Tag Archives: Faith

Men who believed and had faith in a Higher Power they could not see

In the ancient past there were men who did know where to go. They could have followed their own path, but they choose to follow the directions given to them by a much higher Power than any human being.

faith_cropped

Today there are many people who believe their patriarch Abraham got there where he had to be by the Power of the One Who directed him and Who he was prepared to follow. By his act of faith Abraham received a blessing which may come over to his progeny. The Jews believe they are the rightful descendants of the patriarch Abraham. Muslims also take Abraham as their most important patriarch and ‘father’. In him they all see a man of faith,like there have been many people of faith who went before us and showed us what we too should belief and do.

In the ancient books we come to see that faith led Abel to offer God a better sacrifice than Cain’s sacrifice. Scripture also tells us about Enoch who was taken by God because He had found in him a man of faith and because He was pleased with him. We also should see that no one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

It was also faith that led Noah to listen when God warned him about the things in the future that he could not see. This man came to build an ark in a place were there was no big water and found people laughing at him. No matter how they ridiculed him he obeyed God and built a ship to save his family. Through faith Noah condemned the world and received God’s approval that comes through faith. (Hebrews 11:7)

Can you imagine someone would tell you in your old age that you can still get children or would ask you to some place you do not know?  Again in the Old Testament we come to know about a man with faith which led him to obey when God called him to go to a place that he would receive as an inheritance. Abraham left his own country without knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8) It led him to live as a foreigner in the country that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah had promised him. He lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who received the same promise from God the Most High Abraham trusted God and was waiting for the city that God had designed and built, the city with permanent foundations. (Hebrews 11:9)

All those pepole showed they had strong belief in that Unseen Power. they were convinced that they could fully trust that Voice that reached them from the unknown. For them That Voice was much more important than any human voice. they were convinced there was a better substance for them when the would follow that Incredible Voice, than what man could offer them. They had the feeling that what would come over them or would given to them when they would follow that Voice was much more important than what the world could or would give them. They did not first demand evidence. They had not to see a thing or set of things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment. The means by which an allegation could have been proven, such as oral testimony, documents, or physical objects, were not necessary for them. By faith they followed what was deep in their heart.

We can see that it was faith that enabled Abraham to become a father, even though he was old and Sarah had never been able to have children. Abraham trusted that God would keep his promise. We should remember that Abraham was as good as dead. Yet, from this man came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the grains of sand on the seashore. (Hebrews 11:11)

Looking at those men we should know that they didn’t receive the things that God had promised them, but they saw these things coming in the distant future and rejoiced. They acknowledged that they were living as strangers with no permanent home on earth.

We too today, should consider ourselves as tenants in this world; Sojourners, travelling in this time space.  We reside temporarily on this earth where mankind tries to make something of it, but has proven not to succeed in it. Therefore we should trust God and look forward to the coming times and the coming Kingdom of God.

Through faith Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets conquered kingdoms, did what God approved, and received what God had promised. They shut the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, and escaped death. They found strength when they were weak. They were powerful in battle and defeated other armies.(Hebrews 11:32-33)

All these people, mentioned above, were known for their faith, but none of them received what God had promised. God planned to give us something very special so that we would gain eternal life with them. It is in those promises which are made we should have faith.

As faith convinces us that God created the world through his word, we also believe that He guided His people all the time and that He does not abandon any one who is willing to belief in Him. We should put our hope and trust in the Unseen and put our hope on Him and on His son who paved the way to the entrance of the great Kingdom. Without faith we shall never be able to reach the right goal or to run and finish the race.

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Please do read the faith-chapter of the apostate Paul, his letter to the Hebrews: Hebrews 11

We're not called to success, we're called to faith. We please God when we step out in faith in Jesus.

