How big is your mustard seed?

January 29, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
(Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV))

The kingdom of heaven is indeed like a mustard seed. Like something small, it is there for us to find. Yet, if you are not looking for it, it will be missed. Once it is found, it grows within us until it is all consuming, until it is the focus of our lives.

God intended it to be this way. We must find it by faith. If it were visible to everyone, where would faith be? God planned it that way. He knew that if everyone could see the visible effects of the kingdom of heaven, then people would choose without testing their faith. God wants people to come to Him of their own free will, not because of His power.

How big is your mustard seed? Has it grown or is it still the smallest of all seeds?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your faith dormant or is it growing?

December 17, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
(Luke 17:6 (NIV))

This is the time of year when it is easy to have faith. Christmas brings it out in many people, even those who are not true believers. This is the time of year when we, as believers must present our faith to the world in such a manor that it is obvious that true faith makes us different from the rest of the world. We must believe with all of our heart, body, mind and spirit that what Jesus said will happen. It is this faith that we present to the world that will bring people to Jesus.

Do you have faith as small as a mustard seed? A mustard seed is the smallest of seeds, yet, it grows into a big tree. Jesus is saying that He can use our faith, no matter how small, to accomplish His work.

Has your faith grown to be as big as a mustard seed yet?

Perhaps I should ask if your faith extends beyond Christmas. Is your faith dormant and in need of planting when it is not Christmas? Do you exude the same enthusiasm for Jesus in June that you do in December?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you think of when you think of the kingdom of God?

August 8, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”
(Mark 4:30-32 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of the kingdom of God?

Do you think of the pearly gates and the streets paved in gold? I know that we have all read the passages that describe it as such, but have you ever stopped to think about the kingdom of God beyond these stories?

How does faith relate to the kingdom of God?

How does faith work in your life?

It starts small and as you see things that God does, faith grows. Just like the mustard seed, a small amount of faith can blossom into a life of faith that is bigger than we could ever have imagined.

Do you think that God’s kingdom is bigger than we could ever have imagined? Have we put God in a box of our own design and limited understanding of size? There is so much more to God than we can understand in this lifetime.

Picture yourself as the mustard seed. You would feel small and insignificant. You would feel like your were worth nothing. But, . . .

All it takes is for the mustard seed to be planted and nurtured and soon you would feel the majesty of what you have become. You would be able to face anything that your part of the world could send your way. You would no longer be that small, insignificant and weak mustard seed. you would be strong and mature and able to face whatever the world would send your way.

Faith is the same way!

God’s kingdom is the same way!

We think that it is small and insignificant and it grows beyond our feeble attempts at understanding it and is the strongest think in our world. God’s strength is there for us if we simply accept it. God’s grace is there for us if we simply accept it.

God’s kingdom is there whether we accept it or not. We can allow it to be planted into our lives and watch it grow, or we can reject it and it will never take root in our lives.

Do you allow the seed of God’s kingdom to grow, or do you let it die within your life?

It is your choice!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Expect the unexpectable!

July 8, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
(Luke 17:5-6 (NIV))

How would you have felt if Jesus told you to increase your faith, and then proceeded to tell you that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, God can do things through you? In other words, would you have perceived this as an insult or would you have taken it as instruction to see beyond the physical and expect things in the spiritual?

I have read this passage many times, but this evening, human nature saw something that it hadn’t allowed me to see before. I saw the potential for a wrong perception in these words. I seriously doubt that Jesus was hurling an insult at His disciples, after all, that would be a sin. However, it is interesting how human nature can read something and see the wrong message in it. Even though Jesus was telling His disciples, who were still infants in the faith, to increase their faith, He was not being degrading. He was telling them what they could expect if they did increase their faith. Perhaps it was their willingness to increase that allowed Jesus to increase it exponentially. Take a look at the miracles that His disciples were a part of after His resurrection.

Don’t allow the enemy to twist God’s Word. A simple passage can have many meaning, but make sure that the meaning you receive is of God. Test it to make sure that it follows the principles and teachings that God has already set forth. He cannot contradict Himself. Prepare yourself through study and prayer so that when you do see things from a “human” perspective, you are able to recognize them as just that. Do not allow your perceptions to cloud what God is really saying. Increase your knowledge and increase your faith. The more that you know about God and His Son, the more that you expect God to do great things.

Nurture your faith and allow it to grow into that mustard seed. Expect the unexpectable!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has your faith grown or is it still the smallest of all seeds?

July 10, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
(Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV))

The kingdom of heaven is indeed like a mustard seed. Like something small, it is there for us to find. Yet, if you are not looking for it, it will be missed. Once it is found, it grows within us until it is all consuming, until it is the focus of our lives.

God intended it to be this way. We must find it by faith. If it were visible to everyone, where would faith be? God planned it that way. He knew that if everyone could see the visible effects of the kingdom of heaven, then people would choose without testing their faith. God wants people to come to Him of their own free will, not because of His power.

How big is your mustard seed? Has it grown or is it still the smallest of all seeds?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you stand?

June 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
(1 Peter 3:17 (NIV))

What do you call good? What do you call evil?

Does society agree with you?

Does society do things that you would consider evil?

