May 1, 2016
Jesus warned His disciples not to cause others to stumble and commanded them to forgive others who wronged them.
"Increase our faith," requested the disciples (Luke 17:5). Maybe they understood that forgiveness is an act of faith. Maybe they sensed a need to believe the importance of what Jesus had told them. Maybe they knew they needed more faith in order to be faithful to what He had just said.
Jesus replied with two incomprehensible, how-can-this-be statements. One of them is this: If you have the littlest bit of faith, you can move a tree simply by telling it to relocate.
He followed that one with this one: "When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do" (Luke 17:10).
That is a hard saying. Even if we do everything right that we're supposed to do, we really don't deserve any commendation. Nevertheless, the Lord notices and commends and rewards faithfulness, even in that which is least.
"For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Hebrews 6:10).
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly" (Matthew 6:6).
"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward" (Matthew 10:42).
"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew 25:21).
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).
Let us serve faithfully, whether or not anyone notices and thanks us.
Let's be of those who notice the faithfulness of others...and thank them.
One more thing: If you connect verses 3 and 4 to verse 10, you will see forgiveness as
Excerpted from I Stagger
Faith is belief. That may seem redundant. But it isn't, because this kind of belief is a conviction, a certainty. You see, I can say, "I believe tomorrow it will rain" and not have any certainty or conviction as I do when I say, "I believe Jesus rose from the dead." When Joshua said the river would open up, he was absolutely convinced.
Faith is not shackled by the physically and humanly obvious. We humans get hung up on the obvious. Faith could be defined as "Seeing as God sees." Faith goes by what is obvious and tangible to God! Listen to this definition from Hebrews 11:1 -- "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." A thing hoped for is generally intangible, but faith gives it substance. In other words, it sees something as accomplished...even before it is tangibly so.
Faith acts. To put it another way, faith works. If it doesn't, it isn't -- because "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). Those who try to be Christians with a works-free faith are fighting a losing battle!
Excerpted from What is faith?
To move trees (or mountains)? No, not really. To heal sick people? Well, that would be beyond wonderful, but no. Then why ask for more and stronger faith?
I want to be a better, more pleasing, more faithful servant.
Without faith, there is no way to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Without faith, there is no way to live faithfully. And since"the just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4), I want more faith so I can do more living, justly!
Excerpted from Why?