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Preceding

How to Live Beyond the Ordinary

How to set your mind

9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach

Knowing The Truth and Loving The Truth

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Additional reading

  1. Faith
  2. Issue 116 of Faith alive
  3. Assimilation of the mind to the divine ideas, principles, and affections exhibited in the Scriptures
  4. Honest-hearted people are losing faith in humanity and humanity losing faith in God
  5. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  6. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  7. Hope by faith and free gift

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Related
  1. Pistis ( πίστις)
  2. By faith Enoch
  3. What to do to Grow in the Spirit
  4. Be a God Pleaser
  5. Oh Mighty God! by Penny Chavers
  6. It is impossible to please God without faith. (today’s verse) 
  7. A List Of Ten Things That God Is Pleased About
  8. Please God, and not people
  9. The Seen And The Unseen
  10. When You Want to Step out but You’re Afraid to Fail
  11. Personal Victories
  12. Leadership Insight…
  13. Holding on to God
  14. Hey God…Meditation Monday
  15. Inside the Mind: The Human Soul
  16. Today is One PartDivine Providence
  17. Lessons from Hopelessness

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Filed under Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

O God, How Long? ~ Psalm 74

In this godless world there are also people who think they think they can ask their god or gods for things to happen. There are also people who call themselves ‘Christian‘ and wonder why God does not answer their prayers, though they do not see they have not taken them the right God of gods but pray to a man made god, a god son, and to people they call saints. Though the Elohim Hashem Jehovah is very clear that we should only have and worship the One True God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Jesus and his disciples, Who is an eternal Spirit God and not a fleshy god.

If you feel as though God is not watching or that He does not care you are perhaps better to search your heart, to see if you are really worshipping the right god, and not for example Jesus or any other human being or idols.

Today we can find lots of people who make a mockery of the God of Israel, also not willing to see the Biblical Truth. They most often see the false teachings of human ‘spiritual’ leaders or theologians, be it from Islamic or Christian groups, who destroy everything on their path, leaving nothing but pain and misery in their wake.

More people should follow Asaph his example, coming to look up at the real Only One True God, Jehovah the Elohim Hashem Divine Creator, and to cry out to that God of the universe, the Maker of heaven and earth, summer and winter. We all should know that it is That eternal God Who is prepared to be our rock and refuge, to defend Himself and those who really love Him and worship Him alone, that no matter what the enemy would love to do. They shall always come to know that This One True God is always the Most Mightiest god of all.

– Note: a pity the guest-writer of today, who calls herself a Born-again believer in Christ, wife, mother, teacher, artist, poet, blogger, pianist, singer, telling us she has praised God with her music ever since 1980, makes a strange twist at the end of the article, writing

“Then boldly make your requests known to Him, praising His name and trusting Him for the answer in His time.”

as if she thinks Jesus is God, and as such is forgetting that Jesus is the son of God and the Way to God.
But all the rest of the article, when you keep that only One God Who is One, in your mind is a worthy collection of words to remind people of that greatness of the Most High and how in the ancient times people looked up at Him.

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To remember

  • Asaph felt lonely + alone > God silent => remembered days of old + God redeemed Israel from out of the hand of the enemy in Egypt, + brought them to Canaan, +gave them land for an inheritance, + established His name in their midst.
  • enemy had attempted to wipe out religion of Israelites by destroying their places of worship > temple + synagogue destroyed by the enemy
  • we can trust Jehovah God to know when enough is enough <=  God = never early, never late; always right on time, not limited by our calendar or clock.
  • God’s purposes are ever so much bigger than anything we can imagine.
  • Asaph did not ask God to defend His people, but His own holy and righteous name => to be preserved holy and blameless in the eyes of the enemy.
  • Asaph wanted deliverance, not for his own sake, or for the sake of his countrymen =  for the testimony of the God of mercy and grace.
  • not forget that God = still in control in affairs of men.
  • elements of Asaph’s prayer in psalm 74 should be present in all of our prayers
  • our guest writer compares Psalm 74 to the Model Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13.
  • When you pray > do not be afraid to let God know how you feel <= He already knows anyway
  • When you pray > Praise Him for who He is + for His will to be done, + for provision + forgiveness, deliverance

