Resistance Training (Part 2)

Fri, Jul 18, 2014

Featured, Living Life

“When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t drive out a demon from a certain boy, he replied, ‘Because you have so little faith.  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.  Nothing will be impossible for you.’”  (Mt 17:21, NIV)

It sounds odd that Jesus would tell his disciples they failed because they had so little faith, and then go on to say they only needed a mustard seed’s worth to move mountains.  But it’s more the quality of their faith that he was referring to, rather than the quantity.  The thing about seeds is that they have great potential, but need to grow – much like faith.  As Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more…” (2 Thes 1:3, NIV)

Growing from mustard seed to mustard tree requires time and patience – and perseverance during the tougher times:

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming.  See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is…  Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about…”  (Jas 5:7-11, NIV)

Mature faith is tenacious, firm, resolute – it has to be, in order to survive the many tests that are thrown at it.  But the end result is spectacular.  We can see this in the story of a Canaanite woman, whom Jesus commended as having great faith:

“A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!  My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.’  Jesus did not answer a word…”  (Mt 15:22-23, NIV)

How strange, and how rude!  A woman pleads for mercy, yet Jesus doesn’t reply.  But then again, sometimes it seems like that when we pray to God.  That doesn’t stop this woman, though – too much is at stake.  So she kneels before Jesus and pleads again.  Jesus insults her, but that didn’t stop her either:

Woman: Lord, help me!
Jesus:  It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.
Woman: Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.
Jesus: Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.
(Mt 15:26-27, NIV)

She refused to be offended by God, and Jesus finally grants her her request.  But not before drawing out her great faith for all to see – a faith that was relentless.

— Joey

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    A Question of Law

    Fri, Apr 12, 2013


    In a dispensation of grace, what kind of law – including penalties and punishments – should Christians apply among themselves?

    And with the separation of Church and State, what kind of law should Christians promote for their country, that would govern both Christians and non-Christians?


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