20 “Because of your little faith,” he[a] told them. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of [b] a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20 CSB)
God does not look for us to have the faith of giants. That would be great, but he knew that we would struggle to even have a grain of faith as small as a mustard seed. Which is a most tiny seed.
Yet, Jesus told the disciples, if you will but have that much faith you can move mountains.
The world is set up to erode even our little faith with fear and anxiety. But we are told over and over that if we will but keep our eyes upon Christ, he will work things out.
A small amount of faith and nothing will be impossible for us.
51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people. (Luke 2:51-52 CSB)
Growing in favor with God and others, this should be something we all strive for. When we focus our lives upon God we will naturally want to serve others. To be there with them in their times of need. In this way we are exercising both our faith in God and our compassion for others. God recognizes this and blesses us in ways we can both see and that are unseen.
It is when we try to impress others to gain their favor where we tend to fall short in both the human and godly capacity.
19 having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have shipwrecked their faith. (1 Timothy 1:19 CSB)
We have watched over and over agin as successful people end up in the news for misconduct of some sort. They, at some point, rejected doing things the right way with good conscience for what they wanted to do.
This, more often than not, creates a shipwreck. Their lives, their families and friends all have to bear witness to the dismantling on the rocks of bad decisions.
In our lives if we reject scripture and sound practice our lives too become shipwrecked and we can find ouselves adrift.
Having faith and good conscience can help us stay out of the dangerous shoals of life.
10 …“Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?”… (Job 2:10 CSB)
Life, for most of us, is not a continual line of good things. We experience good times and we experience bad times.
Sometimes the good times go on longer than we realize because we become complacent.
Sometimes the bad times, though typically short, go on far longer than we care for.
Why do we become complacent in the good times but hyper focused the bad? Well, human nature makes us think more on what might be wrong or bad in our lives and simply accept the good times as how things should be. But we are never promised this. Life will be full of both and we need to be accepting of both. Working to focus upon God’s plan in either time.
5 Slaves (workers), obey your human[a] masters (leaders) with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as you would Christ. 6 Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves (servants) of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. 7 Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to people, 8 knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord. (Ephesians 6:5-8 CSB)
We like to assert our independence. Even when we are in a servants place (and as workers we are all servants of a sort), we still want to feel valued. However, that is not always the case. We often feel devalued and can run afoul of the plans of leadership.
Even in these cases we are told to obey. Here is another word people don’t like. Today’s passage is often bypassed due to it’s too direct language. However, we are called to be set apart and an example even under harsh conditions.
Not easy, but what we are called to. Yet too, as leaders we are called to be even more Christ like. Showing a humble and supportive nature, even when we are called upon to make unpopular decisions that impact others.
All of this, for the worker or the leader, can be done with the right heart and with love. Our workplaces need more of this scripture…
7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? (Job 11:7 NIV)
Life is anything but boring. That is, if we will but probe the limits and mysteries that it brings. Yes, we can go through life just getting by. But there is so much more out there.
This does not mean that we have to be thrill seekers or adriniline junkies. It simply means that if we are open to God’s leading, this life will be anything but boring.
That thought seems contrary to many; doesn’t God just want us to be quiet, humble and pious? Not at all! Yes, there are times for quiet and to be humble. But God wants us to share His adventure. Not sit around with our heads down constantly.
It’s a big world.
22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. (Romans 1:22-23 NIV)
There are many things in this world we tend to put before God. Things that take up our time, our talents and our treasure. When we look at where we are spending these things we get a sense of the images we put before ourselves. The things we tend to hold up before God.
We exchange God’s glory and the immortal for the mortal.