And [Jesus] answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 13:11-12 ESV)
The smallest amount of faith in Jesus is all it takes for him to begin working in my life. With that faith, he places me on a path of spiritual growth where I learn the truths found in his word and put them into action. Growth is not a passive activity. It is a partnership between Jesus is the Teacher and me the student. Skipping class and not doing homework will not grow my faith. When challenges and troubles come my way, I will be ill-prepared to manage or endure them. In fact, I might mismanage them and make things worse for myself and other people.
The consequences of spiritual truancy upsets God because his love is great and he wants to care for us. When we turn our backs on him, he is grieved and even becomes jealous when our attention is focused on worthless idols such as inanimate objects, worldly philosophies, careers, pleasures, etc. They distract us from worshipping the one true God and prevent us from having a meaningful relationship with him. Our faith weakens when we are separated from him, making us incapable of bearing any good fruit in our lives.
Abundance refers to our gradual understanding of the “secrets of heaven.” The more we study Scripture and commune with Jesus through prayer, the more he reveals to us, things that we must work on within ourselves to reap the benefits of obedience. Our hearts are the breeding grounds of faith where God influences a change in our perceptions and how we respond to our environment. Our maturity is only grows through daily practice, or by my analogy, daily class attendance where over time we conform to God’s will where his values become our values.
A growing faith prepares us for future troubles, and the rewards of faith far outweigh the riches of this world. So let us be encouraged daily by a simple Bible verse or two. Let us eat and digest a small portion of truth that comes from Jesus. And let our minds and hearts rest on him so that we remain connected and learn what really matters most in our lives.