Friday, October 4, 2013

Devotional 10-4-13


The mustard seed has a long history and religious importance in Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. The tiny size, 3mm in diameter, has been significant and referenced in the texts of these major religions.  Today, mustard seed is popular due to its distinct flavors and added health benefits.
                                                                                                        L.H. Lee, e-how contributor

When I was a young girl about ten years old, I received an unusual gift from my grandmother for my birthday.  It was a beautiful necklace, and hanging from the end of it was an encased oval glass piece with a tiny seed inside. Do I pretend to know what it is, or do I ask Grandmother? Though I didn’t know it at the time, Grandmother (not Grammy, Grandma, Nana, Mimi, etc. but Grandmother!) had been an activist in the Women’s Temperance Union, was a staunch Methodist, and had whispered secretly to me on occasion that I was her favorite grandchild! So rather than pretending I knew, I thought it was best to ask her what this mysterious little seed inside this beautiful bobbled necklace might be.

“It’s a mustard seed,” she said. “Wear it when you need to do something you don’t think you can do, and you may be surprised to see what happens.”

I didn’t quite understand her explanation, but I wore the necklace every day for the longest time.  I’m not sure what happened to it.  But over time I think I began to understand the significance of the mustard seed.

We learn about that significance in a parable of Jesus to his disciples in the New Testament.  In the Gospel of Luke 17:5-10, the disciples seem to be looking for an easy way to increase their faith by going directly to Jesus.  They simply say, “increase our faith!” and expect it. After all, Jesus can do anything! But Jesus indicates to them that they don’t need more faith.  They just need to believe in the faith already given them by God.

Jesus is using the tiny mustard seed as an example that little becomes much when it comes from God. “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”  Jesus explains in this verse from Luke  that even the tiniest bit of faith--God-given, true and free of doubt--will be there as your journey through your discipleship.

We have seen the truth of this lesson as we look at the growth of Christianity from the time of the apostles through today. Personally, for the apostles then and Christians worldwide now, we sometimes struggle as our faith is challenged. We worry that our faith will not see us through. But we need not worry. We need only to remember that little is much when it comes from God. Even the smallest bit of faith will work for us when it is true faith from God.

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…nothing will be impossible unto you.”
The Book of Matthew
Diane Feaganes

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