|Volume 21 Number 6 June 2019||
Jesus notified His disciples of their need to have “faith as a grain of mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20 ASV) in order to do wonderful deeds for him. We are aware of how small a grain of mustard is, yet, within it dwells the properties of a plant that is bountiful and productive. Faith is important even in small amounts. Still, there is a modifing set of words by the inspired Paul. Paul noted that if he had faith so that he “could remove mountains” (1 Corinthians 13:2) but did not have faith mixed with love, he would not be profited any!
This modification did not conflict with Jesus’ expectations about love being so needed by His servants, but the modification dwelt with the mission of the Lord in Paul’s hands. Faith has to be mixed with love as we teach, serve, do benevolence toward others, have compassion in heart for the needy or send missionaries out to the world. Why? Those who traveled across the wilderness did not enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:1-10) due to not believing as they should have believed. They would have argued the existence of God with anyone, but serve God’s will from day to day, no. Are we unceasing in our day to day love for God and teaching others about this love and obedient faith? Or, will we fail to enter the rest of God due to the fact that we have a faith in his existence, but do not serve him from day to day?
Others will see our lack of love. Teaching and acts of service will be served to empty hearts due to our lack of love seen as we speak, serve or preach. Paul revealed the necessity of love in what we do as well as faith as a grain of mustard seed. Love will keep us serving and impress others with the message we deliver more than mountain moving methods we use.
Ernest S. Underwood
We called them katydids because that is what they seemed to say, those insects that sang their noisy song on those hot and sweltering west Tennessee nights. We were a farm family. World War II was raging; of course, there was no television. Even the radio was silent, saving the battery mostly for scheduled news programs.
So, we sat on the little front porch of our small, four-room house and talked about the events of the day—how much we had gotten done in the fields, about the young man who had farmed the field next door until he was drafted into the Army. He was later killed at Normandy.
After a while, we would begin talking either about what we had learned in last Sunday’s lessons or what our Sunday School lesson was about for the coming Lord’s Day. After a period of Bible discussion, we would break out in singing some songs that we sung a lot at the little church where we attended. Sometimes a neighboring family would walk over and join us.
These, even today, are still some precious memories of my childhood. It was in such times on the front porch that we children learned of the need to take and fulfill responsibilities—to be honest, to always strive for moral purity and other great principles from the Bible. Thirty, forty or fifty years from now, what kind of memories will your children have of their childhood?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NKJV)
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)