Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Romans 10:17).
Faith is an interesting thing. The apostles asked the Lord to increase their faith (see Luke 17:5) and Jesus responded with a story about a tree and the sea that reflected their lack of faith. It would seem that faith has the power to uproot a tree and replant it in the bottom of the sea. I haven’t moved any mountains or mulberry trees lately and you probably haven’t either, but when I read these few verses, I hear Jesus reminding them and me that it’s not about how much faith you or I have, it’s about who our faith is in. When I think about it, we all have the same amount of faith—faith to believe the sun will rise, the chair we sit in will hold our weight, or confidence that we’ll wake up tomorrow morning. Many of us also have faith that Jesus is real and active in our lives. I think Jesus is saying that if we want to increase our faith, we need to withdraw it from the bank of ourselves and deposit it into his bank. I know that the one who made the tree and the mountain out of nothing would have no problem moving it wherever he wanted, and so I know that the power of faith is all in him and my responsibility is to trust him more and myself less.
So how do I do that? I believe the best way for this movement of faith to happen is to be in the Word of God and let the Word of God be in me. The best places for this to happen are in my own daily quiet time and with a small group of people I trust who are traveling the same path. That’s what this new version of The Lookout is all about. The Lookout is a tool to help you in that daily time with the Lord, praying, journaling, studying God’s Word, and applying it to your life. It’s also a tool to answer questions that can be shared in a small group as we encourage each other. Just imagine you and your closest friends studying through the Bible in six years and reading through the Bible six times in the same period! That’s what this daily investment will accomplish. What kind of difference would that make in taking our faith out of the bank of ourselves and putting that faith into God’s bank? I don’t think our latter selves would even recognize our former selves! Just imagine if your whole small group or Sunday school class went on the journey with you! Imagine if the majority of your entire church did it together!
My desire for what you hold in your hands is to firmly embed your heart and soul in the eternal Word of Almighty God. Discipleship is following and learning from Jesus, letting him shape you to become more like him and to do what he would do. The Lookout is designed for you to do just that yourself and with those around you. In my heart, I can see thousands of people walking daily in God’s Word and in prayer, stretching out to be the hands and feet of Jesus while we develop the heart of our Savior together. At the Crossing, we’ve purchased The Lookout for our entire staff to go through together for the next year and I believe that the people we work alongside in a year will be completely different from the ones we labor beside today. Will you join us?
Jerry Harris is the publisher of The Lookout. He is the senior minister at The Crossing, a multisite church located in three states across the Midwest.