JANUARY 17

Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 18
     Nehemiah 7
     Matthew 17
     Acts 17
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''So Jesus said to them, 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 17:20)
 
FAITH AS A MUSTARD SEED
The occasion was when our Lord had cast a demon from a child and he was cured from that very hour. The disciples wondered why they could not perform such a miracle. Jesus then chooses to use the illustration of the mustard seed, which is barely larger than a grain of salt. He tells us that faith like the mustard seed can move mountains. What does all this mean to us? What kind of faith does God expect of us?  What does it mean to be involved in the impossible?
Jesus is teaching us that it is not the size of our faith that makes the difference, but the source and object of our faith, which is Jesus Himself.
 This subject of faith and the mountains in our life continue to be a very confusing subject to most Christians. Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. Somebody said that we will not trust God until we have to; therefore, He makes sure we have to. The real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God but that God's character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds.
            I remember seeing faith verbalized in a most eloquent manner. As a pastor, I had to share some sad news with one of my members. Her doctor had told Mrs. Alley that she was soon to be completely blind. I had to share with her that her daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren had all been killed in an automobile accident. I remember her immediate response as tears flowed from her eyes soon to be blind.  She quoted Job and said, ''the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." That was the kind of faith that will move mountains. Job also said, ‘‘Though He slay me yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15) Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him - a  faith that says, ''I will remain true to God's character whatever He may do."
            But you say, ''I have believed God and the mountain is still there." Let me make some suggestions:
Dig into the mountain - you may find gold. ''God is indeed working together all things for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.''
Try  climbing  the  mountain. You may get a better view from the top. Nothing that happens to you as His child is accidental or coincidental. It is always providential. God always has a plan and a purpose. Faith is believing that. Aren't you glad Jesus climbed His Mountain? From the top of Mount Calvary, our Lord had His best view; because of what He did there we can trust Him today.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
Believe God today. The mountains of paganism, immorality, the AIDS crisis, political corruption, false religions and cults, poverty, greed among leaders and many other mountains of resistance will be brought down by the power of the Christian gospel.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
                        ''When mountain walls confront thy way,
                        Why sit and weep? Arise and say
                        ''Be thou removed” and they shall be
                        By power of God cast in the sea."
                                    Isaac Watts