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Additional reading

  1. Are you looking for answers and Are you looking for God
  2. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  3. God of gods
  4. God is One
  5. Attributes to God
  6. God should be your hope
  7. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  8. God Helper and Deliverer
  9. Gods promises
  10. Belief of the things that God has promised
  11. God’s never-ending stream of much-needed mercies
  12. Gods salvation
  13. Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone
  14. Today’s thought “They did as Jehovah God commanded Moses” (April 17)
  15. Today’s thought “nonsense surrounding the many gods” (July 28)
  16. Have you also been deceived
  17. Walking alone?
  18. Does God hear prayer?
  19. Work with joy and pray with love
  20. Give your worries to God
  21. Praying For What We Want or Don’t Want
  22. Genuine prayer
  23. Does God answer prayer?
  24. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  25. Gods measure not our measure
  26. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  27. Extra verses to remember by The Name to be proclaimed
  28. Listening and Praying to the Father
  29. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  30. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  31. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  32. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  33. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  34. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  35. God Feeds The Birds
  36. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  37. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  38. Worship and worshipping
  39. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  40. Praise the God with His Name
  41. Gods non answer
  42. Faithful to the leastening ear
  43. Wishing to do the will of God
  44. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  45. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  46. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  47. Rest thy delight on Jehovah
  48. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  49. Biblical Prayer at Tabernacle Site Shilo
  50. Own Private Words to bring into a good relationship
  51. Old Man of Prayer
  52. Sometimes we face trials
  53. Being sure of their deliverance
  54. Prayer for the day

The Abundant Heart

sunset-over-lake God rules the day and the night, and He can be trusted with the details of my life too.

Does it seem as though this world could not get any more debauched than it is already? Do you feel as though God is not watching? that He does not care? I can assure you that He is, and He does. But perhaps He is waiting for His people to cry out to Him in humble prayer.

Asaph felt the same way. The enemy was having a heyday, making a mockery of the God of Israel and destroying everything in their path, leaving nothing but pain and misery in their wake. Asaph did the one thing he could do—he cried out to the God of the universe, the Maker of heaven and earth, summer and winter, to defend Himself in the presence of the enemy.

from Psalm 74
Maschil of Asaph

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, World affairs

A Million Ways To Live: Al Muhyi (The One Who Gives Life)

When we start our life we do not have any specific dreams or aspirations; When we start seeing all those attracting things around us we want to get up from our four pats to stand up on two limbs and to come to conquer the world around us. We start having lots of dreams and lots of aspirations, but when we get older we encounter also lots of defeats and disillusions.

Somehow deep in our heart we may feel a certain call, a cry that there could be an Al Khaleeq (The Creator), but most people do not want to know about some One Who is Greater than they and has their life in His Hands. But without this Divine Creator man shall have to find that life is empty and time is restricted, coming to see that in this life we shall never get to that high point of total fulfilment.

When finding Allah the Exalted, or the God above all gods, we shall be able to grow and find peace in our heart, how much other people may try to destroy the good name of Allah and want to bring fear over the world, blaspheming Allah and besmearing the Muslim community.

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To remember

dreams sketched in your duas  (= your very essence of worship) > visuals you created in your mind > voice out to Allah = like statues made of clay.

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Preceding article

Reflections on Existence and Teaching

Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

Get up & Move on

Getting out of the dark corners of this world

Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others

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Additional reading

  1. It is Today
  2. A time for everything
  3. A tongue to speak slowly and well-considered
  4. To whom do we want to be enslaved
  5. Old Man of Prayer
  6. Death

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Further reading

  1. Looking For Grace: Al Lateef (The Subtle One)
  2. No Ordinary Shephard:Al Waasi (The All Encompassing)

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The dreams that you have sketched in your duas, the visuals that you have created in your mind about how that “moment” would look like, the imaginary rehearsal sessions in your washroom where you prepare for the “feeling” lest you dont feel silly- we all have these dreams. Getting that degree or that job, that dream marriage, that dream family, driving your dream car or unpacking at your dream home; all of us have so many things we want, wish for, ask for.
The wishes and duas we voice out to Allah are like the statues made of clay. In our limited capacities, thats the closest we can be to the reality we want to have. So we need Al Muhyi to give life to those statue like dreams, by making them real in flesh and blood. So ask Al Muhyi to give life to your duas by manifesting them…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

