Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
“Because of your little faith,” Hen told them. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
(Matthew 17:19-20 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
Lord, make us able to have and to use faith that is much larger than a mustard seed!
I am convinced that the real nature of the church in the earth is that it is made up of the real relationships we have with other believers, especially those relationships through which Kingdom work is being produced.
I wonder how much more we would be capable of in our work if we were to frequently examine our relationships with believers to increase the amount of time we spend with one person or group and decrease the time spent with another, based on the leading of the Spirit.
“Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”
(Matthew 18:19-20 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
Timing is very important. I had a job that was as likely to require me to report to work at 3:00pm one day as 3:00am the next. My alarm would go off, and I would wake up trying to remember whether it was daytime or nighttime. The longer I studied the situation, the more likely I was to go back to sleep. I nearly lost the job because of frequent tardiness.
Jesus is frequently guilty of being tardy according to our clocks. Sometimes He is so late it is measured by calendar instead of clock. But from His perspective (which is, of course, the correct one), His timing is always perfect. Our perspective could be the correct one, too, if we listen to His instructions regarding timing.
He was so late in responding to a request to come heal His friend Lazarus that He didn’t even make the funeral. But He was making a point, and He couldn’t make it if Lazarus was alive.
Obedience to His instructions about what to do includes the timing. Our faith regarding His help includes trusting Him about the timing. He knows best, and we can too, if we listen to Him.
An acorn looks absolutely nothing like an oak tree, except maybe in similarity of color. Yet, hidden in the identity of an acorn is perhaps a thousand oak trees, if the little nut’s story goes well.
Who you are after being born of Yahweh was very well hidden by the identity of who you were when born of your parents. Who you can become as His obedient servant, then as His friend, is beyond being guessed or imagined. The details of your identity in Him are real-ized through listening to Him and obeying Him.
He has chosen you. He has ordained you: set you in place with purpose (John 15:16). He has designed His body so that as you fulfill your purpose in it, and others fulfill theirs, things become possible through all of us together that none of us could imagine alone.
It is God Who has set the members in the body in a way that pleases Him, based on His understanding and intentions about our identities and gifts and work (1 Corinthians 12:18). It is by what every relationship supplies to the body that it is built up in love to a mature, appropriate bride for Jesus (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Find out who He sees in you and real-ize that identity. Allow His purposes to be fulfilled in you and through you. Become part of His impact on all of creation by completely being you in Him.
If the Lord had not been my help,
I would soon rest in the silence of death.
If I say, “My foot is slipping,”
Your faithful love will support me, Lord.
When I am filled with cares,
Your comfort brings me joy.
(Psalm 94:17-19 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
There are many stories about foot races in which one contender is many minutes behind the winner of the race. In one, even though the race has been won, she does not stop her run and surrender. She continues to run, and despite the fact that the winner is being congratulated by coach and family, and the crowd is no longer watching a race, she crosses the line.
Some of the crowd notices and begins to laugh, bringing attention back to the track, and the laughter spreads. Then the crowd realizes that whatever she was competing against didn’t include the winner – and therefore, she is a winner, too. The laughter changes to applause, and then standing applause…
Finish what you start. Don’t surrender to anyone but Jesus.
How can I repay the Lord
all the good He has done for me?
I will take the cup of salvation
and worship the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all His people.
(Psalm 116:12-14 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
I sank to the foundations of the mountains;
the earth with its prison bars closed behind me forever!
But You raised my life from the Pit, Lord my God!
As my life was fading away,
I remembered the Lord.
My prayer came to You,
to Your holy temple.
Those who cling to worthless idols
forsake faithful love,
but as for me, I will sacrifice to You
with a voice of thanksgiving.
I will fulfill what I have vowed.
Salvation is from the Lord! (Jonah 2:6-9 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
Jesus answered, “Destroy this sanctuary, and I will raise it up in three days.”
(John 2:19 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
When humans informed Jesus that they did not want Emmanuel, that they did not want Yahweh to dwell among them, He responded with a declaration that they could not drive His love out of the earth. They could kill Him, but that would only give Him greater power to affect the earth with His love!
Let your agape be as diligent and as impossible to conquer. Don’t surrender to offense or insult or attack. Surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit to invade your space with the Love that sent Jesus. Be sent forth in the same Love.
Be as successful as He is successful.
“And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.”
“For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing. “
(Matthew 6:12-15 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
That sounds pretty serious.
A congregation recently handed what was left of their resources (including their buildings) to another congregation that is growing. The older congregation had been growing smaller and smaller because they had not grasped this truth:
As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So he got up and followed Him.
While He was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came as guests to eat with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
But when He heard this, He said, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:9-13 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
The dying congregation was led by a pastor. They had no one who was an evangelist.
The whole crowd was trying to touch Him, because power was coming out from Him and healing them all.
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.
“I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
“I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is what I command you: love one another.
(Luke 6:19; John 14:11-14; John 15:11-17 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)