Do you like to plant seeds? Many of us do, and what grows depends on the seeds we plant. In the gospel (except John), Jesus talks about sowing seeds and the types of soil. He referred the seed as the word of God. He ended by saying that if the seed falls on good soil it produces a great harvest.
The seed is the word of God.
"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God."
One way to grow your faith is by reading the Bible out loud. When you read, you hear with your ears. Jesus said, "he who hears, let him hear." Although Jesus meant spiritual hearing, I believe he also meant physical hearing. Our ears is one way we can get the word in out heart.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus said anyone who hears the word of the kingdom, but does not understand it is like the seed that fell along the wayside where the birds of the air ate the seed. The devil can come along and snatch the word from you before it can grow. You need understanding in order for the word to grow. As you read the word out loud, you can think about what it means before the devil can snatch it from you? As you read, ask the Lord to give you understanding. At one other time, Jesus taught about understanding. He said he who has, more will be given, and he will think he has, it will be given to him. In other words, If you understand what the scripture is saying, then God will be give you more, but if not the devil will it from you. It is not God that will take it from you. God prunes not steals.
"And the apostles said unto the Lord, 'increase our faith'." Luke 17:5
Another word for grow is increase. (There are a few other scriptures that uses the word increase and some uses "grow") The disciples needed enough faith to forgive their brother of his sin. They asked Jesus to increase their faith or cause it to grow because Jesus had just told them about offenses. What was Jesus response? "If you have faith as a mustard seed..." He didn't say as small as a mustard seed, he said "as". A mustard seed is so small but it grows to become a huge tree. This is another way of saying "grow your faith." Faith is believing what God says and acting on it. If God's word says you can do all things through Christ which strengthens you", then go about doing what he has called you to do in his strength. When you do that, you have faith. The more you act on what his word says, the more your faith will grow, "Wow! I did it?" You'll be shaking your head in amazement and want to do it again. Later in Luke, Jesus goes onto say, "you can say to the mulberry tree, be uprooted and moved to the sea." Your faith will be so great, that nothing will be impossible for you to do as long as the anointing one is you strengthening you. Christ means the anointed one and his anointing. Now isn't that great news?
"Therefore since we have such crowd of witnesses, let us throw aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1
Have you ever watch children run at school? Their little legs, depending on the weight of their mother can carry them far. Or how about your own kids when you play chase with them? They run so fast, you can't keep up because they have more energy than you. As a Christian, we run a race. It's called the faith race and Paul wrote that we should run as to get the prize. In the pic above (not my own), the man in the black made it to the finish line. Do you notice something? Juts like most children, he has nothing on him that would hinder him from running.
Recently, I had a dream where I was running and believe me, in real life, I am no runner. I can run as far as two blocks and that is it yet I dreamt that I ran. The amazing part was I ran faster than a man ahead of me and far as I passed Walmart which was a few miles away from where I live. The reason for my success is I too had nothing to hinder me.
What is weight? If you think about it, it something heavy that you lift. You see them in gyms. Suppose you took those weights with you out onto the racecourse. Could you run with weights in your hands? Weights are what keeps you grounded. Circumstances could keep you grounded. "This Christian walk is too hard. I lost my job. How could I go on? Today, many Christians are being weighed down by what is going on in the political arena. Some have given up on their faith because they thought God had failed them. Suddenly, they stopped running and turn back the other way. They didn't have any endurance to keep running. We are to keep our eyes on Jesus. Just as he called to come to him, we must run to him without letting our surroundings stop us and cause us to lose faith.
So what is the sin? Anything that could make you miss the mark. It could be losing faith in God or having unbelief. If God had called you to endure the race and you decided to quit, you lost faith in God. Sin is disobedience to God. In my life, sometimes I feel the pull to quit subbing. The students and staff still has to wear a mask, the trip to the school is too much and I sometimes get very little respect that I want to quit, but I hear God saying, don't quit, persevere. I had asked him to open the door for employment but he may still need me the schools. If I stopped now, I would feel I had failed God. So I persevere until that day comes. I rather obey God cause me gives me joy. Quitting is like the weight or sin that keeps me from running the race.
"The angels of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them" -Psalms 34:7 NKJV
You may have heard or read that "do not fear" is mentioned 365 times in the Bible. It is no coincidence as God is the author of the Bible. We should fear Him, not man, or anything a man could do to us, including a man made virus yet people fear the virus. They think it is deadly and they need to wear a mask. In the Bible, when people had a contagious disease, they had to stay outside the camp until the disease had run its course or forever as in the case of the leprosy. The authorities in those days didn't make the healthy protective covering. No, I'm not going to write on mask wearing, but this is an example.
