INCREASE YOUR FAITH
Is it possible to "Increase your faith"?
The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" Luke 17:5
In response to Jesus' teaching and commandment, "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him." Luke 17:1-4
Then, in apparent amazement, the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" Luke 17:5
And Jesus said these astounding Words:
"If you had faith like a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’;
and it would obey you."
"Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’?
"But will you not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’?
"You do not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?
"So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’" Luke 17:6-10
Let's take a close look at this teaching and command so we might INCREASE OUR FAITH.
First, Jesus says "If your brother sins, rebuke him". Easy enough.
Except, Jesus warns us to be sure we have "removed the log or speck from our own eye", or our faith is unchanged and we are just being a hypocrite. Matthew 7:3 ff
Secondly, Jesus says "if he repents forgive him.
Even if he "sins seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him".
Without forgiveness, our faith is unchanged.
Next, Jesus uses a life example to illustrate the right order and attitude regarding faith. In fact, Jesus paints the disciples into the illustration by putting them in the place of a Master.
Jesus explains that faith is properly exercised when we recognize authority and exercise obedience. The power of faith flows from Higher to Lower. Always, from Higher to Lower.
God is Above and Rules over His Heavens.
The Heavens Rule over the earth.
Kings rule over subjects.
The strong rule over the weak.
The light rules over the dark.
Wealth rules over poverty.
Our worldly mindset might resent or reject this Law as 'unfair' or 'unobtainable', but that is just our flesh warring against the Spirit within us.
Jesus is saying that we must obey this Spiritual Law of Higher over Lower if we expect to INCREASE OUR FAITH. We cannot let or emotions or our mind (the Lower) rule over The Spirit of God which dwells within us (The Higher) if we want to INCREASE OUR FAITH.
You must know that the Unbelieving world will not understand this Principal, this Spiritual Law. To the unbeliever, this is pure foolishness.
But to the Follower of Christ, the Disciple of Christ, this is a KEY to INCREASING YOUR FAITH.
In the example given, Jesus is saying the Master rules over the servant. This order must be followed.
The Master is seated first.
The Master is served first.
The Master eats first.
And the servant is not "thanked" for being faithful and obedient. It is what is expected if FAITH IS TO BE INCREASED.
Through this, still, the servant is not neglected. There is safety and provision for the servant in the house of the Master.
Neglect or disobedience weakens the life-giving relationship of Master and servant. The order of Higher to Lower must be observed or the servant will suffer from a broken life-giving relationship.
Finally, and suddenly, Jesus turns to the Disciples and says "So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’"
Look closely. Jesus now astounds by saying that you do not just need your FAITH INCREASED.
You, just NEED of FAITH!
You cannot increase what you do not have. Faith, in and of Itself is sufficient.
Jesus illustrates and proclaims a mighty Truth when He says that the "smallest amount" of Faith (the size of the miniscule mustard seed) is sufficient faith - if it is understood and applied correctly.
Higher to Lower.
Jesus is our Master. He is ABOVE us. He MUST BE above us.
If He is above you, then this can be true in your life - that "If you have faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you."
Consider the implication for you life! Now, nothing is impossible!
Consider the application for your life!
Where are you lacking? What is your deepest need?
If your faith is weak or dead and unproductive, then start where Jesus says to start.
"Do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’"
Hear and Do what is Right, no matter what. (You'll find these thing in the Bible)
Serve the Master and put Him first in all you say and do.
Go and preach and teach The Gospel.
Go and baptize believers.
Go and lay hands on the sick and they will recover.
Do you doubt it? So did the Apostles. Read Matthew 28:16 - 19.
But they did what Jesus said to DO anyway and they found the could have amazing, wonder-working, powerful, miraculous FAITH!
And so can we. So can you!
God, please. Increase our faith. Amen.
(Now, let's go change this world - let's go change our world - in the Name of Jesus.)
Your Friend in the Bonds of Christ.