Return To: Free Bible Studies
EXERCISE YOUR FAITH AND WATCH IT GROW!
What do you do when you haven't spent time growing your faith and something happens where you need great faith RIGHT NOW? Some Christians plead and bargain with God, but this isn't the time to wonder if God is going to come through for you. Instead, follow this lesson to answered prayer and then keep your faith growing for the rest of your life!
It All Begins With Jesus!
Matthew 17:18-20 (ASV) 18 And Jesus rebuked him; and the demon went out of him: and the boy was cured from that hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast it out? 20 And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Jesus gives the Body of Christ good news in Matthew 17:20. He speaks of only having a mustard seed amount of faith to move mountains from one place to another. And He goes even farther to say that NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU! For Christians who have small or weak faith, this message is exciting! But, to make sure it comes alive in your life, let's examine other verses where Jesus talks about the mustard seed and faith that yields great possibility.
- In the Gospel of Matthew 13:31–32 (WEB) Jesus mentions the mustard seed in a parable. Note that He describes it as "smaller than all seeds."
He set another man before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
Matthew compares the Kingdom of heaven to the tiny grain of a mustard seed which grows into a huge tree. Clearly He's telling Christians that the mustard seed must first be sown before it can grow and that the same is true for the Kingdom of Heaven.
We're all born into the Kingdom of Heaven because of Jesus, but in order to grow in our Kingdom abilities and blessings we need to plant our seeds of faith. Because the Word of God must be sown into the human heart or spirit for it to transform our lives, we must sow God's Word into our hearts for continued growth the same as the mustard seed must be sown into the ground.
- In the Gospel of Mark 4:30-32 (WEB) Jesus gives the same message as in Matthew 13:31-32.
He said, “How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? It’s like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow.”
Jesus makes it clear again that just a grain of the mustard seed, which is less than all other seeds on the earth, becomes greater than all the herbs with great branches when sown into the earth. The physcal growth process of the mustard seed from a tiny grain to a huge and bountiful tree is the spiritual analagy of what happens to a tiny grain of faith that is sown within the human heart.
- The Gospel of Luke 13:18–19 (WEB) shares the same important message. Jesus must have felt His parable about the mustard seed and faith a very important message because He repeated it often. It's a simple message, yet people are so used to making things complicated they find it difficult to understand the simplicity in which Jesus shared the Word.
Again Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches.”
Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the message of Christ. "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." This verse is the principle for growing faith from scripture. Our faith builds as we hear the message of Jesus Christ. So as you've read Jesus' parables today about a tiny amount of faith having the ability to move the mountain of whatever you need, you've also built great faith!
Congratuations! If you thought before reading this lesson that you had little or no faith, now you know better! Today you have a garden of faith, so now it's time to water it so that it will accomplish whatever you need it to do in your life.
About The Mustard Seed In Reference To This Study
The plant referred to here is generally considered to be black mustard, a large annual plant up to 9 feet (2.7 m) tall, but growing from a proverbially small seed (this smallness is also used to refer to faith in Matthew 17:20 and Luke 17:6). According to rabbinical sources, Jews did not grow the plant in gardens, and this is consistent with Matthew's description of it growing in a field. Luke tells the parable with the plant in a garden instead; this is presumably recasting the story for an audience outside the Levant.
There are many opinions about the comparing the mustard seed to Kingdom living. However, one thing is certain; Jesus is using the tiny size of the mustard seed to show what little faith we need to move mountains for successful Kingdom living. When we partner with God to live the blessings and ability we have in Christ there is nothing we can't do.
When you exercise your faith according to scripture, God will honor it and insure that it comes to pass in Christ. But it's important to look upon God's Kingdom first for living in obedience to God's Word and sharing it with others. As you center upon God first, all things will be added to you according to Matthew 6:30-34.
Matthew 6:30-34 (NIV)
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Exercise Your Faith To Move Mountains
The time element for faith to grow depends upon one's belief. Look what Jesus tells believers in Mark 11:23. "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."
Not only can we move mountains, but as you've learned, Jesus said in Matthew 17:18-20 that all we need is a tiny mustard seed size of faith to do it! So let's examine what elements are needed to make this happen.
- speak to what you want removed or to happen and say what you want done.
- do not doubt in your heart that it will happen, but...
- believe that what you say will happen in Jesus'Name
Jesus is our mediator so we must do all things pertaining to God's Word in Jesus' Name.
John 14:13-14 (KJV) 13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
We have to be willing to give up our physical need of seeing before we believe if we want to get things done with God. We can partner with Him in Christ, but it has to be on a spiritual level. Jesus tells us to speak to that mountain of debt, sickness, lonliness or whatever is attacking us and see it caste into the sea or gone from our lives. God will do whatever you ask of Him, but don't expect God to work at your level of thinking. You go up to His!
Isaiah 55:8-9New International Version (NIV) 8. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Now, go forth and move the mountain or mountains of your problems with the amount of faith you have today and keep it growing as the tiny mustard seed!