18 BSF Matthew Week 18, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Small faith vs. Little faith:  Jesus praises small faith but chastises His disciples for having little faith.  The image it brought to my mind was of a plant, reminiscent of the parable of the sower and the seeds.

A small plant is one just beginning to grow.  It is at a tender stage, but full of potential and power.  It reaches hungrily to the sun.  It digs roots in deep to feed on nourishment.

In contrast, a little plant is one that is failing to thrive.  Instead of continuing to dig in and grow tall and majestic, it has gotten twisted around itself.  It lives only partially in the sunlight.  It relies on existing roots and does not continue to dig deeper.

Imagine the frustration of the farmer who has planted strong seed and nourished it through the initial stages of growth, only to see it failing.  He knows the potential.  He sees the strength it can have, but, only if it chooses.

Jesus does help us with our unbelief.  He has given us His Word, the bible.  He has given us His church.  He has given us the promise of salvation and the ability to converse with Him daily in prayer.

But how often do we fail to thrive, to feed on His nourishment, to accept His strength?  We need to be bold.  We need to dig in to His foundation.  We need to bask in the light of our creator.  When we do – what we could do for Him in His name!!!

My Answers:

9.
a. a man, a father
b. Lord have mercy on my son, seizures and suffering – heal him
c. the disciples
d.  You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you/put up with you: bring
e. I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief
f. doubt – little faith

10.
a.
All, physical, spiritual, power over all that has been created, power over death.  A full measure.  According to Gods will

b.
Small faith is freshly planted and growing, little faith is failing to mature and thrive.  It is not being nourished in prayer and study and trust

c.
To trust more fully in God for everything – To fully know and live life in the fact that His will will be done.

11.
To be bold.  To trust in the power He has given to His believers to take action that brings honor to Him.

BSF Acts: Week 13, Day 2: Hebrews 11:1–16

Hebrews 11:1–16

Summary:

What does it mean to have faith?  It is more than recognizing who Jesus is, even the demons did that.  It is to abide in a relationship for all eternity with God and the heavenly host.

Questions:

3. a. Our belief in the accomplished work of Christ is both the foundation or underlying reality of our eternal relationship with Christ and also the demonstration or proof of His eternal relationship with us.

Said another way – faith is neither cause or effect, it is a mutual relationship and covenant – like friendship, love, peace and joy, shared and enjoyed together in a the family of believers with God.

b. Many people think of faith as action you take when there is uncertainty – blind faith, leap of faith.  Others think of faith as a system or structure: Christian faith, Jewish faith, Islamic faith. Finally, some think of it as confidence or trust in another: I have faith in you.

4. Abel was commended as a righteous man.

Enoch was commended as one who pleased God.

Noah by his faith condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Abraham made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country.

Sarah gave birth because Abraham considered God faithful

5. Each home land has culture, norms, traditions, laws and practices.  Do I live as a citizen of the Unites States and adapt to its culture and norms?  Do I live as a citizen of earth and abide in those practices?  Or do I compare my eternal life (starting now) with other heavenly citizens (such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham) and abide in heavenly principles?

Conclusion:

I probably spent way too much time on Hebrews 11:1, but I found it fascinating.  When you look at the greek words that make up the verse there is even more of a richness than is evident in english. 

For example, the first part (being sure of), the word used in greek is hypostasis, a word still used today, to mean the substantial quality or nature of something that makes it what it is, the substructure, foundation, substance or real being.  The word is a feminine noun – the DNA of being a christian – the core building block.

Then in the second part (certain of what), the word used in greek is elegchos, a masculine noun meaning proof, that by which a  thing is proved or tested.  It is what demonstrates it to be true. Evidence.

Finally, the thing that we are certain of but do not see is the word pragma, meaning “that which has been done, a deed, an accomplished fact.”

My take away from this was that faith is both the basis of what makes us christian and the proof that we are christian.  But contrary to common usage, it is not a one way street (I have faith in God), but instead it is two way, a relationship, male and female.  God also puts His faith and trust in me to be part of His family.