A look at On Science & Religion

Science discovers and defines what has been observed. On the basis of such research, theories are devised to explain the facts, and ‘laws’ developed to identify commonly occurring activity. These ‘laws’ are accepted as true and factual until proved false, at which time new ‘laws’ are devised. Science works from observable facts to generate knowledge and understanding.

16th-century Painting of the Triumph of Christ...

16th-century Painting of the Triumph of Christian religion by Tommaso Laureti in the Room of Constantine of the Raphael Rooms, Vaticano. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Religion, on the other hand, is belief in and worship of a God or gods. It demands ‘faith’ in the message and in the messenger. Religion does not exist in a vacuum; it is built upon the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of others. The Christian religion is built upon acceptance of literature that describes the life of its founder, Jesus Christ, his moral teaching and the social, historical context of his life and work. While external evidence can help to evidence the validity of religion, religion does not depend on external evidence to prove or disprove its critical statements.

 

Science is an extremely helpful activity, providing many of the benefits of our modern world. We should respect the findings of such research and be grateful for it. If scientific understanding helps to enrich our sense of awe at the amazing universe or assists us in understanding the complexities of a microscopic world, then so be it. But let us not put scientific research in opposition to Bible teaching; the two are fundamentally different. Science may help us to understand the Bible but I doubt whether it works the other way round!

> Please continue reading at: On Science & Religion

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Different kinds of “things not seen”

Do you feel that life in the Truth is a battle?

Lots of people before they come in the faith go through a big battle; They do hope all their worries would be over when they convert to Christianity. Some get surprised that all the problems are not over when having become a Christian. There are even people who get some newer worries, people trying to convince them that they have made a stupid choice.

English: Flying Rowan. Near Glede Howe. Attrib...

Flying Rowan. Near Glede Howe. Attributed with magical properties by the ancient Britons and a common sight to hillgoers. This one is famous for being used as a guide to the head of Truss Gap in a popular book on the lakeland fells by Bill Birkett. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a exhortation on the March Bible readings Robert Roberts looks at how we all are ignorant at the start “ignorant of everything”.  In the knowledge that human memory is weak, and soon forgets, “especially with regard to the class of things that constitute the Truth” he reminds us of all the things “not seen”, whether past, present or future; and some of those things for which we have not much natural liking and therefore forgetfulness and consequent unbelief become very easy, unless we are on our guard.He writes

There are different kinds of “things not seen” ‹ different kinds of truth ‹ some unimportant ‹ some important. It is with the latter we have to do. It is the latter we desire to bring to mind. It is the latter which will enable us to overcome the mere bias of native ignorance, and walk as children of light.

“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” This faith lays hold of things ‹ is persuaded of things that we cannot see, but which are true. It does so by the means God has given us for the purpose. We need to avail ourselves of these means in the amplest measure, or faith is liable to wither and die. We need strengthening in the fight or we may be overcome instead of overcoming.

In any case, for sure, god is One thing we can not see …. directly … but when we look around we should be able to see the glory of Gdo in all things of nature. Therefore we better take more time to look at the flowers, the trees, the insects and other animals in this world.

We best wonder more about “God and His works” and come to see His Hand behind everything.

 

Please read: Seasons of Comfort (Volume 2 ): Regarding God, and His works

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Faith without risk is a contradiction


Faith without risk is a contradiction.

‘For as the body without the spirits is dead,
so faith without works is dead also.’
James 2:26

Dear God, Give me the strength to persevere in the faith
and to perform good works of faith.

