All right, I’ll confess. Don’t get too excited, I’m not confessing too much, just that I fully recognize that very often I’m rather odd. I would prefer to be known as charmingly eccentric, but it’s really hard to tell the difference between charmingly eccentric, weird and just plain freaky – so I’ll understand if you get these confused. So why confess now? Basically because the first part of what I’ll share with you here today is going to sound…well…charmingly eccentric. J
What’s nagging at me today is Matthew 17:20. Jesus is talking with the 12 Disciples. It’s another discussion about faith. He says, “…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.”
I’m sure most of us are familiar with this verse. I’m also certain there are few of us who take this verse seriously. I’ve never seen someone command a mountain to move and it actually happen. Wait a minute…I think I saw Superman do that in a movie a couple of weeks ago, but that’s just a movie, right!? Surely I’m not suggesting that Jesus is saying that if we only had faith the size of a mustard seed that we could literally move mountains! Or maybe I am!?
Warning…this is the eccentric part…
I read this verse several weeks ago right before going to bed. Actually I read and reread the entire chapter so I could get it in context and I couldn’t find anything to indicate that Jesus was speaking figuratively or in a parable. I didn’t see any line that said, “Hey guys…this is just an illustration…” So I went to bed thinking about this verse and how incredible it is that God must have saved me in spite of the size of my faith.
What happened next is far from spiritual. Jaiden got sick. The kind of sick that means she ends up in our bedroom and gets us up every 45 minutes or so. We had just helped her through a bout of sickness at 2:37 that morning, lights had been turned out, everyone had gone back to bed. And there I lay, wide awake, really hot, wishing the fan were turned on, just wanting to get some sleep. And this verse pops in to my head again along with another thought, the kind of thought that has its source in exhaustion and dreamy wishful thinking. “Surely if faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain then the little faith I have that’s strong enough to save me should be strong enough to simply ‘wish’ a ceiling fan to come on without me having to get out of bed again!” Lazy? Maybe…Ridiculous? Probably.
I don’t know what’s more odd. That I would expect that by faith alone I could turn on a ceiling fan or that I thought faith worked like that and that I chose to use it to try to turn on a ceiling fan rather than asking God to heal my sick daughter. Like I said…odd, and a little pathetic…hey, it was 2:37 in the morning and I hadn’t gotten much sleep!
Anyway…Jaiden got better the next day, but the nagging question of how faith works was stuck in the back of my mind.
James chapter 5 says that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed that it would not rain and it did not rain for 3 and half years. How many times did Jesus say to the Disciples, ‘Oh ye of little faith.’? Yet in the book of Acts we see people healed, people raised from the dead and demons cast out at the command of the Disciples. All through Scripture we see ordinary people doing extraordinary things simply because they believed God.
I believe God…why can’t I do these extraordinary things? What’s the problem with my faith?
Out of the lunacy of late night wishful thinking I think I’ve found some legitimate answers. James chapter 4 offers some good thoughts here.
James 4:2, “…you do not have because you do not ask…”
How often have I wanted something or needed something and spent my time trying to figure out how I can get it on my own without even thinking to ask my Heavenly Father? Bills, health, relationships…If the Bible is clear on anything it’s this, that God wants to have an intimate relationship with you and out of that intimacy provide for you everything you need that pertains to life and godliness. (II Peter 1:3)
James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
How many prayers have I wasted on ceiling fans? I was talking about this with Londa and after looking at me like I was freak she asked what mountain I was trying to move. Good question. What mountain am I trying to move?
As I look at Scripture, the characters therein and the amazing things they accomplished I’m struck by one poignant, singular truth. These were not unusual men and women. They were people just like you and me. They were ordinary people doing ordinary things obeying an extraordinary God. Out of this relationship mountains were moved. People were healed. Lives were changed.
This week as you live your ordinary life and do your ordinary things recognize your extraordinary God – turn your thoughts and attention toward Him and see if you don’t some day look back to discover that because of your faith through you God moved mountains.
Notes to Notice
We all know someone who has been involved in
6:00 Instrumental Ensemble in the Worship Center
6:30 Celebration Choir in RM800
7:30 All Together in
Praise Team Auditions
The New Praise Teams will begin this SEPTEMBER. Every one who auditioned for Praise Teams did a great job! Thanks for trying out! Be watching here in the weeks to come for details what Praise Teams this fall will look like!
Opening Day – Character Auditions
It’s coming faster than we think; the beginning of a new school year, a new semester and a new season for everyone involved in
Every week in churches everywhere volunteers come together to plan, prepare, and present the gospel in a way that is clear, creative, concise and compelling. These are the volunteers who make our services work. theFarPoint Weekend is a time of encouragement and equipping specifically designed with YOU in mind!
September 15th & 16th churches from all over the metro will come to FBCO to discover how we do what we do! The Christian Arts Ministry of FBCO will lead them in a time of encouragement and equipping. Plan to now to impact leaders from across Green Country by leading out this year at FarPoint Weekend!
For more details visit, www.thefarpoint.org – Registration online is for people OUTSIDE FBCO – we’ll begin FBOC registration in August. Your only cost will be $10…for the concert, Friday night & lunch on Saturday.
Sunday AM Schedule Change
Last week I proposed a schedule change to our Sunday AM worship preparations. I proposed that we begin 15 minutes earlier in order to finish rehearsal by 8:30 – we would then meet in Fellowship Hall for a bite of breakfast and a time of consecration. The response to this suggestion was OVERWHELMING! Beginning AUGUST 20th all of
Sunday AM – 07-23-06
Pre-service – COUNTDOWN
PRE-SERVICE CONGREGATIONAL MUSIC
You Are Redemption – (choir special)
You Are Redemption – (I’ll ask the cong to sing with us)
Open the Eyes of My Heart – D, CHART
Holy, Holy, Holy – D, BH – 2
WELCOME & WELCOME SONG
There is Power in the Blood – Bb, BH – 132
Majesty – Bb, BH – 215
My Tribute – Bb, SPW – 118 (chorus only)
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
More Precious than Silver – F, CHART (not SPW)
I Surrender All – D, BH – 275
OFFERING | CHILDREN’S MINISTRY PROMO / DRAMA, (1 MIC)
Presentation of New Members
There is Power in the Blood – Bb, BH – 132