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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, April 4, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The disciples had been given the authority to do the healing, but they had not yet learned how to appropriate the power of God. Jesus’ frustration is with the unbelieving and unresponsive generation. His disciples were merely a reflection of that attitude in this instance. Jesus’ purpose was not to criticize the disciples but to encourage them to great faith.
The disciples were unable to cast out this demon, and they asked Jesus why. He said their faith was too small. It is the power of God, plus our faith, that moves mountains. The mustard seed was the smallest particle imaginable. Jesus said that even faith as small or undeveloped as a mustard seed would have been sufficient. Perhaps the disciples had tried to cast out the demon with their own ability rather than God’s. There is a great power in even a little faith when we trust in God’s power to act. If we feel weak or powerless as Christians, we should examine our faith, making sure we are trusting God’s power, not our own ability to produce results. (NLT)
Matthew 17:14-21 – When they arrived at the foot of the mountain, a huge crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
Jesus replied, “You stubborn, faithless people! How long must I be with you until you believe? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
“You didn’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it wo9uld move. Nothing would be impossible.”
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. – Matthew 17:20 (NRSV)
James N. Watkins (Indiana) titled his story “HOW TO MOVE A MOUNTAIN;” here is a portion of James’ story:
“A church I know in West Virginia needed the mountain behind their building moved so that they could build a parking lot. The pastor declared a ‘Move-the-Mountain Sunday,’ a concerted effort of prayer during the morning service. But alas, on Monday morning the mountain was still there. However, so was an official from the state highway department wanting to remove part of the mountain behind the church. ‘We need several thousand tons of fill dirt for a road project,’ he informed the church staff. . . .
“Each of us will face a mountain at some time or another. In these times, rather than moving a mountain for us, God may provide a shovel – or the state highway department!”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – What tools has God provided me today to help move a mountain?
Prayer: Dear God of miracles, show us what part we can play for you to “move mountains” in our lives. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE WHO IS DISCOURAGED
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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