Categories: Pastor's Blog
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” Mark 11:22-23 (New Living Translation)
We frequently speak of a radical faith in Jesus. Most of the time when we use that phrase what we mean is an extreme faith where someone is totally committed to Jesus to the exclusion of anything or anyone else. We may think of someone who sacrifices everything they are or possess. A person who permanently alters their life in order to follow Jesus. Their sacrifice is so significant that there is no returning to their old way of life.
When we observe this radical faith we are amazed by this sacrifice and we may think (in the back of our minds) that these people must have an unusual and exceptional faith. Yet, the truth is their exceptional faith is what Jesus expects of us all.
If we are not careful we may fall into the trap of believing there are two levels to discipleship – there’s the basic plan and then there’s a gold package, for the more religious people. We think there are only a few among us — missionaries, pastors, and a few saintly people – who are called to the gold level the rest of us must settle into the basic plan for discipleship.
However Jesus expected that his disciples would be able to develop a noteworthy faith. He said, “Have faith in God.” He didn’t say, ‘Only a few of you should have faith in God.’ His command to have faith includes you and me. And, because God has told us to grow in faith, we can be certain that God is working to help us become more faithful.
Jesus says our faith is based upon our trust in him. We will see the power of God working through us when we believe it will really happen and when we have no doubt in our hearts. I believe that our faith increases through our obedience to Jesus.
Jesus calls every one of us to develop a radical and extraordinary faith. God doesn’t want us to settle into a ‘discipleship’ where we think that Jesus may mean what he says, but we’re not sure; or another type of ‘discipleship’ where we kind of agree with Jesus and kind of live according to his commands. God created us for so much more than this.
In order to become the men and women that Jesus desires for us to be, we must learn to trust that Jesus really means what he says and that Jesus will do what he says he will do. We need to understand that being a follower of Jesus is not about trying harder, but in learning to trust Him more.
That faith and trust will allow us to see the kingdom of heaven like the man who finds hidden treasure in a field. In Matthew 13:44-50 we find the story of a man that reestablishes all of his priorities because nothing is as important as buying the field where he discovered a great treasure, or the merchant who finds a rare pearl and realizes everything that he possesses pales in comparison and so he never looks back to the things that once were important. You will be someone who is characterized by an extreme faith.
I am looking forward to seeing you this weekend.