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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Increase our faith! Faithful Servants...

Luke 17:5-10

Jesus said, "When you have done all you were ordered to do, say, "We are worthless servants; we have only done what we ought to have done."

What ought we do?
Jesus said repent, believe, follow Me, love everyone, help the poor---this is discipleship. Worship is a universal human duty. We do not need to know Jesus to know that we should be good or worship God. Christianity has a revelation about that God, known by human reason, and it conveys the Truth. In Jesus we have a relationship with God, because Jesus is God incarnate.  Jesus is our Lord and Master. We are honored to serve in His household. It is a gift and blessing to be His slave (the honor of servitude in the Greatest House!). Our mission is to carry Jesus into the world.  (Luke 9:1-2) "Jesus gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal."

Humans are no less broken and in need of the Father's love in Jesus today than they were 2,000 years ago. We all still need rescue. Jesus rescues us, but He wants more for us and from us. He sent His Holy Spirit to make us His Presence in the world. The poor and lonely, sick and suffering, broken and demon oppressed need Jesus as much today as they did in ancient Judah. Jesus sends us, His "worthless servants" to carry salvation today.

When I say "I am a worthless servant" I am saying "it isn't about me, its about Jesus." "I am just doing what I am supposed to do" means I am just doing what I am supposed to do, nothing special. It is called duty, a word which has lost its power in our generation. (In our day, following one's heart and seeking one's desires is held up as the highest value.) However, if we are worthless servants, our service is of great worth; for it is the work of God's saving and redeeming love. We are not worthy to carry such a treasure, but the Holy Spirit sanctifies us for our task. It is a blessing to carry Jesus wherever we go!

But I know it is a struggle... We doubt God could choose us. We doubt Jesus could entrust us. We doubt ourselves, not believing the power to proclaim, teach, heal or exorcise is in us. We feel we need more faith. Apparently, the apostles thought the same thing. "Increase our faith!" they asked Jesus. His response is surprising.

Basically the Lord says, "you don't need lots of faith,if you have a speck of it that is enough for miracles." It isn't about us and our faith, it is about God the Father. He has the power, we just need to trust Him and get on with it. Faith, it seems, is like pregnancy--you either have it or you don't. Just look at God, listen to God and trust!

I personally think the problem isn't faith, it is love. We do not open our hearts to the Holy Three and the love of God is not allowed to have its way with us. We do not love the Lord enough. God is not at the center of our life, sometimes He is barely at the periphery. We don't pray much. We don't read Scripture much. We don't care about our Lord most of the day. We are busy with many things. Cut off from God, our hearts are not a burning flame of love. So we cannot long to see broken people made whole either. We do not burn with fire for the ministry. It's not a problem of faith, it's a cold heart.

We are servants, sent by Jesus to preach, teach, heal, exorcise, forgive---but all of it is really one thing: Relationship with God. Calling people out of the Dark Kingdom into God's Light. Trusting the Father and believing He loves us. Loving the Father and desiring a real relationship.

Believing in God's love is a mustard seed.
Believing in God's love for others is a mustard seed.
Believing God gives us power and authority is a mustard seed.
Belief is a mustard see.
But the mystery of the mustard seed is the little seed grows into a huge bush.
Belief is a mustard seed, when we act in faith amazing things will happen.
Stop worrying about how much faith you have.
A little bit is all God needs to do amazing things!

Jesus makes clear. Faith is not the problem, love and obedience is. If you love deeply and do what Jesus sent you to do, then a speck of faith is all it takes. The power to forgive and heal, to snatch folks from Satan's grasp and bring them to Jesus is in you. If you open your heart in love then you will find you already have all the faith that you need.

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