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Dear Partner,

We have been studying the incredible words of Jesus when He said,

Mat 17:20b - for verily I say unto you, IF YE HAVE FAITH AS A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Every seed has an image programmed on the inside of it. Our goal is to do those things that cause the image on the inside of the seed to come to full maturity in order that we may reap a harvest. This is the goal of every farmer in the natural realm no matter what crop he or she intends to produce. For every kind of seed, there is a GROWTH process. We desire that our faith be the kind that grows just like Jesus said in Mat 17:20. How does our faith grow? Jesus gave us another teaching on the growth process when He said,

Mark 4:26-29  And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

What "seed" has been planted on the inside of us? Jesus was actually teaching on the "new birth" in Mark Chapter Four. Jesus is the SEED who was promised to come! When we were born again, the bible tells us that God sent the "Spirit of His Son" into our hearts crying "Abba, Father." God "sowed" the new nature into our hearts at the new birth. Jesus teaches us in Mark Chapter Four that the new nature comes in like a seed and must be developed to maturity. That's why Jesus gives us the "growth process" in Mark 4:26-29 shown above. Let's look at the first stage of maturity that Jesus spoke of:

When a corn plant develops to the place that it shoots up the first little green blade above the ground into the sunlight, are there any ears of corn on that blade? No, none at all. Does that mean there is anything wrong with the corn plant at that stage? No, it is a perfectly good little corn plant. There is nothing wrong with it. It is simply immature. None of us would condemn a corn plant at "blade stage" for not having big, juicy ears of corn hanging of it. Yet we often condemn ourselves when we pray and see no results. Walking around full of condemnation does no good. That certainly doesn't cause our faith to grow. In contrast, the thing to do is simply admit that we are truly born-again children of God at blade stage. He loves us without qualification regardless of our maturity.

I loved all of my children when they were three days old just as much as I love them now that they are in their thirties. However it does please me when they do not act like infants when they are in their thirties. In the same way that we take pleasure watching our children mature, so our Heavenly Father takes pleasure watching us, His spiritual children, mature in our faith.

The main point to remember is it is impossible to obtain a harvest from plants when they are at "blade stage." No matter how hard you try, there is simply no "fruit" to harvest. We have wasted a lot of time trying to harvest "fruit" while we are still "blades." We would be better off to focus our efforts on doing those things that cause the little plant (the new nature within us) to continue maturing in its development.

Remember, we are talking about a specific kind of harvest in these teachings. We are talking about the kind of harvest desired in Mat 17:20 the kind that when we pray, results occur! In context, the disciples prayed for a lunatic boy yet he was not healed. Jesus told them the reason why was because of the "littleness of their faith." There are other kinds of fruit that many Christians develop over time that seems to have little to do with manifestations of power when we pray. I'm sure you know many Christians who have matured regarding the "Fruit Of The Spirit" described in the book of Galatians such as love, joy, etc. Yet many of the sweetest Christians I know have very little faith when it comes to God answering their prayers especially their prayers for the healing of others. That's the subject matter in these lessons.

Many Christians while in blade stage of maturity are sweet, kind, loving, forgiving people. I receive many letters and prayer requests from these same people, however, who are frustrated because it seems that no matter how hard they pray for people who are sick, nothing seems to happen. It is the development of the kind of faith that releases the power of God into every situation that we are studying. It is the kind Jesus referred to when He taught on "faith as a grain of Mustard Seed" to the point that "Nothing Shall Be Impossible To You!" (Mat 17:20)

This month, let us all take comfort in the fact that even while we are in blade stage, we are loved and accepted by the Father. We are born again. The new nature is within us. We are on our way to heaven. We simply need to learn more about HOW to cause our faith to grow so we don't remain a blade our entire life, but go on to "the ear" stage and then eventually to "the full corn in the ear." We'll look at the next stage of development of Mustard Seed Faith next month.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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