Sunday, August 14, 2016

Faith, Trust, and Service

Today's lesson is found in the seventeenth chapter of Luke's Gospel in which we observe the disciples coming to Jesus with a request:
The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”
But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.
7-10 “Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, ‘Sit down and eat’? Wouldn’t you be more likely to say, ‘Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I’ve finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper’? Does the servant get special thanks for doing what’s expected of him? It’s the same with you. When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.’”  (Luke 17:5-10, The Message)
 This is a striking teaching on faith.  Faith, according to Jesus, is not quantified.  Either one has faith or he does not.  Thus to say, "I wish I had more faith," is to say, "I have no faith."  It is imperative that we rely on God and trust in His perfect will.

Jesus further teaches us our role in the service of the Kingdom by using the human master/servant relationship as a model.  The servant coming in from his daily toil does not expect to be treated as a guest in the household, but rather knows that he may well be required to provide further service to the master.  He fulfills his duties and is rewarded with his sustenance.  And the service of disciples is just the same.  We are to finish the work so that we may report to the Master, "We have done as we were told."  Our  reward is fulfillment of our needs.  True to His promise, He will provide.  We accept in gratitude, whether or not we get a pat on the head.

In the words of the old hymn, "Oh, for faith to trust Him more."

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