The Text

Mark 9:14-29 (CSB)
14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes disputing with them.

15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were amazed and ran to greet him.

16 He asked them, “What are you arguing with them about?”

17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak.

18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.”

19 He replied to them, “You unbelieving generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me.”

20 So they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, it immediately threw the boy into convulsions. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21 “How long has this been happening to him?” Jesus asked his father. “From childhood,” he said.

22 “And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can? Everything is possible for the one who believes.”

24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you: Come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 Then it came out, shrieking and throwing him into terrible convulsions. The boy became like a corpse, so that many said, “He’s dead.”

27 But Jesus, taking him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.

28 After he had gone into the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

29 And he told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer.”

The Devotion

Our faith is not born of us. There is not a little goodness in everybody born of Adam and if we do the right things and are convinced in the right way, that we can tend to that little goodness in our hearts like a fire and build it up.

Romans 3:9-18 (CSB) What then? Are we any better off? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin, 10 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. 11 There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one. 13 Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips. 14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, 17 and the path of peace they have not known. 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

As much as we want to take the credit for our faith and belief in Christ, we cannot. We do not receive the glory and honor and the completed tasks check-off in putting our hope, trust, and obedience in the son of God.

Isaiah 42:8 (CSB) I am the LORD. That is my name, and I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.

We have overly established on this channel using the books of Mark, Romans, Genesis, 1 & 2 Timothy with passages supporting from the Bible that your belief cannot start and be born with you. You were born far from God not seeking after him not running after him not wanting him because you didn’t think you needed him.

Romans 3:23 (CSB) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;

But what does God do despite us?

Romans 3:22-26 (CSB) The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as the mercy seat by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. 26 God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 5:8 (CSB) But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

You might have a little faith in God. But, beloved, that is all you need. “But I love God but sometimes I am not sure of his goodness to me.” Welcome to Christianity. Your faith is not based on your surety but the absoluteness of God.

Galatians 2:20 (CSB) I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Don’t fall away from God. Press into God. Don’t disbelieve but run after him. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. Maybe God has to pick you up and take you home. To be honest, that is the gospel. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ brings us all the way home.

Romans 8:38-39 (CSB) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The question the gospel of grace puts to us is simply this: Who shall separate you from the love of Christ? What are you afraid of? Are you afraid that your weakness could separate you from the love of Christ? It can’t. Are you afraid that your inadequacies could separate you from the love of Christ? They can’t.

Are you afraid that your inner poverty could separate you from the love of Christ? It can’t. Difficult marriage, loneliness, anxiety over the children’s future? They can’t. Negative self-image? It can’t. Economic hardship, racial hatred, street crime? They can’t. Rejection by loved ones or the suffering of loved ones? They can’t. Persecution by authorities, going to jail? They can’t. Nuclear war? It can’t. Mistakes, fears, uncertainties? They can’t. The gospel of grace calls out, Nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You must be convinced of this, trust it, and never forget to remember. Everything else will pass away, but the love of Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Faith will become vision, hope will become possession, but the love of Jesus Christ that is stronger than death endures forever. In the end, it is the one thing you can hang onto.

Manning, Brennan. The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out (p. 88). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The Discussion

1. When have you experienced little faith in God?
2. Did God ask us to have big faith in Him?
3. What does the word say about what God said in his word that he will do?
4. Will God sustain you and bring you all the way home to him with just a little faith?

The Prayer from the Psalms

My Only Savior
Our faith waivers. It falters. As the song goes, "Little ones to you we belong; we are weak but He is strong."

You are the Almighty God. And you love us for the Bible tells us so.

And that is all we need.

Amen.