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Geloof zonder risico tegenstrijdigheid
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Filed under Prayers, Reflection Texts, Religious affairs

Unbelief, faith and mustard seed

“and Jesus said to them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say to you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say to this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:20 Webster)“Jesus answered and said to them, verily I say to you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this [which is done] to the fig-tree, but also, if ye shall say to this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” (Matthew 21:21 Webster)

“22 and Jesus answering, saith to them, have faith in god. 23 for verily I say to you, that whoever shall say to this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that the things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he saith.” (Mark 11:22-23 Webster)

“and the lord said, if ye had faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye might say to this sycamine-tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6 Webster)

“Jesus saith to her, said I not to thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of god?” (John 11:40 Webster)

“and though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2 Webster)

“brethren, be not children in understanding: yet in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.” (1 Corinthians 14:20 Webster)

“as new-born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:2 Webster)

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English: Mustard seeds by David Turner Februar...

Mustard seeds by David Turner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding

Seeds of promise

Seeds to be planted soon

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

 

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Additional reading

  1. I have not hidden …
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  4. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  5. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  6. a little church
  7. Slave for people and God

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Further reading

  1. Mustard Seed
  2. Mustard Seeds
  3. Let Go and Live
  4. Undetected Growth
  5. Daily Prompt: Tiny
  6. Small Beginnings
  7. Pass it on
  8. Open the Eyes of my Heart
  9. The Gift Of God
  10. Genuine message of salvation
  11. Mustard Seed Faith
  12. A Mustard Seed of Faith
  13. What is Faith?
  14. What does faith in crisis mean?
  15. O you of great unbelief!
  16. Small start, Big Finish
  17. #Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed
  18. Faith of A Mustard Seed
  19. Faith Like a Forest
  20. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  21. 12 Month Faith Challenge (I Conquer Pt 1)
  22. Daily Mass: Steady growth that starts small. Catholic Inspiration
  23. January 26 – From A Mustard Seed
  24. Today’s Scripture – December 28, 2016
  25. Daily Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34
  26. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?
  27. Moving Mountains
  28. Fear Feels Bigger
  29. As Small as a Mustard Seed
  30. Does Your Faith Make You Eager To Forsake Sin?
  31. Prayer Changes Me
  32. Don’t Say How, Say I Am Yours!
  33. Luke 6:17-19
  34. Luke 13
  35. Luke 17
  36. Small Faith
  37. Measuring Faith
  38. Optimism and the Kingdom of God
  39. Of Seeds and Slaves, of Faith and Favor
  40. Only Servants Doing Our Duty
  41. Like a Mustard Seed…
  42. Wise Virgins
  43. Conceal, Don’t Feel
  44. Warfare Against the Mustard Seed
  45. Hang On To Your Faith
  46. Like A Mustard Seed
  47. The Significance of the Insignificant (October 2, 2016)
  48. Sermon on Mustard Seed Faith and Superheros
  49. What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith
  50. Increase Our Faith
  51. Busted Mustard Seed
  52. Faith Unwavering
  53. How will your faith grow?
  54. Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:5-10)
  55. Faith like a mustard seed. Whatever you have is enough.
  56. just the tiniest little bit
  57. Wow! That’s All It Takes?
  58. Faith Is Not a Verb
  59. Where Our Help Comes From & Our Trust Belongs
  60. How’s your mustard seed?
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Filed under Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

Germinating seeds

In the Holy Scriptures we can find many examples where is spoken about seeds and the soil in which seeds have to grow.

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines ...

Brown Flax Seeds. (Linum usitatissimum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this time and age we best think about the parable of the the sower, where the sower sows the seeds into different kinds of ground – three bad and one good. Man himself can find out from Scriptures what is meant by those stories Jesus told. Concerning the seed of the sower Jesus tells us (v18-23) – the seed is the Word of God and the different kinds of ground are different responses to the message of the Kingdom.

In our world we hear less spoken about the Word of God and many churches are running empty. For followers of Christ, the religions getting against each other is just one of the many signs we can see that the preaching of the coming Kingdom is of utmost importance, because when it shall be preached all over the world, then the end shall come.

