Some think that Luke has collected three separate sayings of Jesus in Lk 17.1-10, with little connection between them. That assumes much.
Jesus might well have said these three things in this order. Even if he did not, it also assumes that Luke is clumsy.
No such assumptions are needed. There can be seen a clear connection among the three points.
- The business of the kingdom is forgiveness of sin, 1-4. Don’t be a cause of sin, 1-2. Be a cause of forgiveness, 3-4.
- For that forgiving spirit, the apostles felt the need for a greater faith, 5-6. In one sense, Jesus anticipates Nike: Just do it. Faith is to be exercised. For it to grow it must be put into action.
- Duty in the kingdom deserves no special praise, 7-10, but it must be done. What is this duty? Again, seeking forgiveness for all.
#Luke #faith #forgiveness #duty
“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’”
Perhaps impressed with the need for continued forgiveness, the Twelve ask for greater faith. The desire is a good one. It is an ancient desire, one that many feel today. Jesus gave a good reply, v. 6.
Am I waiting for greater faith in order to act? Perhaps I need to act now in order to have greater faith. Start now! Do your duty, vv. 7-10.
#votd #Luke #faith
“For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Often, when the Lord made a promise to Israel, he put it in the past tense (see Deuteronomy 3.2, for example), to indicate how sure was his word. Jesus does the same about prayer requests.
The Lord is able to bless, and he desires to bless. He bristled when the possessed boy’s father said, “If you can” Mark 9.22-23. The issue is not his ability or desire, but our willingness to believe.
#votd #Mark #prayer #faith
“I am not saved. I’ve been lied to all
Those were the comments Kay Smith
made when she called me to say she had finished reading Muscle and a Shovel recently. I had given her a copy of the book Sunday evening after worship and she called Tuesday evening to say she had finished reading the book. Then she said, “I am not saved. I’ve been lied to all these years. I’m not saved.”
That had to be a stunning revelation for Kay when she read what the Bible teaches a person has to do to become a Christian and she knew she had not done it. I told her we could baptize her if she wanted to do it then. She said she wanted to study more and have some questions answered. She said, “I have pages marked and turned down in this book and I want to talk to you further.” We made an appointment to study with her the next day. After the study, Douglas left her with a list of Bible verses to study and read for herself straight from the word of God.
Sunday came around and I went to pick Kay up for Bible study. Immediately upon getting into the car, she pulled out pages torn from a small yellow pad filled with writing. She said, “I’ve written out each one of those scriptures you left with me.” Wow! I was impressed with her interest in studying the Bible. I asked if she was ready to be baptized and she said, “Yes.” Later when the invitation was extended at the end of the morning worship service Kay went forward and was baptized correctly for the remission of her sins. She said, “I’m going to live the rest of my life for Jesus Christ to the best I know how.”
Do you know what the Bible teaches about how to be saved? “Father, send us more people who are receptive to the truth of Thy Word.”
“He asked them, ‘Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith yet?’”
Mark 4.40 ISV
Experienced fishermen feared the storm that broke upon them. Jesus slept in the boat. If he was with them, they should have trusted that he would not let them perish.
The Lord urges us to trust him. He provides his presence and every spiritual advantage. Does his question to the disciples apply to us? Have we not yet learned to have faith?
#votd #faith #Jesus
By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.
“But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sin” (John 8:24).
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (I Samuel 15:22).
The Lord will take “vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Continue reading
Today, Ed Mathew’s devotional is based in Philemon.
Faith in action is powerful. It reveals the riches of living in Jesus. It leads others to see the beauty of Christianity. It draws people to the Lord. The most convincing faith is a demonstrated faith, II Thessalonians 1:11,12. Actions are more persuasive than words.
Focus question: How does your faith show itself at home, at school, in the workplace, in the congregation?
Update: This was supposed to have been sent to my microblog, but it’s still OK for here.
#faith #practice #devotional
I posted this earlier today over on my microblog, but nobody reads it (which is fine with me), and I thought this deserving of a good read. May it encourage someone today.
Have faith. Trust in God. Believe that he will provide. Has he not done so in the past? Has he not cared for your every need? Have you not seen his hand move when you were helpless? Are you not his child, in Christ? Did you not obey the gospel and receive his grace? God cares for his own. He has promised to care for those who seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Rest in him. Be at peace. Know that he is God and he sees your need. Give thanks for his goodness toward you.
