Lord, Please Increase our Faith!

Stained glass showing Lamb of God with vexillu...

Stained glass showing Lamb of God with vexillum and chalice, from chapel that used to be part of a convent (now a Baptist church and school complex) in El Cajon, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Mission Briefing #4

“Increase our Faith”

 Luke 17:1-10

In Jesus Name

Luke’s gospel was written with this blessing in mind, that you would have faith in that which you have been taught, that the Lord is with you.  May this sermon increase this faith.

Temptations and forgiveness and miracles and serving and…….

 

If we look at the gospel lesson today, it seems that Christ is asking a lot of us. We are to deal with temptation, be careful not to tempt others, carefully rebuke others, forgive them, forgive them again, and well, again.  We are  have enough faith to do miracles, and serve others diligently without complaint or asking for reward or thinking about our own needs and aches.

It’s enough of a list, that it doesn’t surprise me that the disciples, right in the middle of the list, cry out – Lord!  Show us how to increase our faith!

Some of us have had one of those weeks, where we want to slow down God’s work in our lives enough to say, “Lord, I need more faith! Show me how to find it, show me how to increase it”

If only we would have the patience to wait for an answer, if only we had enough faith to wait, then maybe our lives wouldn’t be so dry, maybe we wouldn’t be so weary…

Or maybe, we need to be that weak?  At that point, would our faith, our trust, and our dependence on Jesus increase?

Can we face those things… which cause us to need faith?

 

I for one, know how much stronger I need to my faith to be.  I know I need to trust in God a lot more than I do, to have confidence that it is His strength, His power that will not only save me from the sin that crushes me – my own, those whose sin against me, and those who sin I weep over.  I must also have confidence that the Holy Spirit will be there on days like Thursday and Friday, where I had to try to be there for 7 different families, or worse, where I couldn’t be there… and had to trust in God as I put them into God’s hands. That’s the kind of faith we need to see grow.

You see, faith is a very active, very dynamic verb.  To increase in faith means we find ourselves in situations where we know our only Hope is in the one who gives us hope, whose faithfulness, whose trust worthiness is so great – that we trust in Him.

Where temptation, and lovingly correcting others, where forgiving and serving drain us, where we think we can do no more… and the call to serve is great…and we hear Jesus say, Take up your cross, and follow me…

Lord, please, please, increase my faith! Please increase my faith….please, please increase my faith!

Then look to the cross, and know you prayers are answered.

 

 

He’s did His duty… for the joy set before Him.


You see, Jesus isn’t asking us to do something that He wouldn’t do Himself.  He forgives us, not 7 times a day and more, knowing full well we will mess up again, and though we are repentant and sorry, sometimes more than less, He will be faithful and forgive.

He dealt with temptation – as much as we can imagine from Satan, and then the temptation of not wanting to endure the cross.  He has dealt with lovingly rebuking people and forgiving them.  He has demonstrated His faith in His Father’s promises that were recorded in scripture. He has served, without thought to His own reward, but for the joy set before Him….

He is the one we trust – for we know how He reacted when He had to trust, He proved faithful and He will ensure we will be…for He died to pay for when we aren’t.

You see that’s the point about increasing our faith – it happens when we realize that He is here.  That He is always faithful to us, even as He promised. That the promises that He made to at your baptism – those aren’t broken because we slipped up, because we did something stupid, because we forgot He is here.

The promises He makes here – at this altar – that’s the reason we sing the Agnus Dei – because we know here that He will grant us peace – that He will shower us with His love! That we can leave every burden we have, when we come and kneel here.

You want to trust in Him more?  Come, know the depth of His love, come experience His mercy, His forgiveness, even His rebuke, come let His miracles wash over you and come… let Jesus serve you.. let Jesus take those burdens, let Jesus nourish you with His precious Body and Blood.

And then, united with His love – cleansed and few and holding as Timothy did – to His promises – let His love shape you, let it be your pattern of living.

AMEN?

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on October 6, 2013, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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