Thursday, December 8, 2011

Is Your Faith a Seed or a Tree? Mark 4:31-32

I love this picture!  In the forefront a seed.  In the background a tree.  Potential!!!
     This is what I love about God's Word....it produces!  In the parable of the mustard seed from Mark 4:31-32, Jesus is comparing the Kingdom of God to the tiny mustard seed.  In Luke 17:6 when Jesus said to His disciples..."If you HAVE faith as a mustard seed, you CAN SAY to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea', and it would obey you. (emphasis mine)
     I posted the picture for this reason.  Because we are visual by nature, it is good to be shown the potential of living things.  When Jesus taught on the mustard seed, He was not trying to comfort us by saying..."Oh, its okay if your faith is small like the mustard seed".  No, no, no!!!
     Jesus was trying to get His disciples focused on what that tiny seed would someday become, a very large tree that would shelter the birds of the air.  When we are facing deep rooted problems (like the mulberry tree), satan would have us compare our faith to the size of the mustard seed, looking at the physical size of the seed.  We then internalize that picture and shrink back from our authority in Christ Jesus because we are looking at the outward picture rather than truly seeing the potential of our faith.
     The mustard seed, according to Mark 4:32, "when it is sown....IT GROWS!!!!"  In this entire chapter Jesus is teaching on four types of ground and the interaction of the soil and the sown seed.  In any seed is the DNA of what it is to become.  It has to be sown on fertile ground, watered, and harvested.
     The phrase..."WHEN it is SOWN"...is very, very important.  Unplanted seed lies dormant.  It has to be planted in order for its God-given, appointed work to unfold.  I can carry seed around with me all day, but until I get to work, prepare the soil, plant it, water it, and then watch over it....the seed will do absolutely nothing.  I limit the potential of that seed by not obeying the law of the sower.
     In the Bible, soil is compared to the heart of man.  To prepare my heart for the seed of God's Word, I must take a look at my spiritual condition.  Mark 4 will help any person figure out where they are in this area of their life.  Once I know if I am... "by the wayside, stony, thorny, or good ground",... then I can begin the necessary work that will prepare my heart for the Word.
     God's Word is alive!  So, as I take in God's Word, it has THE power to change me.  I cannot change myself.  All I can do is start making the right decisions to turn to God's Word, and open myself to let Him come in and help me clean up my soil.  Repentance means to make a sharp turn and go in another direction.  Do you need to make some sharp turns in your spiritual life.  Well...why wait?  If you know to do something, and then don't do it.....that is sin!
     God sent His Word....His Seed...into this world and He saw the potential of what that Seed would do for those who would...."hear, receive and obey".  God sows....we water by abiding in His Word, praying in the Spirit, worshiping Jesus, confessing His Word, believing, etc., and then comes the harvest.  God planned that we should "grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ".
    Seed is to GROW!  It is not to remain small.  God never intended for you to be satisfied with an untruth.  Your faith is the faith of Christ...Galatians 2:20.  He raised the dead, set captives free, laid hands on the sick and they recovered, cast out demons, spoke in a new language....and He promised that we, His people, would do the very same works.  God does not lie.
     So, get rid of that perverted picture that satan has planted in your mind about your faith.  You have God's potential living on the inside of your born again spirit.  All things are possible for those who believe.  In what...your ability?  No... in God's Seed... Jesus....the Word...planted in you, and designed to mature you, strengthen you, equip you, enable you, and prove to you that you can "do all things through Christ Who strengthens you".