Good Monday morning!
This week's memory verse:
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exsists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6
Hebrews 11:1 says that Faith is "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
We can't see God, we have never met Jesus, we can't see or know what heaven is like...how then can we keep the HOPE alive that those things exsist AND believe the promises we have read about are true and have faith in them?
Even if you have a SLIVER of faith...even if you have a belief that you had as a child sitting WAY in the back of your mind...even if you WANT to believe and learn more about this "God thing"...Jesus says that is ENOUGH for God to work with...enough to GROW!
Matthew 17:20 records Jesus saying "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."
The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds, but it can grow into a 12-15 foot tall plant! If you have that small faith...faith that nags at you or that tugs at your heart...making you WANT to learn more about this "God thing"...then it's up to you to plant that seed, feed it, water it, nurture it and ask God to help it grow! Have FAITH that God can and WILL help it to grow!
In KidsPraise, we help the kids understand that by reading the Bible, you are doing just that...feeding, watering and nurturing your faith seed by communicating with God through His word. There are stories in the Bible of people...people that are just like you and me (even if a few thousand years separate us)...people who sinned, were weak, but people who allowed God to take their small faith and make it grow.
There are many examples in the New Testament of Jesus commending those who show their faith to him.
Matthew 9:2 - Men bring a paralyzed man to Jesus to be healed...because of their faith, Jesus says, "Take heart, your sins are forgiven."
Matthew 9:22 - A woman touches Jesus' cloak and asks to be healed. Jesus says, "Take heart, your faith has healed you."
Matthew 8:5-13 - A Roman soldier asks Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus asks if the soldier wants him to come heal the servant, but the soldier says that he is not worthy to have Jesus under his roof, and knows that Jesus only has to speak it and the servant will be healed. Even a ROMAN soldier, non-jew...the enemy...knows who Jesus is and has FAITH that Jesus is who he says he is and has the power to heal! Because of "such great faith"...the servant was healed!
A.B. Simpson wrote, "True faith drops its letter in the post office box and lets it go. Distrust holds on to a corner of it and wonders that the answer never comes."
I think if you looked at faith in my life...there have been times you would see me holding on to the corner of the letter. Even now, I think there are certain areas of my life that I am still holding on to that corner...I just need to LET IT GO and have FAITH that God will take care of it!If I have FAITH that I am going to heaven...and I do...I need to trust that faith and that these few years that I have on earth are just the beginning of my life, really. I will have ETERNITY to enjoy the JOY God wants to give me in heaven! Why worry about things and hang on to control of things that really don't matter in the long run?
My faith started out pretty small...even up to a few years ago. I believed in God and accepted Jesus in my heart...but I really didn't KNOW enough about God to be able to watch that small seed of faith do much of anything in my life. But...in the last few years, I have studied, prayed and allowed God to have control over more things in my life, instead of hanging on to them...And in return, I have seen my small seed of faith grow and grow. I can now share my faith with others. I can look at my husband through God's eyes instead of just my own, and that has made my marriage better. I now have more peace about the "hard stuff" in my life because of that seed that has grown into a plant. Now...my plant is not that tall yet. It still has a LOT of growing to do. I have MUCH more to learn and there are still areas of my life that I am still holding on to. We are never done nurturing our "little mustard plant" faith...until we reach heaven.
Father God, thank you for allowing me to "see" my faith grow. I ask that my friends reading this might take those seeds of faith in their own hearts and nurture them enough so they can "see" them grow too! Thank you for letting me share my FAITH with people in this way!