Teachings...

 

How Faith Grows Best
Robert and Kathie Fetveit
September 2006

Over the past 35 years since becoming a Christian, I (Robert) have studied about faith. There are a few stories that intrigued me. One was about “the Wart Book”. It seems that a young man who was working in a pharmacy in England started the “Wart Book”. One day a lovely young lady came into the pharmacy and asked the young man for something to treat her warts. The young man was interested in getting the young lady’s phone number so he invented the wart book on the spot. He said to her that what the pharmacy recommended for warts was to list the persons name, address and phone number in the “Wart Book.” He claimed that all that was necessary to treat warts was to have your name in this special book. A few days later, much to the surprise of the pharmacist, she came back into the store telling the young man excitedly that her warts were gone. People began to line up at the store to get their names into the “Wart Book.” Many of these people were cured of their warts by this remarkable book.
How can this phenomenon be explained? Actually it is quite interesting to learn that many in the medical field know that all of “life” (even the virus responsible for warts) responds to faith. That is why many people who are in a blind medical test and receive the placebo respond in a positive way to a sugar capsule. Faith is a very interesting reality. Even those who say they do not “believe in anything” are putting faith in the fact that they don’t believe. But, in Mark 11:22 Jesus tells us to “Have faith in God.”
In the “War on Terrorism” America is at war with a group of religious radicals, who are demonstrating their beliefs through violent actions. These Muslims are “people of faith.” They sincerely believe what they believe to the point that they are willing to die for those beliefs while destroying as many others as possible in the process. It is becoming more and more clear that the god of Islam is not the God of the Bible. Those who believe in God based on the true Biblical description of Him allow their faith to be mixed with truth, love, and mercy.
The basic fallacy of radical Islam can be partially exposed by a statement of truth penned several years ago by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“The means represent the ideal in the making; in the long run of history destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends. Immoral means cannot bring about moral end and so nonviolence contends that means and ends must cohere. Nonviolence is the relentless pursuit of truthful ends through moral means.” King, Martin Luther, Jr. Stride Toward Freedom. New York: Harper, 1958.
In other words immoral and destructive means can never result in moral and constructive ends. Help us Lord to be people of Faith based on Truth!
Last month in the article called “Finding Faith” I alluded to the concept that “Faith Grows Best in a Heart that is Healed.” In Matthew 13:1-9, Jesus told the parable of the sower. The disciples didn’t understand the meaning, so he explained it to them. We have used this parable to help people understand the tendencies and conditions of the heart and its response to the Word of God.
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. [2] Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. [3] Then he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. [4] As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. [5] Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. [6] But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. [7] Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. [8] Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-- a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. [9] He who has ears; let him hear.’”
When our hearts are not healed it is very difficult for the Word of God to take root. Unforgiveness, resentment, anger, and holding on to hurts cause our hearts to become hard or stony. The “birds of the air” are the evil one who has access into our lives when there is sin hidden in the heart. For those who have had a shallow conversion experience the “cares of the world” hold a great influence over them. God wants to heal the wounded heart and to evangelize the unbelieving areas of our heart so that the Word of God can take root and become the most influential source in our lives. Only then can the word of God (the seed) take root, grow and produce good and lasting fruit.
I (Kathie) was raised in the church. There was good, Biblical instruction provided by my parents and at church. But in my life there was also pain, misunderstanding, and traumas. My air force family moved often, and that combined with