In 1 Kings 17 Elijah is fed in two different miraculous ways – 1) wild ravens on an orderly mission, and 2) a hungry widow with bottomless jars. But that does not mean we need either of these to help someone in hard times.
In 1 Kings 18:3-4 we are introduced to a man named Obadiah who did something rather wonderful, dangerous and costly, but not miraculous. He fed one-hundred persecuted people, hidden in two caves, with bread and water.
While bread and water may not seem very impressive to some observers, bread and water just happened to be two items difficult to come by during the three-year climate change Samaria faced. And yet Obadiah came through so the prophets of the Lord could persevere.
The miraculous times of God-given food and drink recorded in the Bible are interesting moments to think about and they bring with them valuable lessons (Matthew 16:5-12), but as James (who was familiar with the lessons of Elijah’s story – James 5:17-18) told the church in the first century, doing what we can to help someone facing hard times does not take a miracle, but (like Obadiah) it still takes a living faith to use our God-given blessings.
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17 NKJV)
This quote from Napolean Hill has direct spiritual application.
If you don’t believe it yourself, don’t ask anyone else to do so.
It is virtually impossible not to transmit your doubts and insecurities to others through body language, tone of voice, inflection, word choice, and other subtle characteristics. When you show by your actions that you lack self-confidence, other people also begin to doubt your ability to perform. You can gain the respect and confidence of others. Begin by making a list of all the things you like about yourself and the things you would like to change. Make a conscious effort to build upon your positive strengths and correct your weaknesses. It may not be easy, but if you assess yourself objectively and persevere in your efforts, you will eventually prevail.
Hill applies this to one’s self-concept. We may apply it to the gospel. If we are not convinced of the truth of the message, it will come through to others. Confidence and certainty beget more of the same.
#faith #certainty #quotes
“Then he said to her, ‘Because you said this, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.’ She went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.”
The same faith that caused the Syrophoenician woman to go to Jesus caused her to leave him when he said her daughter was well. She believed Jesus had healed her child.
What Jesus says, he will do. If he says it, we may and must trust him. When he says he will provide for our needs, we ought to be believe him. When he send us and promises us his empowering presence, we should go.
#Jesus #faith #VOTD
Ben Sansum is 35 years old, but he lives in 1946. Ben’s clothing, his home, the music he listens to – all come from an era before he was even born. BBC News recently paid Ben a visit at his home in Cambridgeshire, England to learn more about his decision to live in the past.
via Meet The 35-Year-Old Man Who Lives In 1946
I’ve not been able to watch this video yet. But the text reminds me that I know of a few saints who are living in the 40s or 50s, as far as their faith goes. It seems like they’ve not learned to apply the primitive truth of the gospel to a 21st-century world.
It’s not a sign of faithfulness to live and speak like people of 70 or 80 years ago. Or even to live like first-century folk, in tunics and sandals and riding donkeys. (We once met some people like that, too.)
Is it a challenge? Sure. But it’s worse to remain stuck in the past that doesn’t represent, necessarily, the original pattern of the Way.
You take it from here.
#faith #pattern #past
“That entire generation passed away; a new generation grew up that had not personally experienced the Lord’s presence or seen what he had done for Israel.”
Israel remained faithful to God until Joshua and the elders of his time passed away. Then the people began to worship idols and follow other gods.
How can each new generation in the body of Christ learn to put their faith in God and be devoted with all their heart to the Lord?
#Judges #faith #VOTD
“And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled’” (1 Peter 3:13-14 NKJV). Christians stand for the truth of God’s Word, having no dread from “threats, nor be troubled.” Our confidence comes from obeying God’s Word. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). This “spirit of fear” is “cowardice,” or shrinking back from. The Bible shows us God’s “power” over everything; it brings out the best in us as “love;” and gives us “a sound mind,” or controlled attitude, we call “confidence.” Christians fear less and have less to fear.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
“… gnosis [knowledge] becomes the ability to discern faith’s requirements. In effect, knowledge becomes the means by which faith’s convictions are transformed into effective practices (see 2 Cor 8:7; Phil 1:9; 2 Pet 3:18).
—S.J. Kraftchick, Jude, 2 Peter, p. 96, commenting 2 Pet 1.5-7
#faith #knowledge #2-Peter