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
(3 John 1:11 (NIV))

There may come a day when those who choose to follow God will be looked upon as evil. I know that some would say that this has already started. I like to think that I would willingly suffer for doing what God calls me to do, yet, I am only human. I have human frailties and weaknesses.

Would I be like Peter and deny Jesus?

Would I be forgiven?

Would I hold fast to the faith that I profess to have?

Would my faith be proven to be as great as a mustard seed?

When you hear the word “evil,” what do you think of? Is it murder? Is it stealing? Is it something much bigger than these? Evil can get a small foothold and grow into something that can completely destroy all it touches.

God’s love restores all that it touches. It is good, yet our society seems to want to label this is hatred and evil.

What do you think?

Where do you stand?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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According to your faith will it be done to you

December 12, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”;
(Matthew 9:29 (NIV))

Think about that passage. The words that Jesus spoke cut right to the heart!

“According to your faith will it be done to you”

What type of faith do you have? Is it a faith that will leave you desolate and barren or is it a faith that will leave you rejoicing and thankful? It is up to you. Your faith is your decision. You can decide to have little faith or a great faith. You will also reap the rewards for your type of faith.

In our world today, it is very easy to allow the world and its problems into our lives. When this happens, it is very easy for faith to falter. Sometimes it will even fail. Even when this happens, faith is resilient. It can grow back from almost nothing into something mighty.

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
(Luke 17:6 (NIV))

Faith truly is like the mustard seed. It can start out small, but with time and attention, it will grow. Each time you see faith at work, it will feed upon itself. Faith grows faith. Soon it will be like the mustard seed.

Be careful, because just like any physical thing that grows, faith can also be killed. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus in all things. If bad things happen, don’t let that kill your faith. Focus on Jesus and use your faith and His strength to see you through it. Perhaps faith is a matter of perspective. If you choose to see it and use it, it will grow. If you choose not to see it, then it will die.

If you ask something of Jesus, what will you receive when He says, “According to your faith will it be done to you”?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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If you believe!

August 29, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
(Matthew 21:18-22 (NIV))

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer!

Those are mighty powerful words. Words that many seem to gloss over. Many take them to mean that God is a genii and is there to grant every wish that you have. Some even use this to argue that God cannot be real because if He was, then everybody would be thin, good looking, rich and popular.

What are your thoughts on this passage?

Do you believe that your faith can do what Jesus did?

I know that this is a difficult question, after all, Jesus was and is part of the Triune God. We are filthy rags in comparison. What is it about our faith that lacks the ability to do what Jesus did? He said that if we believe, then we will receive whatever we ask in prayer. Perhaps it is that we still see ourselves as the filthy rags, and not as the spotless child of God that we are through faith in Jesus. I know that things in my life have a tendency to remind me of my shortcomings.

Shortcomings.

We all have them, and we just can’t seem to let them go. It doesn’t help that Satan reminds us of them daily. Why do we listen to Satan instead of standing on the promises that Jesus gave us?

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
(Luke 17:6 (NIV))

A mustard seed is tiny. In comparison, it is probably about the same size as a capital “O” in this text. Think about that. We are told that if we have that much faith, we can do things. It makes me wonder just how much faith I have if that is all it takes, and I still find myself doubting.

Faith, just like a mustard seed, must be nurtured. Neither will grow if left in a barren place. Neither will grow if the surroundings choke them out. Neither will grow if you allow yourself or others to cut them down.

Most of us think of faith as a rock, as something that cannot be shaken. However, when we face anything in this world, we quickly start to worry and rely on ourselves and others, and not on our faith. Our mustard seeds never get to fully germinate and grow.

My prayer for you and for myself is that we will all start the day asking God for guidance so that our faith is not shaken. I pray that our faith may be nurtured and grow so that as we mature in our faith, we may become the unshakable rock that we long to be.

How is your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Smallness

November 28, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.
(Luke 2:30-32 (NIV))

Simeon had waited his whole life to be able to see the birth of the Savior. God had promised him that he would not die before Jesus came. Simeon knew at first glance that the baby he saw was the savior that God had promised. Simeon looked upon the promise and realized that the promise had to follow normal human life – a birth, childhood, teenager, adult. The promise is not instantaneous. It required faith from Simeon. It required a huge faith to believe that God had told him that he would not die before he saw the salvation that he had been yearning for.

Simeon recognized the promise even in infancy. He had faith to know that the promise would grow into the salvation for the whole world.

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
(Luke 17:6 (NIV))

Do we see things the same way that Simeon saw things? Would we recognize the infancy of a promise that God has made? Would we recognize the potential of that promise fulfilled or would we simply miss out on the glory of God because it comes in a small package? Do you remember the mustard seed?

It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”
(Mark 4:31-32 (NIV))

I have often found that God’s promises are exactly the same. He promises, but He starts small to test our faith. He tests us to see if we are capable of handling the full promise, and to see if we are willing to respond to the promise.

As Christmas draws closer, please do not forget that what we are celebrating is the birth of a child. Jesus was a special child who grew into a special man. He came as the Son of God to teach and to sacrifice Himself for our transgressions. He did not come as a mighty warrior. He came as an innocent child. He came to seek and to save the lost, but first He had to live as one of us.

Simeon recognized that God does not do things as we would do them. He was open to the “smallness,” while knowing that God will move mountains with something small.

Would you, do you recognize God’s salvation as it is presented to you?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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