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The Order of the Mustard Seed founded by Count Zinzendorf had three guiding principles, namely:
1. Be kind to all people. 2. Seek their welfare. 3. Win them to Christ.
I sat down with our senior high kids awhile ago to discuss our plans for youth activities for this year. I expected to get some ideas of fun things to do, lets go bowling and to laserquest and whitewater rafting yadda yadda yadda… You know what they decided? They asked me to find two Friday night events each month – half of all the things we would do – where they could go and do volunteer things for others, like preparing and serving meals at the Mustard Seed Street Church. And that is what they come to Awhile ago I phoned to invite some kids to the Mustard Seed Street church to prepare and serve a meal to street people. Normally, if kids can’t come bowling or to something fun, they’re like “sorry, can’t make it.” But this time, I had a group of kids who couldn’t come and they were like “AWWW Sick I Can’t come That really makes me mad…” I had one senior high student who couldn’t come and was so mad she said “That’s it, I can’t come so I’m sending some money to pay for the meal.” She sent me an envelope, and I thought “this is probably $20 or so, that is great – it’ll really help pay for the meal.” I opened the envelope from this grade ten student – there was $60 in it. That’s a lot of money for me, let alone for a grade 10 student Another student came with us, and asked me how we were going to pay for these meals. I told him about this one student’s contribution, and said we’d do some fundraisers to pay for the rest. That Sunday that other student handed me an envelope, and said it was to help pay for some of the meals we were doing for these street people. I tossed it on my desk, again expecting $20-$40. I opened it the next day to deal with it – there was $250. From a grade 10 student. I talked to them later – I said “that’s an awful lot of money – are you sure?” “Yes, absolutely.” “Where did you get that much money?” Do you know what the response was? He said, “I’ve been saving up for a snowboard, but those people need to eat way more than I need a snowboard.”
Swindoll notes "The Grace Awakening:
But when “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ,” a long-awaited revolution of the heart began to set religious captives free. Fear-full bondage motivated by guilt was replaced with a fresh motivation to follow Him in truth simply out of deep devotion and delight. Rather than focusing on the accomplishments of the flesh, He spoke of the heart. Instead of demanding that the sinner fulfill a long list of requirements, he emphasized faith, if only the size of a mustard seed. The change spelled freedom, as the Lord himself taught, “…you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Rigid, barren religion was, at last, replaced by a grace-orientated, relationship-liberating grace. His followers loved it. His enemies hated it… and Him. Without a doubt, the earliest grace killers were the Pharisees (10).
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
Some time ago "Reader’s Digest" told the story about a company who mailed out some special advertising business post cards with a mustard seed glued to it with the following caption that went something like this: "If you have faith as small as this mustard seed in our (particular product), you are guaranteed to get excellent results and be totally satisfied." -- Signed, The Management
A few months later one recipient of this promotional piece wrote back to the company and said, "You will be very interested to know that I planted the mustard you ...
In Sir Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia, he tells a parable from the Buddha about a mother who had lost her child. Carrying its dead body in her bosom, she come to the buddha and said:"Lord and Master, do you know any medicine that while be good for my child?" "Yes," he said, "bring me a mustard seed from one house where no some or husband or parent or slave has died." From house to house she went, but never a single one could she find where death had not entered at some time or another. She returned disconsolate to the Buddha, and this was his answer:"He whom thou lowest slept, Dead on thy bosom yesterday; today Thou know’st the whole wide world weeps with your woe; The grief which all hearts share grows less for one.
"Energy, like the Biblical grain of the mustard-seed, will remove mountains."
There is an old Chinese tale about the woman whose son died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, "What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?" Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, "Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life."
The woman set off at once in search of that magical mustard seed. She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, "I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me." They told her, "You’ve certainly come to the wrong place," and began to describe all the tragic things that had recently befallen them.
The woman said to herself, "Who is better able to help these poor unfortunate people than I, who have had misfortune of my own?"
She stayed to comfort them, then went on in her search for a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hovels and in palaces, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune. Ultimately, she became so involved in ministering to other people’s grief that she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realising that it had in fact driven the sorrow out of her life.
Billy Graham noted, “Faith is the avenue of salvation. Not intellectual understanding. Not money. Not your works. Just simple faith. How much faith? The faith of a mustard seed, so small you can hardly see it. But if you will put that little faith in the person of Jesus, your life...
Someone once said, "Doubters invert the metaphor and insist that they need faith as big as a mountain in order to move a mustard seed."
(Credited to Webb B. Garrison)
Sermon Central Staff
JUST FOLLOW DIRECTIONS
Robert Kupferschmid was an 81-year old man who had no flying experience. However, due to a tragic emergency, he was forced to fly an airplane. On June 17, 1998, he and his 52-year-old pilot friend, Wesley Sickle, were flying from Indianapolis to Muncie, Indiana. During the flight, the pilot slumped over and died at the controls. The Cessna 172 single-engine plane began to nose-dive and Kupferschmid grabbed the controls. He got on the radio and pleaded for help.
Nearby were two pilots who heard the call. Mount Comfort was the closest airport, and the two pilots gave Kupferschmid a steady stream of instructions of climbing, steering, and the scariest part: landing. The two experienced pilots circled the runway three times before this somewhat frantic and totally inexperienced pilot was ready to attempt the landing.
Emergency vehicles were called out and ready for what seemed like an approaching disaster. Witnesses said the plane's nose nudged the center line and bounced a few times before the tail hit the ground. The Cessna ended up in a patch of soggy grass next to the runway. Amazingly, Kupferschmid was not injured. He listened and followed those instructions as if his life depended on it--and it did.
When biblical faith is rightly understood and applied, it doesn't matter how many doubts we have. It doesn't even matter if we're convinced that all is lost. What does matter is whether we have enough faith (even the size of a mustard seed) to follow God's instructions. Those who do, get where they're supposed to go. Those who don't end up lost somewhere far from home.
(From a sermon by Michael Luke, Faith Can Fix Anything, 10/1/2010)