Corrie ten Boom and the Nazi Soldier
One day, Corrie was giving a talk at a church about God’s love. She nearly froze, paralyzed with shock, when she saw one of her Nazi guards. He had been exceptionally cruel. She regained her composure and finished her talk. She desperately wanted to escape, but there were hands to shake and people to greet. Suddenly the man came up to her and introduced himself; she knew him all too well. With tears, he confessed his sin to her and asked her to forgive him. He said he knew Jesus had forgiven him, but he knew he must ask her as well.
Corrie cried out to the Lord. She knew she had to forgive the man, but she was in a battle. Finally, she surrendered by faith and told the Lord she would lift her hand to take his, but that God must supply the love. Miraculously, despite her suffering, when she touched his hand, the love of Jesus began to flow, and she said, “I forgive you, brother.” She experienced so much of the love of God, but she also obeyed God. By bringing her heart into alignment with His, her heart’s loyalty and her faith remained undivided. Corrie ten Boom was an incredibly fruitful woman, seeing thousands saved into God’s kingdom.
However, few have suffered as much as she suffered. Whatever you are bearing, it is just as real and just as difficult. Today, if you will lift your hand, God will supply the love you need for miracles to again flow in your life. Resist the love of the world that demands payment and let your heart beat in time to the love of Christ, undivided in His forgiving love. Your faith will work through His love, and together with harmony and power, you will see the impossible.
Faith Like a Mustard Seed
When Jesus told His disciples it would be better for them if a millstone were hung about their neck than to cause one of God’s little ones to stumble, His disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith (Luke 17:5). They were scared when they heard this. But Jesus responded that they needed to have faith like a mustard seed; then they could speak to the mulberry bush and it would be uprooted and cast into the sea.
Many texts have switched the text to read “faith as small as a mustard seed” but size has nothing to do with it. Mustard seeds are unique seeds. They can endure fire and remain fertile. They can tolerate water and not drown. They spread contagiously and rapidly, can withstand great hardship, and are unaffected by their surroundings. Consider how the Lord describes His love toward you. It looks quite a bit like the mustard seed of faith Jesus was describing to His disciples. Faith works through love:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.— Isaiah 43:2, NIV
Love never fails. It endures all things, hopes all things, and believes all things. Therefore, if love is like a mustard seed, it will endure outward obstacles and remain unaffected and un-killable, as will faith. Where there is love, faith will work through those barriers—even ones that seem impenetrable. Remember: love forgives and keeps no record of wrongs. This does not mean taking abuse or letting a person sin against you; rather, address it as Jesus commands, but then discharges the debt.
Jesus taught His disciples that love and forgiveness beats in time with God’s heart. Therefore, the child of God who loves and forgives keeps his or her heart undivided from the love of the world and releases the faith they need to see the impossible happen.
Reflect with the Holy Spirit
- Lord is there anyone I need to forgive? Show me how You want to heal my heart.
- Is there anywhere I need to “lift my hand” so to speak as Corrie ten Boom did?
- Do I need a greater appreciation of Your mercy and forgiveness to be able to fully forgive others?
- Am I feeling lighter? Or excited to have a whole heart and believe for new things when I forgive?
This teaching devotional is part of a series based on Tyrelle Smith's book: From Double-Minded To Destiny. Each week we will publish more on how you can remove doubts, insecurities and fulfill God's plan for your life in a greater way.