Tag: little faith

“Little faith!”

Scripture reading for April 27th: Matthew 16, Psalm 84, Proverbs 22

Matthew 16:5-12 “When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Our human tendency is to think naturally about the issues of life and provision. We look with our eyes, hear with our ears, and process through our experience or others opinions. Jesus’ disciples did the same with a simple statement of warning from Jesus where He used the term ‘leaven.’ Leaven is yeast used in making bread. These disciples had forgotten the bread and were now concerned with what they might eat. Jesus was speaking to them about deeper issues–the ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which was their teaching of traditions of men instead of the Word of God. Jesus reminded them that their shared experience of the miraculous feeding of thousands twice should bring faith for the food needed.

Psalm 84:4-5 “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise! Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.”

Prayer: Father God, forgive me when I think naturally instead of with spiritual insight from Your Word and Holy Spirit. Give me discernment concerning the ‘leaven’ of false teaching and divisive doctrine found even in those claiming to know You. Use me to proclaim Jesus as the “Living Bread” of heaven. Use me to help those weak in faith to see danger and find strong faith through believing Your Word.

Proverbs 22:3-4 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

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Save us! Lord!

Scripture reading for July 27th: 2nd Chronicles 22-23, 2nd Kings 11, Psalm 131, Matthew 8

Matthew 8: 23-27 “And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep. And they went and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And He said to them “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?”

Matthew record many of Jesus’ miracles of healing and casting out demons. In this passage, Jesus is asleep in the boat with His disciples as they travel across the Sea of Galilee. A great storm arose and buffeted the boat, causing great fear that all would drown and they would perish! They decided it was time to wake Jesus up! As a typical Rabbi, always working with His disciples, Jesus asks them a question: “Why are you afraid?” After the rebuke for their lack of faith, the definition of fear, Jesus took simple action by rebuking the wind and waves and there was a great calm on the sea and a great searching in the disciples hearts. They now had a question: “What sort of man is this?”

Psalm 131:2-3 “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.”

Prayer: Father God, I have often cried out like the disciples in times of distress and uncertainty. Like the newly weaned child, I think I still need my mother’s milk. You calm me with Your Words of assurance and rebuke and the storm subsides! As I get older, I still ponder what kind of Son of Man that would love me and give me His peace and eternal hope!

2nd Kings 11:12 “Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king and anointed him, and clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”” (I say “Amen King Jesus!”)

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Faith like a mustard seed!

Scripture reading for January 23rd:  Matthew 17, Psalm 17, Prov. 17

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 17:17-20  “And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you?  How long am I to bear with you?  Bring him here to Me.”  And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”  He said to them, “Because of your little faith.  For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”  

Jesus’ disciples were not able to heal a boy who had epilepsy.  He had demonstrated and taught the disciples how to act in faith.  He had given them authority over demonic power and to heal the sick and they had done this on other occasions.  But now they lacked faith.  He rebuked them directly concerning their “little faith”.  He encouraged them that a small amount of faith, like a mustard seed, was all that was needed to do what looked impossible.

Faith’s confession:  Lord thank You for putting up with me and my lack of faith.  Help me to grow the seed of faith in my heart and enable me to do the works You have prepared for me.  I accept Your rebukes.

Proverbs 17:3, 10 “The crucible is for silver and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.”  . . .”A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.”  

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Delegated authority and prayer!

Scripture reading for January 23rd:  Exodus 7-9, Matthew 17

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 17:18-20  “And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said,”Why could we not cast it out?”  He said to them, “Because of your little faith.  For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.””

The disciples had been asked to deliver a boy that was demon possessed and had seizures.  They tried, but failed.  Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith and promptly cast the demon out and the boy was healed.  The disciples asked Jesus why they had trouble.  He frankly told them they lacked faith.  Even small faith would produce what was needed with God’s backing.  In Moses’ day, God gave him and Aaron authority to do miracles and speak words of power, unbelievers could not!

Exodus 8:16-18  “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.'”  And they did so.  Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth and there were gnats on man and beast.”. . . The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not.”    

Prayer: Father, thank you for delegated authority to do Your work.  Help me to so know You and Your Word that I have mustard seed faith to move mountains.  Amen.

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