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Mustard Seed September/October 2013
Letter From the Editor
Jilted Lovers (Allies)
The Patience and Anger of God
Just A Doorkeeper?
Questions & Answers
Questions & Answers Part 2
A very young child who picks up a book for the very first time would not be able to understand one word or letter. Nor could they successfully write a letter or word. One would have to begin at the beginning and learn all the elementary steps. He or she would then have to practice regularly to perfect these skills.
The same goes for a person learning a skill whether it be a carpenter, mason, computer operator, typist or chef. The average person receives 12 years of basic education. Some choose to study for another two to four years in a specialty field while others spend another two to six years earning a doctorate in fields that require even more specialized training.
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, spent three and a half years with His disciples before His death and then sent the Holy Spirit as a helper. During this time He taught His disciples every day. He could have spent sixteen hours a day with them. This would have been twenty thousand, four hundred and forty hours (20,440) of hands-on instructions.
Paul spent three years receiving instructions directly from Jesus Christ after his conversion on the road to Damascus (Gal. 1: 11-20). Moses spent forty years with his father-in-law, Jethro, before God sent him back to Egypt to free the Israelites from slavery.
As heirs of God's promise we are given the task of going on and growing in our faith. (Heb. 5:11-14). Through our relationship with Christ we can live blameless lives, be set aside for his special use, and develop maturity. The process of maturing in our faith takes time. Daily commitment and service produce maturity. When we mature in our faith, we are not easily swayed or shaken by temptations or worldly concerns.
We develop skills that lead to maturity when we study God's word, pray, meditate, fellowship, teach and help others, are chastised, rebuked and corrected, keep God's Sabbaths and Holy Days, flee from sin, and apply God's word to our lives.
If we were to spend one hour each day in study, prayer and meditation; two hours at services each Sabbath, four hours at each of God's holy days, and eight hours a day during all eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles, we would have invested five hundred and fifty three (553) days toward our spiritual maturity. It would take us thirty seven (37) years to equal the same amount of time that Jesus Christ spent with His disciples during His three and one half years of Ministry.
Maturity does not happen overnight. Just like a seed that is planted, you cannot expect to harvest fruit or vegetables from one day to the next. Each plant goes through a cycle of growth before it is ripe and ready for harvest. Some varieties of corn take 85 days to mature, others 100 and some 105 days. An apple tree takes 15 years to mature to produce an abundant crop of apples. This is provided that it receives water and nourishment in the right quantities. A tree that does not receive water regularly will not grow. It will remain stunted for years until it receives what it needs. If a tree goes too long without water it will die. Compare two trees of the same age, let's say 15 years old. One tree receives all the water and nourishment it needs each and every day until it reaches maturity, the other receives only one forth of what it needs. At the end of 15 years the tree that received all it needed will produce a bountiful harvest of 25 to 35 bushels of apples. The other tree, if it even survived, might produce 2 to 5 bushels of apples.
We, that are begotten Christians, need to crave the word of God just as new born babies crave mother's milk, so that by it we may grow in our salvation, now that we have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:2). Daily, we are to grow in grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen (2 Peter 3:18).