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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Oct
04

Lifting the Weights of Faith

Jon Burgess

Scripture
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”
6The Lord answered,“If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you!
Luke 17:5-6
Observation

Jesus makes it clear that faith is increased through constant use. Faith will atrophy from disuse. Like exercising a muscle, faith grows the more you use it. Also, like exercise, increasing our faith doesn't come without pain and stretching. This passage makes it clear that it takes constant faith to lift these three weights:

*Leading: 1One day Jesus said to his disciples,“There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! 2It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin. 3So watch yourselves! Luke 17:1-3

It takes constant faith to live a consistent life free from sin. We must realize we are either leading people towards the Lord or away from Him depending on how we are living out our faith.

*Forgiving: “If another believer17:3GreekIf your brother.sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. 4Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” Luke 17:3-4

Most people don't connect faith with forgiveness. The same faith it took to receive the forgiveness of Christ for all of our sin is the same faith it takes to extend forgiveness for all the sin done toward us.

*Serving: 7“When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? 8No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ 9And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. 10In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’” LK 17:7-10

The true test of a servant is when we are treated like one. It takes faith to live the servant life. We don't do it to be thanked, appreciated or noticed. We serve others because our faith tells us this is what we have been created to do. So, while the world fights to be seen we must fight the urge to stop serving.

Application

Trainers teach that in order to gain muscle strength, endurance or size, you must lift enough weight — or perform enough exercise repetitions — to temporarily fatigue or overload your muscles. I get tired just looking at these three weights that Jesus calls us to lift in the life of faith. How many times have I had the little lie go through my head, "You deserve a break. No one is watching. You've been working hard. Go ahead and..." Fill in the blank. It doesn't what the specific sin is because it always leads to no longer leading by faith and

* Leading: How many times have I had the little lie go through my head, "You deserve a break. No one is watching. You've been working hard. Go ahead and..." Fill in the blank. It doesn't what the specific sin is because it always leads to no longer leading by faith and instead being led by my flesh. There's a reason our Trainer Jesus gets in our face and yells "So watch yourselves!" When? All the time, but especially when you are tired and alone. You are leading whether you are in a crowded room or all by yourself.

* Forgiving: It's the sheer repetition of this exercise that wears me down and makes me want to quit. Jesus makes it clear that forgiveness is a daily exercise with the people in our lives. It takes faith to trust that if I forgive this person who has hurt me that God will take care of the situation. Bitterness feels better for a while because I get to take it into my own hands. Ultimately, if I have the faith to believe that Jesus will forgive my daily sins then I have the faith to keep pumping this iron in forgiveness of those around me.

* Serving: Serving others is hard enough on its own, but especially so when there's no appreciation or recognition for what has been done. It takes faith to know that my reward is in Heaven especially because that's not where I live. I live right here on earth where people are selfish and ungrateful and I'm tired and want someone to serve me. It's a heavy weight indeed. The strongest saints of faith lifted all three

The strongest saints of faith lifted all three of these weights multiple times a day. If I want to be a ripped and cut Christian then there's no shortcut around the sheer repetition of leading, forgiving and serving.

Prayer

Lord, thank you for this challenge to my spiritual growth. I want my faith to grow and You've just shown me how. It's not automatic, its not easy. It requires the consistent daily discipline of faith in each of these areas whether I feel like it not! Thank You for training me towards growth even when I don't want to.


Devotions for October 04

Esther 1,2
Psalms 150
Luke 17

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