The Faith that We Need to Practice
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Reading: Luke 17:5-10
And the apostles said unto the Lord, “Increase our faith.” And the Lord said, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, 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.”
Jesus has just told His disciples that the Gospel manifests itself in a love for others that cares, corrects in love, and forgives. And their reaction can be nothing other than asking the Lord to increase his faith.
Then, the Lord lets them see how that kind of love, which they find impossible to achieve (and they are right) is possible through faith in Him.
And what is faith? When the Bible says that the righteous live by faith, it is teaching us to put our trust in God, to live seeking His guidance and strength, and to depend on Him.
As we walk in dependence on the Lord we become increasingly aware of our inadequacy, our incapacity, but also of His grace. What was impossible becomes possible.
Only the Gospel has the capacity to make us worry about our neighbor, so that we want to accompany him in his struggle with sin and are willing to love him and forgive him.
And faith obeys. Walking in faith is being able to do now what was not possible before: obeying God’s commands, loving His law, and loving His holiness. Faith in Christ radically transforms.
This journey of learning to trust and obey our Lord is not optional in Christian life. It is what is expected of us, because we have been called and trained, by the Spirit of God in us for precisely that reason.
MEDITATE: At the end of our journey let us also be able to say: “I have only done what the Lord would do: serve you, and obey you!”
Translation by: Emily Stader