I know that there are Christians today who will say, "old testament is for the Jews", but the Hebrew writers wrote that the scriptures is alive and powerful.(Hebrews 4:12) and Paul wrote that is given by inspiration by God. (2Timothy 3:16) You want to read something inspiring? Read the Bible! It has many scriptures of healing, deliverance, salvation and impossible deeds!
Leaving Willmar Times, Marge felt the familiar panic rise up again as she limped out into the cold, dark night. Last night, a silver sedan had sent chills up her spine when the driver slowed just inches from where she waited for the bus—then he or she had sped away. Would that same driver come back? And her leg added to her panic.
This is just an example of healing but necessary about fear. Scripture says that fear brigs torment. If we are not deeply rooted in God's perfected love, it can't wash it out. Satan would love to remove God's love from us. All he would have to do is convince us that God doesn't love us.
"You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence."--Psalms31:20 NKJV
"What exactly is the secret place? Matthew wrote that when we pray, we should not pray so that men could hear us for we would receive our reward from men, but that we should pray in a room, with a closed door (Matthew 6:5 NKJV loosely translated). In other words, in a place with just you and God. It could be either your closet, or your bedroom. It can even be a cave! The point is, prayer should only be heard by God. What is prayer? It is NOT a wish list where you say, "God, I need a new car, a better husband," or whatever you pray and that's it. Prayer is a two way communication. It is similar to you talking to a friend on a phone. Do you call your friend just to tell her about our day and not ask about hers? Solomon wrote that a fool delights in airing his own opinion. We should hear the other side too and it should be that when we pray. Many times people would pray and not wait to hear what God has to say. It is in that secret place where God can speak to you.
The secret place is free from distractions. When we are in that place, we should turn off distractions. When God speaks, it may not be audible enough to hear above it. We should off everything going around us so we can hear him. When Elijah was in a cave, the scripture says, that God didn't speak in an earthquake and fire, but in a still small voice (1king 19, 11,12 NKJV).
"Andrew’s muscles tightened. Julie was unusually quiet, and she hardly touched her food. He drew his eyebrows together. “You okay?” He touched her hand.
“Trying to stay in God’s presence.”
Warmth flooded his body. As long as she stayed in His presence that bozo couldn’t harm her. The man was no match for God. When he prayed that morning, he gave his anger and discontentment to God. He even surrendered Julie to Him, and peace had flooded his heart. He would help her grow in her faith. “That’s good that you are doing that. God is here, and He is stronger than your enemies.”
Her eyes widened in surprise. “Oh wow! That is the best thing you have ever said!” She smiled widely"
In that secret place, God will protect you. I often time felt his protection. Even when I go walking on a daily basis, I know that God will keep me safe, but it's not just when I'm outside. At my desk, I sense his presence or when listening to worship music because I am in that secret place.
Have you experience his presence like that?
Note from author Ruthie Madison. I have given you examples from my story based on a review on my book. Please do not use the excerpts for your gain. I hope my blogs have encouraged you in your walk of faith.
Faith is so important for a believer to have. Without it, you can't please God. And faith isn't just for saving either. Many believers think that after they get save(ask Jesus into their lives) that they can live their lives until they die and go to heaven or until Jesus comes. Many of our Bible heroes have faith and the Hebrews writer about it (Hebrew 11), Faith is trust in the Old testament or they use the word believe, One scripture I often heard quoted by Hank Kunneman (who is the lead pastor and prophet from the Lord of Host church in Omaha Nebraska, He was on Flashpoint making a defense of all true prophets, "Believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established. Believe in His prophet and you shall prosper." (2CHR20:20) Hank is a true prophet because some of the things he prophesied had come to pass. The problem is people were assuming God would act according to their timeline and when they saw Trump didn't become president, they lost hope. They lost faith and therefore felt the prophecy didn't come to pass.
Jesus said, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth. We gotta have faith! Just because it didn't work out they way we wanted to didn't mean God had given up on Trump. I don't mean to turn this into a political blog, but I'm passionate about this. God will come through,but He won't have any pleasure in people drawing back. Satan is a thief. People who voted for Biden think he won fair and square but Satan influenced the democrats to cheat. He hates what America is and what it stands for. He hates our liberties. We are such an unique country. We have a constitution that protects us against oppression and tyranny, but the left wants to undo it and make us like China.
So what is faith? It is believing on what God says and acting on it. The prophecy didn't fail and God is still at work, but will you believe the prophecy? Will you have faith that God is going to turn the evil around? Don't respond to what you see. Don't believe what the media (False prophets of our times). Just as the prophets in Ahab's time told or reported lies so do the mainstream media. Things will get better. Hold onto the word God has given you and keep the faith.
Author of the Second Chance Series and owner of Unique Pen Press.