Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 17:14-21

Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 17:14-21

Today we celebrate our independence as a nation. However, this independence comes to us with price. Our ancestors paid the price first, and we still have to pay our share. Our fathers and mothers sacrificed their lives to have an independent country, shouting, “Give me Freedom or give me death!” That was, however, not the end of the struggle. It was the beginning. We had to overcome the conflicts after the Civil War and dreamt a new world after the World War II. We endured the pain of the Vietnam War and knocked down the challenge of the Communism.  We still have to fight our fight against terrorism from outside and spiritual crisis from inside.

What do we need to win this battle? What do we need to claim our freedom again from the attack from outside and temptation from inside? We need to recover our faith. When the disciples could not heal the boy who had seizures and suffered greatly Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth. If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you!” Nothing is impossible for us! We can win again our fight against all our challenges that we face today with our “mustard seed” faith. I want to share with you three things about the mustard seed.

First, mustard seed has a mustard tree in it. Even though the seed is small it has great design in it. Mustard seed is our reality. It is small. However, we have this big picture in our heart. In this picture we have the Kingdom of God where everybody is respected and loved. Nobody is left behind and nobody is lonely. When we have such mustard seed, we do not pray for our own success or for our own gain. James 4:2-3 teaches us this: “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Secondly, mustard seed has to be planted under the ground and die. That is why Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25). We have to do what matters to God. That is why we are going out to the Todos Santos Park on July 4th this year. Without action on our part, God’s design will not be our reality. Our ancestors paid the price for their generation. And we are willing to pay ours also.

Thirdly, after it falls on the ground and dies, it just waits for God’s time with great expectation. No anxiety and no hurry! Trust God with faith! Enjoy the breeze and the warmth of the sun. We will see sprout and green leaves soon. We will praise God who brings us shades and fruits. Till then, my friends, let us stay together with the mustard faith!

  1. What does the mustard tree look like in your heart?
  2. What are you willing to do to make it a reality for your children and grand children?
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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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