of that ominous mountain full of doubt and fear. Could he make it up and over? You know the story–he hit into the side of that mountain, crying with determination, "I think I can, I think I can"; and slowly, the little engine began to scale the mountain; and inch by inch, its confidence grew, until finally it was able to triumphantly cry out, "I know I can, I know I can!"

As you approach whatever mountain may be standing before you today, you may be tempted to say, "No way." It may seem like a lifetime away, the prospect of being able to cry out, "I know I can!" Can you at least say with faithful determination, "I think I can"–and plunge in, with that much faith?

That’s all that’s required of us today; that tiny amount of faith that allows us at least to say, "I think it’s possible"–and I’m willing to follow God and find out! That may not sound like much of a commitment; it may sound weak–but is it not a giant leap from where we may be right now, saying, "No way is that possible"?

The faith that removes mountains. It’s the faith that says, simply, "Nothing–nothing–can cut us off from God; nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ." Faith, the size of a mustard seed, in the steadfast, enduring, tenacious love of God; faith in Christ’s ability to bring to completion whatever good work it may be that he’s started in you, in me: Jesus isn’t kidding, it is faith enough to move mountains.