Daily Devotional

“And the Lord said, ‘If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’ and it would obey you.’”
Luke 17:6

What does it mean to have faith like a mustard seed?  In this verse, Jesus uses an analogy, and I find it interesting that he compares faith to a mustard seed.  I think there are a couple lessons we can learn from this wonderful illustration.

First, mustard seeds are very small, typically one to two millimeters in size.  I think this is the main lesson Jesus wanted to convey.  Even though our faith is small it can produce spectacular results!

The point of this verse is not that we need a tremendous amount of faith to move mountains or mulberry trees.  It’s that we have a tremendous God who is capable of doing anything, and all we need is a tiny bit of trust for him to operate.

That’s because our faith is only as strong as its object.  Faith is not powerful in and of itself.  It’s not like the “force” in Star Wars.  Instead, faith is reaching out in hope to grab a hold of the power of God and watch in awe and wonder as he works.

An interesting thing about seeds is they don’t cause themselves to grow.  They are dependent on external causes.  They need a farmer to plant them, soil to nourish them, water to hydrate them, and sunlight to energize them.  Likewise, faith depends entirely on God for results.  And since God is unlimited in power, the issue is not how big our faith is, but how big our God is!  Don’t forget that God is the one who gives us faith in the first place (Heb 12:2).

Having said that, a second lesson about seeds is that they do in fact grow.  A mustard seed is only a millimeter long, but it can grow up to 30 feet!  That tells us our faith is not meant to be static.  It should be growing and bursting through its shell and transforming into something big and beautiful that glorifies God.  Of course, this is by definition a painful process.  It takes time for seeds to germinate in the ground.  They can spend weeks or months buried in the earth, surviving in hostile conditions.  But when they grow, they produce a brilliant display of God’s grace, provision and sufficiency.

What are you facing today that requires a mustard seed of faith?  Remember the power to transform your circumstances does not lie in the greatness of your faith, but in the greatness of your God.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
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