Developing Faith

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. –Romans 10:17 (English Standard Version)

Jason Alexandre photo small

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Terrorist attacks, rumors of war and crime seemingly showing no signs to decrease. We join hands in protest but to no lasting avail. We pray for peace and it comes but after a little while then chaos breaks out again in our nations and communities. As we should, we hope for better days. Yet, how can lasting faith develop? How can we gain a better understanding of the world in which we live and in the things in which we hear and see?

Truth is, evil will continue. Sin will not cease. So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. -Romans 10:17 Have we forgotten that great commission? To “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15

That gospel that heals the sin-sick soul. The gospel that points to Jesus Christ as the answer to ALL of life. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? –Romans 10:12

All those who profess the name of Christ are called to a decided course of life. A course that continuously heralds a bold confession of Christ and his truth before their fellowmen. The world needs a developing faith! The fear of terrorism, particularly in America, is at an all-time high since 9/11. Why is that?


Romans 10-17 faith comes from hearing

All that we hear and see is in line with scripture and there is more opportunity than ever before for the ways of God to be made known. You recall that the apostle Paul said “But understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” 2 Timothy 3:1 Read the following verses later on but let me suggest that there are a number of professing Christians who have forgotten the unchangeable and undeniable power of scripture! Beware of a form of godliness, professing Christianity yet enjoying a close friendship with the world and its systems (2 Timothy 3:5). It would seem that scripture Christ-centered preaching has become a lost art. We want that which only makes us feel good.

Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor when he was asked to assess the general state of preaching today he said this:

“I think it has become far more folksy, and there is now a tendency, I think, more than ever, to make it a kind of Sunday Chamber of Commerce exercise — motivational speaking, which has its place but is not the Gospel. It becomes a kind of opium, if opium is a stimulant, for people, which gives them often a false notion of what life is all about. I think much of contemporary preaching does not prepare people for the inevitable crises of life. When we talk constantly about prosperity, well, life is not constantly prosperity. It has adversity and difficulties, and if one is trained, conditioned to see only the bright side of things, then one is not prepared for living in this world.”

He then was asked, “Do congregations want to hear that message, though?” His reply was, “Of course, people want to hear it because candy is a very pleasant thing. My daughter lives out in Harbor City, [California]. When she was a little girl, I suppose we could have fed her candy morning, noon, and night, and she would have taken it morning, noon — and enjoyed it. Soon she would have had no teeth, and soon we would have had no daughter, I think because candy is wonderful. I love it, but one needs in one’s diet more than candy.”

Today, more than ever we need teaching and preaching that is not candy-coated. The world needs to be prepared for the things to come and Scripture—truth, plainly and correctly taught, has a marvelous aptness to awaken the conscience, and touch the heart. Only then will we have a developing faith, banked on the foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word. Amen


Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is a Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit

Learn more about Jason M. Alexandre here.


All, None or Some?

“But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” ~ Mark 4:20

Jill Tomlinson, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer, co-founder of Transcend Ministries

Jill Tomlinson, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer, co-founder of Transcend Ministries

I have read this scripture literally hundreds of times, and I have probably heard sermons preached from Mark 4 equally as many times. However, I read it again lately and saw something fresh and new. This scripture points out that there are actually varying degrees of bearing fruit. How much fruit we bear is directly related to our ability to hear spiritually and our willingness to receive it by faith when we do hear it.

The scriptures prior to this one describe scenarios whereby the Word is sown, but then stolen, choked out, or not applied at all for various reasons including hardness, shallow roots, and cares of this world. Those are the things I have always taken away from Mark 4, but there is so much more!

I want to be a person who bears much fruit, not just a small harvest. I want people to smell the sweet aroma of the fruit and fragrance of Christ being produced in my life. I want to do more than hear the Word with my natural ears. I want to really hear what the Spirit of God is saying and I sincerely desire a 100-fold harvest on the seed of truth that is sown in my life. So, how can it happen?

How can it be fair for three different people to hear the same Word of God and one only bear a 30-fold return, another 60 fold, and yet another bears a 100 fold? Is God playing favorites here? This scripture makes it so clear that we are the ones who determine our harvest of fruit!

Mark 4-20 grapevine
Mark 4-20 cracked soil

To what degree will we believe and receive the Word? What priority will it have in every situation or new problem we face?

Will we apply it to our relationships, parenting, finances, health, careers, wants, and needs? Will we accept the Word we hear and make it ours, or will we only believe it is for someone else instead?

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:17

Jesus makes reference to having “ears to hear” throughout Mark 4. Accepting the Word in our hearts requires the ability to hear spiritually. According to Romans 10:17, this ability to hear is produced by the Word of God. As we begin to expose ourselves to the Word of God, we acquire the ability to “hear” what He is saying. The Word of God is alive and powerful. It changes things. Hard ground is softened, roots begin to grow deep, and the cares of this world grow strangely dim and insignificant. Now our hearts are ready to not only hear, but to also receive. First, we “hear” by the Word of God preparing the ground of our hearts. Then, we apply it by faith, which comes by that spiritual hearing.

Now that we have “heard” and accepted the Word, it can begin to bear fruit in our lives. We don’t have to strive or stress about it, we simply have to believe, receive, and apply what the Lord has already so graciously provided. The amount of fruit we bear will be directly proportionate to the degree to which we believe, receive, and apply the Word of God. As we purpose to do this, we will begin to see fruit in every area of our lives. I’m all in!!! Are you? EXPECT, BELIEVE, AND RECEIVE!!

– Jill

Jill is an author, writer, speaker, and teacher. In her book, No More Lies, Jill leads others through the same journey of biblical truth that brought her freedom and wholeness. Jill and her husband, Jimmy, are the founders of Transcend Ministries—a ministry dedicated to empowering the body of Christ and making disciples worldwide through teaching, writing, and evangelism. They reside in Colorado and have four amazing children—two daughters, a son, and a son-in-law. Jill’s next book, Forgiven, Favored & Free, is available September 2015. For more information or to order her books, visit

Learn more about Jill Tomlinson here.