In this world there are lots of people who think they are doing good and others who are convinced they do not have to take care because they are saved under Christ. they may be very mistaken, hoping to enter the Kingdom of God, by not living according to God‘s Laws, missing the entrance to the small gate. All those parables Jesus told should be a warning that it perhaps might not be so easy to enter the Kingdom after all. Many may be called but few reaching the the end goal of the race.

The second parable we have to take at heart is the one about the weeds, where the enemy sows bad weed seeds amongst the good wheat seeds. Again, we are not left guessing as to the meaning – Jesus tells us (v37-43) – the good seed represents the sons of the Kingdom and the bad seed the sons of the devil, i.e. those opposed to the message of the Kingdom who will be ‘weeded’ out of the Kingdom by God’s angels when the Son of Man (Jesus) comes.

Those two are not the only ones in which Jesus talks about seeds.

Birds in the fields and trees

When we look at the fields where seeds are waiting to grow, we can see many birds picking their bits of grains. Now Jesus comes to look where those birds have their habitat. They coming to live in a tree. In the ancient times the men of God also wrote about the birds living in trees, referring to kingdoms.

“The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the heavens dwelt in the branches thereof, and all flesh was fed from it.” (Daniel 4:12 ASV)

“it is thou, O king, [Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon]that art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.” (Daniel 4:22 ASV)

“Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs.” (Ezekiel 31:3 ASV)

“All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young; and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.” (Ezekiel 31:6 ASV)

Immature Elm seeds.

Immature Elm seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These first two Old Testament references use that specific language that Jesus picks up on – using the description of trees and perching birds to represent empires and subjects dwelling in them. But the obvious thing to notice is that whereas Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, these verses most certainly are not! They are talking about the kingdoms of men! The first is talking about the kingdom of Babylon, which only filled the world with godless rule – and even today its pagan beliefs and teaching still permeate like yeast (many nonChristian and Christian religions can trace their belief system back to ancient Babylon). Assyria was known for its violence and cruelty (see Nahum 3:19) and our days, like the days of Noah, also see a world filled with violence (modern day Assyria / Syria being notable examples).

Kingdoms

It may seem strange to make reference to the kingdoms of men when the parable of the mustard seed is about the Kingdom of Heaven, but then other parables do the same. The parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the unbelief of people’s hearts and their rejection of the gospel, the parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the corruption of the gospel finding a temporary place in the harvest field, and the parable of the net begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then describes the existence of the bad fish swimming around in the lake. But then all these parables end with salvation and deliverance, and so also does the last of those three specific Old Testament references.

Ezekiel 17:22-24 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.’ I the LORD have spoken and I will do it.”

The encouragement that the parable gives us

Imagine if the parable of the sower just told us that a man went to sow seed, and the seed grew and the crop was good. Imagine if the parable of the weeds just told us that a man planted some seed, and the seed was good, and then harvest came, and harvest was good. Imagine if the parable of the ten virgins wasn’t the parable of the ten virgins – it was the parable of the five virgins and it told us that there were five virgins who went to a wedding and the wedding was good – and that’s it!

Our message of salvation is not just that Jesus will return and all is well. The reality of the world we live in is very dark and very far from what God wants it to be. Even more discouraging is the fact that the very gospel that Jesus gave to enlighten is not believed by so many, and falsehood and the kingdoms of men fill the earth, and we – with the precious truth we possess – are so small and ignored.

Jesus encourages us by reminding us, through the parable of the mustard seed and the Old Testament links, that God is fully aware of how man’s ways rule the world – like Assyria and Babylon in the past. Jesus does not try to divert us by pretending that everything is good right now, but reminds us that God’s plan will become a reality – more real than anything fake we see around us now.

God has told us that He himself will plant His Tree / Kingdom, on the mountain heights of Israel and that all the other trees (nations) will know this and so God will be glorified and vindicated in the end amongst all His opponents, as will all those who keep that precious faith and stick with Him. This is our hope. We are tired of the kingdoms of men around us, imitating the shade and shelter that only God can provide through His Son who has the words of eternal life – and when he comes we will truly find rest under the shade of his branches.

