Luke – Doors Wide Open!
The seed of faith was planted in my life many years ago by parents and grandparents. When I left my pew and walked down the aisle of the church in Oklahoma City at age 11 to accept Jesus as my Savior, the seed began to take root. For succeeding years I leaned on the faith of those who loved me dearly in their faith in Christ and taught me how to love and serve like Jesus. When my grandpa, the wise and loving patriarch of the family suddenly, (at least to me), passed from this life to the next I felt my faith falter. Who I had been leaning on was no longer there. I didn’t fall to the ground because then I leaned on my two grandmothers who had enough faith for all of us. A few years later, in my young adults years, they passed away. It was then my faith was tested.
Questions rose up like tidal waves of doubt came crashing over my soul. Who do I trust more than my grandparents? Why do I go to church? Why do I do anything for God? Has it been to please my parents and grandparents because they smiled every time I did something for God or stood in testimony at church for Jesus? Was my faith only as strong as their faith that I was leaning on? Was my love for God tied so deeply to my love for my grandparents that I can’t feel or see His unconditional love for me?
We all experience crossroads that force us to decide the depth, sincerity and authenticity of our faith in God, the Father. We must stop leaning on the faith of our family and lean wholly and completely on our faith, trust and hope in God who created us. We must examine our lives from the inside out. We must ask God for help and He will give it. He will help us see more clearly with new hearts, renewed minds, and with open souls to be filled with all of God, His Son and His Holy Spirit. When we do, our seeds of faith, planted years ago, no longer lean on others’ faith. Our seedling of faith, built on Jesus Christ alone, will gain strength. Our roots go deeper still. Our faith grows into a tree that weathers all storms.
New seedlings (our children and grandchildren) might lean on our faith and “nest in our branches” for awhile, but we must wean them from our faith in God to grow and mature in their own, stand alone faith in the One who saves us and matures us.
Luke 13, New Living Translation
Parable of the Mustard Seed
18 Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? 19 It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.”
Parable of the Yeast
20 He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? 21 It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
Is our faith making a difference in the lives we encounter each day? What we say and do, how we respond to the world, the process of our thinking and behaving is like the yeast in bread dough. It rises or it doesn’t. I love Jesus’ illustrations, don’t you?
The bread dough will either rise or fall, depending on the power of the yeast. I make bread. I know how it works.
The yeast has to be fresh and active or it loses it’s power. It also has to go into the warm water and stay until it bubbles before serving the dough as a catalyst to rise and grow.
I ask myself, how powerful is the yeast in His Kingdom work am I contributing to the world who needs to know the Bread of Life? How fresh and active is my faith? Am I making a difference by permeating the world with my faith while showing and telling them Who will save them?
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Hallowed is Your Name. Thank you for speaking to our hearts about what is most important in our growing and mature in our faith. Help us to lean solely on You, trusting You while putting all our hope in You. Help us to grow strong enough to point others to You and wise enough to avoid others leaning on us. When we are put through the fires, help us rise to new heights in our faith. You alone are God and we are not. YOU are the Bread of Life that feeds us for eternity.
In Jesus Name, Amen
I need to go make some bread!