How big is a Mustard Seed?

Moses grew up as a prince in the then world power of Egypt. He ran away after he killed an Egyptian slave master in defense of a Hebrew slave. Moses settled in Midian, became a shepherd, and started a family. One day he was called by God to go back to Egypt and lead his fellow Hebrews to freedom in Canaan. Moses came up with several excuses why he couldn’t do what God had asked: “they won’t believe me”, “they won’t listen to me”, “I’m not a good public speaker”, and so on. But a question Moses asked God is interesting. He asked, “Who am I?” It seems that Moses didn’t think he had what it would take to do what God called him to do. He lacked faith in himself, he lacked self-esteem, he seemed to feel like he wasn’t worthy to take on the task. But mostly, he lacked faith in God.

But look at Elijah. Elijah took on 450 so called prophets of the false god Baal in a battle of faith on Mount Carmel. He was so bold and courageous that he mocked the prophets, and their god, when they were unable to bring supernatural fire down to burn their sacrifice. When it came to Elijah’s turn, he prayed to God to bring fire from heaven and show who the one true God was. He didn’t just hope or think that God would respond, he knew it. He knew it and believed it with every fiber of his being! He had a mountain of faith in God’s power, and God delivered in a spectacular way.

Who do you feel like most days? Do you feel like you can’t do what Jesus asks of us and share his good news? Do you lack the faith to change the world?

When some followers of Jesus couldn’t cast a demon out of a boy, they asked Him why. He told them they lacked faith. Then He said that if they only had faith the size of a mustard seed they could move mountains. Did you read that, they could move mountains!

We don’t need to lead a nation to freedom, face down idolatrous hordes, slay a giant, or build a boat to change the world. We only need faith the size of a mustard seed.

How do we grow our faith? Paul wrote in his letter to the Christians in Rome that faith is built by hearing God’s Word preached. We need to worship and study to grow our faith. Solomon prayed for wisdom, we also need to spend time in prayer and be asking for the Spirit to strengthen our faith. Pray for ourselves, pray for each other, pray for the church, just pray!

What could you do with faith the size of a mustard seed?

Get up, Bambi!

get_up_bambi

There’s a scene from Walt Disney’s 1942 classic, Bambi, where the titular young deer is laying down tired, wounded, and alone as a wildfire races toward him. The Great Prince of the Forest, and Bambi’s father, calls out to him, “Get up, Bambi! Get up! You must get up!” Bambi’s father could see what he couldn’t see for himself, the imminent danger he was in and that he would certainly die if he didn’t pick himself up off the ground and move.

1 Kings 19 shows us a picture of the prophet Elijah. He had just won a great victory in a spiritual battle with the prophets of Baal, a false Canaanite god. Queen Jezebel, the evil wife of King Ahab, heard about the defeat of her prophets and chased after Elijah to kill him! Tired, scared, and seemingly alone, Elijah took up residence in a cave in the wilderness and laid down, for good. God came to him and asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah explained that he was tired and that he was the only person in Israel that was still loyal to him. God told Elijah that there were at least 7,000 Israelites who were still loyal to their God, and he gave Elijah a list of things to do, including to train Elisha, his replacement. God basically said get up, Elijah! Get up!

We as Christians are also warned of dangers around us. Paul warns us of false teachers, who want to destroy us from the inside. Peter warns us about the devil, who stalks us, hunting to find a person who he can devour! We may want lay down under the pressure and strain of spiritual battle, feeling wounded, lost, and alone. But we are never alone. Just like Elijah, there are those who are loyal to our God, our Christian family who we can lean on and they can lean on us. We have Jesus who we can cast our cares onto, we have the Spirit who guides us and makes intercession for us, and we have the Father who forgives us and watches over us.

So get up, Christian! Get up! You must get up! There is work to do, let’s go together and do it!

Should we make a mess so allowance can abound?

Closet Nightmare!My wife and I are just starting an “allowance” for our kids, more like a chore incentive program. They do their chores, they earn a little spending money. My 5 year old son was looking for his remote control ‘Mater and said it was at the bottom of his closet, which is a nightmare! I told him not to make a huge mess, his reply: “Its ok, if I make a mess I can clean it up and get some money!” I told him that’s not how it works, you can’t create the mess on purpose just to clean it up and get some money.

