Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Growing Mustard

Mustard is a cool-season crop. It's hardy, but the seeds will not germinate well if you sow them too early; plant the seeds in your garden on the average date of last frost.

Mustard is an ordinary-looking little seed with an impressive ability to grow into a mighty plant that’s highly prolific.

I find this interesting when thinking about the references Jesus makes when illustrating faith as a "mustard seed" in the Bible.   

Jesus uses many illustrations to teach about His kingdom...
“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 seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”  MATTHEW 13:31-32

As the disciples were traveling with Jesus, they were not able to heal as he did...
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  MATTHEW 17:19-20

On another occasion "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 17:4-6

It seems either you have faith or you don't, 
it's not a matter of measure, 
rather a matter of potential that flows out of faith.

People come into a relationship with the Lord God through an incredible gift called faith, planted in the human heart by the Lord himself.  

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  EPHESIANS 2:4-9 

Faith is like this hardy little mustard seed:

It does not germinate well if planted too early.  A seed needs the right conditions to grow to its full potential.  In matters of faith, the condition of the soil, the human heart, is a major factor that impacts the potential contained within the seed of faith. 

This tiny, ordinary-looking seed has an impressive ability to grow into a mighty plant that’s highly prolific...the ability is there!  The growing conditions don't alter its ability, however its yield can be hindered by lack of nurture.

Instead of praying Lord, increase our faith, 

we should pray

Lord, I pray to let you have more of me!

Lord, I pray to cultivate the conditions for a mighty yield!

Instructions for cultivating right conditions to reach the potential contained in Your gift of Faith:

  • Well -watered soil - watered through prayer, time spent keeping company with Jesus, to be soaked in living water
  • Well-fertilized soil - nourished through time in God's Word
  • Weed-free and well-tilled soil - carefully and lovingly tended by others in your Kingdom

The potential comes from the Lord,
the conditions for growth are ours to attend!

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