August 16, 2018
Volume 22, Number 29
Danny Vester has hit pay dirt – again. A story on August 15 reported that a cantaloupe he grew has been certified by the North Carolina Agriculture Commission as the biggest ever recorded. His cantaloupe weighed in at 65.9 pounds, which is considerably bigger than what I see at the grocery store! In 2014 Vester grew a pumpkin that was found to be the largest ever grown in North Carolina. It weighed 1,404 pounds.
I once raised gardens, and the best I ever accomplished were some especially large sweet potatoes. I joked at the time that these could be carved out to make dog houses, but that was a bit of embellishment, I’ll confess. Having visited local fairs through the years I’ve found that my produce wasn’t in the same class as the champions.
This desire to say “Mine’s the biggest!” has led to some amazing veggies. One web site says the largest cabbage on record weighed just over 138 pounds; the largest potato was almost 110 pounds, the world-record tomato was nearly 4 pounds, and the pumpkin that currently holds the world record tilted the scales at 2,323 pounds!
God never commanded us to aim for world-record vegetables, but we do have His charge to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Just as it takes diligent effort to raise large fruits and vegetables, so we must give attention to nurturing our faith. But is it really important?
Five times in Matthew’s gospel we find the phrase “little faith” – and it’s never used in a complimentary sense. In Matthew 8:26 Jesus rebuked His disciples for being afraid of the storm: “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” In Matthew 14:31 Peter’s undersized faith led to doubt, and that’s when he began sinking into the water (on which he had been walking just moments before!). “Little faith” prevented the disciples from understanding the point Jesus was trying to teach them (Matthew 16:8).
Before we begin feeling smug about those disciples not having sufficient faith, let’s hear the rebuke Jesus has for many of us: “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:33). The subject of that passage is worry, something with which all who read this occasionally struggle.
Obviously we all need larger faith than we presently have; to grow our faith is a lifelong challenge. The path to that growth is clear: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). A farmer seeking to grow champion cabbages can’t neglect watering and feeding his plants. Neither can we slack off fueling our faith by regular Bible study.
If mustard seed-sized faith is so powerful (Luke 17:6), what could even larger faith do?!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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