Summary: It is impossible to please God without faith. Faith is the way that operate as true believers. Life comes at us in all types of ways and there will be times that we need an increase in faith.
The bible tells us that faith is a gift from God. The bible also teaches us that without faith it is impossible to please God. The Word teaches that
• By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain
• By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.
• By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac
To understand how faith works, one must first know what faith really is and how we as Christians operate by faith.
With this time that is ours…I want to speak on the topic We Need Increase.
Jesus Teaching Forgiveness
As we look back on Luke chapter 17, Jesus is in Capernaum, small village on the Northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. At this point He has casted out a legion of demons from a man in the grave yard, His power healed a woman with an issue of blood, He has raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead, fed five thousand, been to the mount of Transfiguration and Jesus is now teaching the disciples through parables.
He has just taught them lessons about discipleship, repentance, discernment and more. It is lesson that He teaches on offenses and forgiveness that cause the disciples to think deeply. Jesus, teaches them to not cause people to stumble. He said it would be better if they we’re to thrown into the sea with millstone around the neck. So, He tells them to watch themselves. People of God, it so important we always live a life that is pleasing to God, even when we think that no one is looking. Because someone is always looking. Our life living is a ministry. We are teaching lessons through our actions all the time. So we must be careful that we don’t cause others to stumble because of something we did or did not do.
Jesus goes on to tell the disciples if your brother or sister wrongs you…warn them. If they are sorry for what they did forgive them. Our Savior then expounds on forgiveness by telling the disciples even if they do something to you seven times in one day…forgive them seven times.
Some of us may be able to understand 7 times in one month, maybe seven times in one week. However, Jesus teaches the disciples that they should forgive a person… the same person… 7 times in one day.
Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t believe that Jesus was placing a limitation on the amount of times a person should be forgiven. I believe that He was implying just the opposite. There is not a limit to us forgiven others who have wronged us. It’s a hard truth but it is truth. The bible tells us love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them which despitefully use and persecute us (Matthew 5:44)… The bible teaches us to love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). If truth be told, we would be in a sad state if God really gave us what we deserved. If God didn’t love us and forgave for all did or still do knowingly. So if God forgives us often and daily we ought
be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1) and so to brothers and sisters.
Jesus tells them to not cause anyone to stumble…watch themselves. Then he tells them if your brother or sister wrongs you…warn them and forgive them. Continuously forgive them.
At this point I imagine the disciples looking at Jesus like this was just a bit much. And they said Lord, “Increase our Faith.”
Increase Our Faith
My beloved Saint John, I submit to you this morning that we all need to increase our faith.
People of God, I am convinced that everyone here this morning that occupy a space here both physically and virtually need to make the same request of the Lord that the apostles made. “Lord increase our faith!” I have surety this morning in saying that we all have been through something that has tested our faith. If you are a living breathing individual you have had some terrible situation and conditions in your life.
The bible says that a man born of a woman is but a few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1). The bibles says count it all joy, “not if” but “when” you fall into various trials knowing that is a testing of your faith… I can stand here with confidence and say that everyone of us have been through, is going through or will go through trials in this life.
I’m sure that some of us in here have gotten ourselves into somethings that we couldn’t get yourself out of.