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Midweek Devotionals

Published weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Midweek Devotional 11/17/2015

Robert Chen

Dear Church:

MATTHEW 17:14-21

14When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of 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.”

"Currency" is "something that is used as a medium of exchange." In our market economy we call this currency "money." With money you can buy things of course. With money you can go places (e.g., a plane fare to Hawaii). With money you can "buy" influence and favor (e.g., donating millions of dollars to Harvard can help your son or daughter get into the selfsame school).


What might be the analogue to money in God's Kingdom? What might be a medium of exchange that opens doors and triggers things to happen?


From the passage above and other passages in the NT, we can answer, "faith." God's Kingdom Culture's currency to make things happen is faith. It is faith in God. Faith in the name of Jesus (in his power and authority) gives glory to God and moves the heart of God to act on our behalf. We can distort this concept in such a way that faith becomes exclusively instrumental, as though faith is exercised only to get our selfish needs and desires met. While this distortion can be a temptation and danger, the antidote to this misuse is not lack of faith. In fact, Jesus rebukes his disciples' lack of faith severely -- "you faithless and perverse generation." "Ye of little faith" is never a compliment in the Bible. 


Faith in Scripture is also not seen as a form of weakness. Faith is not presented an act of last resort, as if you first try something in your own power and when that doesn't work you turn to God in faith. Faith in God, rather, is the act of first -- but also, middle and last -- resort. 


What might be the reason why faith occupies such an important role in God's Kingdom? The answer has to do with our relationship to God. God creates us for relationship with Him. On one side is God who is Creator, Redeemer Provider, Protector, Deliverer, Healer, Builder, Sustainer, the Very Source of Life. On the other side is God's children who live in dependence on God who is Creator, Redeemer, Provider, etc.


Our faith acknowledges our true dependence on and confidence in God. Faith says "I believe God can accomplish X because God is powerful, good, and loving." Such faith glorifies God. And whatever glorifies God is honored in God's Kingdom Culture. If we understand and appreciate the role of faith in our lives, we will cultivate a robust and vital faith that will move mountains.


Let's pray: Lord Jesus, we believe but help us with our unbelief. We have faith but help us with our lack of faith at times. Help us cultivate a mountain-moving faith that transforms problems into solutions and obstacles into opportunities. May our every day faith in you become the currency of our every day lives. More valuable than money, more powerful than status, more dependable than our own strength. Lord Jesus, increase our faith! For your glory, amen.