Seed of Faith
Reading the book of Mark this morning, I came upon the passage where Jesus talks about the mustard seed of faith. How many times have we all read that? It seems to make sense, but how does it apply to our lives? Jesus must have had good reason for sharing that short parable with us. We know He did. Jesus didn’t waste words. His time was getting close when He would be leaving earth and returning to Heaven. If we know our time is getting close, even we, as human beings, usually make the most of those moments—saying the things we need to say…seeing the people we need to see.
I had “walked” with a friend for many, many years until the day came when it was time to walk her Home. The heart monitor next to her bed dropped suddenly. Her family needed to be called. She asked me to. I had already alerted them at the hotel where they were staying. It was early morning, and they had left her bedside late the night before. An oxygen mask was put on my friend, and then she turned to me and said something. I didn’t know what it was, so I asked her. She repeated it, “I love you, Diane.” Those were her last words to me on this earth. And my last words to her was that I loved her, too. After 40 years of friendship, it had come down to this. Then her family arrived, and she was unable to speak by then. It was only an hour or so later that she was gone. Last words are important. Most words are important. We should use them carefully, especially when our time is short. Some of Jesus’ last words from the Cross were, “It is finished.” Isn’t that good to know? The work on the Cross is complete, and we can live freely in what Jesus died to give us.
How do we do that though…live freely? How do we take the shackles off our feet so we can dance, as a popular Christian song says? It comes from true obedience. Isn’t it strange how much easier it seems to walk through life with the shackles on our feet, doing what we want to do? But when we do turn to God and walk in His ways, we find a freedom that makes us feel so much better. A friend of mine practiced hard obedience last night, doing what the Holy Spirit was impelling her to do. Step by step, she walked it out, prayed, listened, and moved forward in her decisions. This morning she went to her dance class at the local gym. She said she felt better than ever, and danced freely. She would not have experienced that without hard obedience. Do we want to listen to God and do it His way? Most times not. We want to do it our way. But God is not trying to ruin our fun, He is wanting to give us a joy and peace that no one and nothing but mustard seeds of faith and trust in Jesus can give us.
When Searching And Noticing the Divine, we will notice God is planting seeds of faith in us, and helping them grow so we can find our true freedom in Christ. Jesus asks the question in Mark 4, “What story should I use to illustrate it?” He wanted to tell the disciples about what the Kingdom of God is like. He then used the story of the mustard seed of faith, and how it is one of the smallest seeds, but it grows into one of the largest plants, with long branches where birds can come and find shelter. Living in the shade of that large tree, perching on those branches, and not on the “branches” that the world is offering to us is a very good place to be. Just as Adam and Eve were eating from a tree they shouldn’t have, we are still tempted to sit under the wrong tree today—that tree brings us bad news. Jesus brings us the Good News of Salvation and freedom.
Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it?
It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree,
and the birds make nests in its branches.”
Luke 13:18-19 (NLT)