Paul said something very similar to the Christians in Rome:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means!

Romans 6:1-2a

 We have a gift of grace from God, but if we sin intentionally knowing that we can ask for forgiveness and He will forgive, we are wrong! That’s not how it works! Just like my son with his intentional mess, we also can’t make an intentional spiritual mess and expect to be forgiven! Of course we will all sin and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), but if we do our best to walk the Christian walk, and to be Christlike, then God will forgive our sins (1 John 1:5-9).

 

I pray that y’all have a great day!

 

Obligatory Resolution Post

2014 has ended and 2015 has begun: time for new year resolutions! I usually make the same cliché resolutions. You know: eat better, exercise more, blah blah, etc. And like a lot of people I generally make my resolutions known, except for spiritual ones. Why? Is it out of shame? Fear of being made fun of or scoffed at? Or is it because of our society telling me that religion is offensive and to keep it to yourself? I don’t know, but not this year! Here are my spiritual resolutions:

1) Be a better spiritual leader to my family.
2) Read my Bible everyday.
3) Be a more patient father.
4) Pray. Pray by myself, pray with my wife, pray with my kids.
5) Grow closer to God.

Have a great year!

 

 

 

One more, update the pictures in my blog header!

Lego Lessons

-Randy MedlinThis quote is from a lesson by Randy Medlin from the University Church of Christ in Montgomery, AL. In the lesson, Randy likens Christians to legos. They tightly interlock together to make something much bigger and stronger than as individuals, and every single one of them is important.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Do not be conformed to this world!

Let me introduce you to King Josiah.  He was only 8 years old when he was made the King of Judah, when he was 26 years old he found out that he and his kingdom were not right with God, and he set out to change that. 

Josiah’s story of reform is found in 2 Kings 22-23.  Josiah was already doing right by God, he had workmen and the high priest, Hilkiah, sent to the house of the Lord and they were repairing it.  While there, Hilkiah found the Book of the Law which had been lost while Judah was busy serving false gods.  Josiah sent Shaphan, his secretary, to the house of the Lord to send money and check up on Hilkiah and the workmen.  When he arrived Hilkiah gave the Book of the Law to Shaphan and he brought it back to the king. When Josiah heard the Law he was angry that the past kings of Judah had not kept the Law of God and made God angry with the kingdom.  Then, 26 year old King Josiah began to destroy every idol, altar, and chapel of the false gods in Judah. 

How can we apply this today?  Let’s read Romans 12:2.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

King Josiah saw that his kingdom had conformed to the world, they had been worshiping the idols of the land they were supposed to conquer.  When Josiah heard the Law read to him, his mind was renewed by the Law, and he set out to transform his kingdom to be acceptable and pleasing to God. 

We too must study God’s word so that we can renew our minds and transform the kingdom that is our heart to be acceptable and pleasing to God.

Away from the office

Thank you for your inquiry.  I am away from the office.  If your message requires a reply, sorry, I won’t be there for you.  -Baal

This is pretty much the answer King Ahab and the prophets of Baal and Asherah received when they were challenged by God’s prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 18:17-40.

Elijah told the king and his false prophets to meet him on Mt. Carmel with all of Israel to prove to them who was the one true God.  Elijah and the false prophets built altars and put sacrifices on them, but Elijah also soaked his with water and dug a trench around it and filled it with water too.  The false prophets began to cry out to their “god” and dance around their altar.  They did this from morning until noon (1 Kings 18:26), after that Elijah mocked them saying things like:  “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened” (1 Kings 18:27)

The Bible says they continued like this until evening. Verse 29 says, “No one answered; no one paid attention.”  Now it was Elijah’s turn.

Elijah prayed to God, and God sent fire so strong that it consumed not only the offering and the wood, but the altar and dust and all the water that he poured over it.  Someone certainly paid attention to Elijah’s prayer.

So remember, God is always there for us, no matter the time of day or night.  Having a bad day?  Ask God for help.  Having a good day?  Tell God about it.  Got a problem at work/school/home?  God will be there for you.  When God told Abraham in Genesis 15:1: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield”, He didn’t leave office hours!  And when He told Isaiah in Isaiah 41:10; “Fear not, for am with you”, He didn’t say only on nights and weekends!  He is ALWAYS there for us!