From small to big

Mustard seeds are counted by the smallest seeds but they give us some strong big trees which produce a lot of seeds. Listening to the parable we can imagine us people with some faith like a mustard seed would have not much faith or little faith. But even that little faith can do much. Therefore the one who can sow little faith shall be able to give the  pastures many trees which shall in their turn also create little seeds and multiply enormously.

Even when we do feel we have not so much faith, we should believe in ourselves and proclaim the message of salvation which is given to us. We may have doubts but should know that even with our little faith we shall be able to do much.

“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.” (Matthew 17:20 ASV)

Moving a mountain, it looks ridiculous … but with our little faith if we believe in Christ Jesus as our saviour we shall be able to do much, showing others the Way to God, we shall be able to move mountains, doing lots of work for God. But to do that moving work we need to have the right seed. Unpolluted faith. We also need to use the right fertiliser, the pure Word of God, which we can find in the best store of the the world, the most precious library, the Bible. when we water ourselves every day with it, our seed shall be able to grow. Perhaps we ourself can be such a mustard tree.

The world needs many mustard seeds. There are so many nations, so many places where there is need for birds to find a place to sit in and trees for people to find shadow. It is up to the believers to become the sowers and the gardeners.
It is up to the believers to make it that the seed may be planted in good soil. We have to prepare the earth, we have to fertilise the ground and give the plants enough water so that they can survive in the dry surroundings.

Are you willing to be a sower?

Help us to proclaim the Word of God and to bring the message of salvation, the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.

It may start very small but finish big, so take the opportunity.

 

Preceding

Seeds of promise

Seeds to be planted soon

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

An uncovering book to explore

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Additional reading

  1. I have not hidden …
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  4. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  5. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  6. a little church
  7. Slave for people and God

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Further reading

  1. Mustard Seed
  2. Mustard Seeds
  3. Open the Eyes of my Heart
  4. The Gift Of God
  5. Genuine message of salvation
  6. Mustard Seed Faith
  7. A Mustard Seed of Faith
  8. Small start, Big Finish
  9. Faith of A Mustard Seed
  10. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  11. 12 Month Faith Challenge (I Conquer Pt 1)
  12. Daily Mass: Steady growth that starts small. Catholic Inspiration
  13. January 26 – From A Mustard Seed
  14. Today’s Scripture – December 28, 2016
  15. Daily Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34
  16. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?
  17. Moving Mountains
  18. Fear Feels Bigger
  19. As Small as a Mustard Seed
  20. Does Your Faith Make You Eager To Forsake Sin?
  21. Prayer Changes Me
  22. Don’t Say How, Say I Am Yours!
  23. Luke 6:17-19
  24. Luke 13
  25. Measuring Faith
  26. Optimism and the Kingdom of God
  27. Wise Virgins
  28. Conceal, Don’t Feel
  29. Warfare Against the Mustard Seed
  30. Hang On To Your Faith
  31. What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith
  32. Increase Our Faith
  33. Busted Mustard Seed
  34. Faith Unwavering
  35. How’s your mustard seed?
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Filed under Being and Feeling, Religious affairs

The Spirit of liberty is the Spirit of Christ

The Spirit of liberty,
based upon the law of faith,
is the Spirit of Christ;
and this spirit all the Sons of God are privileged to possess,
and having it, to breathe.

I claim the right of exercising this privilege,
as well as my contemporaries;
and I require of them that they should do to me as once they loudly required others to do to them…

(written by John Thomas, the founder of the Christadelphians,
when he was against creeds in The Apostolic Advocate magazine, August 1836)

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Filed under Reflection Texts

Dedicated daily reading of God’s word to create a vibrant faith within us

May our dedicated daily reading of God’s word create a vibrant faith within us,
a longing for when we “shall … know” God
– when our faith is turned to sight –
and, by his grace, that will be soon.

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3 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Reflection Texts, Religious affairs