Cotton candy (U.S., India, Canada), candy floss, or candyfloss (UK, Ireland, New Zealand, India and South Africa), or fairy floss (Australia) is a form of spun sugar. Since it comprises mostly air, a small initial quantity of sugar generates a tremendously greater final volume, causing servings to be physically large and voluminous. A typical serving on a stick is approximately 1 ounce/30 grams. (Wikipedia)
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” and the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. (Luke 17:6)
I’ve noticed a trend recently where strong faith, built on a firm foundation is being disregarded for a more superficial feel good kind of thing. The sort that is not really built with a small grain of mustard seed, which is small, tough, and prolific in its growing, but rather the sweet fluff of fairy floss. Light and wispy, nicely colored and sugary sweet.
What triggered my concern was a little meme I saw. It said, “Jesus doesn’t care how many bible verses you have memorized. He cares how you treat people,” this time instead of a quick chuckle and moving on, I paused because this meme is spreading a dangerous concept. How the devil must delight in this sort of thing! I reckon he’s not immune to using social media to twist and pervert God’s words, or mislead God’s kids. Am I a little too tightly strung? I really don’t think so.
While it’s true that Jesus does care about how we treat people, it is also very true that we, as his kids, must know his Word. So one does not have to be exclusive of the other. In fact, the two should go hand in hand.
I know some folks like to wield the word like a, (well, I was going to say sword, but it is indeed the sword of the spirit, Ephesians 6:17), so we’ll say instead hammer to hit a point home, and sometimes Jesus’ grace, mercy and love is entirely missing. But, we can’t let some people’s bad behavior prevent us from knowing Him completely.
To know Him is to know his WORD. Jesus himself quoted scripture when Satan, in the wilderness, tempted him: Matthew 4:3 – During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But, Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, People do no live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.'” (Matthew 4:5) Next, the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “ I will give you it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him, “For the Scriptures say, ‘ You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.'” (Matthew 4:8-10). And the result? Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus. Matthew 4:11 (NLT)
So that’s a whole lot of Jesus answering Satan with the Word. Does this mean we should do the same? Yes! Consider the Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Finishing with Psalm 119:16 “I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.” These two verses indicate the Word is important to have so well learned that we won’t forget them.
We all know the most famous verse for memorizing his Word; Deuteronomy 6:5-7 -‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and will all your might. And, you must commit yourselves whole heartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talks about then when you are home and when you are on the road, when you are getting up and when you go to bed.’ How’s this going to happen if you’re just tripping along in your walk with him feeling good and treating others nicely? How will you determine the true needs of yourself and others if you don’t know how to apply His Word to your life or to their life? There’s hope, peace, love, truth, life and rest in His Word; you do yourself a huge wrong if you don’t know it.
A recent twitter from a famous Christian author said, “God is not surprised when hard times hit, he is surprised when you quit.” Really? God is taken by surprise when I do something? Well, maybe the author didn’t know about Joshua 3:1-15, which tells us that God is already in our tomorrows. And, Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope.”, or, Romans 8:28 -“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” How can we surprise Him if he has it all worked out? The trouble is we too often go to popular authors works instead of going to the Word to get our doctrine and our answers, and the problem with that is – Authors are wholly human. God is not.
I had a conversation once with a sister-in-him who was struggling with a life issue. After talking and searching the word, we prayed, and she quoted something she had read from a book called, “Jesus Calling.” I had never heard of this book, but even if I had, I would still have advised her to go to the Word. Her response? “I don’t know how to read the Word.” Really? If you know how to read a book, you know how to read THE book. And are directed to do so. In Acts 17:11 – ” And, the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.”
God gave us a book full of direction, hope, and love so that we could survive in this temporary life. It is a love letter to us. Maybe because the days of getting a hand written letter in the mail is long gone we don’t really appreciate what this means. But, even still, getting an email from a loved one is often received with joy and read repeatedly. We eagerly read to see what the person’s been up to, what they think, what they want, how they feel. The same should be for the Word of God.
I’m afraid if we don’t know the Word we’ll be like the man who built the house on the sand and when the storms of life wail against us our house (we) will fall. Or as Ephesians 4:14 says -‘Then we will no longer be immature children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth’.
Jesus says that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed (which is about the size of a pinhead), we can tell a tree to uproot itself and plant itself somewhere else and it will, and we can tell a mountain to move and it will, but if we don’t know his word, have it planted in our hearts and minds, how will we have such a strong faith?
Fairy floss faith requires nothing more than sugary sweet thoughts, and performing warm loving acts and deeds. We eagerly believe each ‘big author’ that puts out a Christian book or a podcast which can lead to spiritual stomachaches and soul cavities from the overly sweet fodder.
Yes, it is important to show His grace, mercy and love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 it says, ”Three things last forever-faith, hope, and love -and the greatest of these is love.” Let’s strive to have a full and rich journey with Him, knowing His Word while loving those in this temporary world.
Linda Mae Baldwin