Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Anything But a Mustard-Seed-Sized God

The last of two posts on the Kingdom being "like a Mustard seed"...

Memory Verse
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”   He (Jesus) 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.”  Matthew 17:19-21 (NIV)

Is there any mountain bigger to move than extending the kingdom of heaven right here to earth?  How can something so big be achieved?

First, it takes God.  God can do so much more than we can think or imagine.  As we enter 2014 in just hours, let us resolve to spend much more time with Him in prayer and in His Word, listening for Him, learning His ways.  Then we will know what Jesus really wants us to do.

Second, it takes our little, insignificant acts.  That's the first reference we see Jesus making to mustard seeds, and it's what the last blog post covered.  Jesus made it painstakingly clear what it would take to extend the kingdom of heaven to earth.  It rarely required achieving some huge feat; it much more often required obeying the very simple things Jesus told us to do that we so often ignore or knowingly choose not to do.

Third, it takes faith.  Faith that when we choose to obey in what may seem like small (or not so small) things to us, that God will take our small acts of obedience and somehow use them to extend the kingdom.  We don't have to have it all figured out; most of us don't have anywhere near the mental capacity to figure it out.  We just have to know that God is ultimately in control, so we take everything Jesus tells us to do, big or small, and we do it.

May 2014 be a year in which we see MUCH more of the kingdom of heaven being extended to earth through our mustard seed acts, our mustard seed faith, and our anything-but-mustard-seed-sized God.

Questions to Consider
1. Why do you often not do even the mustard-seed-sized things that Jesus asks us to do to extend the kingdom of heaven to earth?  Is it because you are ignorant of what He is asking you to do?  Is it because you refuse to put His will before your own?  Or is it that you fail to appreciate just how much God could do if we would only obey Him in the small things?

2. How well do you know God?  Could it be that the more you get to know God, the less faith it would take to do what He says?

Action Steps for the Week
1.  Read the Gospel of Matthew and look for three things Jesus asked you to do.  Ask God for strength to do them in 2014, even if they appear small to you, and pray for God to take your obedience and somehow use it to extend more of the kingdom of heaven to earth.

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