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Believe!

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat.’ But his servant said, ‘How can I set this before a hundred people?’ So he repeated, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord, “They shall eat and have some left.” ’ He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. (2 Kings 4:42-44, NRSV)

God provides for us even when we do not understand how.

Here God feeds 100 people with 20 barley loaves and fresh ears of grain. We do not know how this meager amount of food will feed so many, but God is able to do far more than we can fathom.

Believe!

 

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What is enough?

161002The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” (Luke 17:5-10, NRSV)

Have you ever wanted more?

More bacon?

More ice cream?

A better car?

a bigger house?

More money?

Here the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. And Jesus replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” And when we hear this, we hear the if as saying our faith is not enough.

But let me ask you, who among you needs to be able to say to a Mulberry tree, or a walnut tree, or any kind of tree for that matter, be uprooted and move over there and be planted? Who needs that ability? Ok, maybe a tree planter it would come in handy, but really anyone else?

Jesus is saying if your faith was the size of a mustard seed you could do that, but it’s not and that is not a bad thing. You see we have faith that is given to us by God to do the things that He has called and planted us here to do. We do not need any more than what we have, what we have is enough.

No, we can’t move mountains or trees but we can do what Jesus is leading us to do.

None of us deserve any more than what we need, and we will get what is promised to us for doing what Jesus asks us to do.

So do not worry about the amount of faith you have, it is enough.

 

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Who rules you?

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:1-14, NRSV)

We know that Jesus died on the cross to take away our dirty sinfulness that keeps us from God.

So does that mean because His grace abounds we should continue to sin all the more so we can get more grace?

No! First of all we do not need to sin to experience grace.

Grace is freely given to all and grace that does not wash away sins is not better grace, but to those of us who receive it there is a pleasure in it. It is like the acknowledgement of a job well done by a trusted advisor or parent.

You see we get the choice each and every morning we wake up who we will serve. we have that choice each moment of our lives actually, to choose to serve Christ or to serve our own sinful nature.

I have read, “We’re not sinners because we sin. We sin because we’re sinners.” You see sin is what turns us in on ourselves and makes us do things for the unholy trinity of me, myself, and I. We do thinks for our own pleasure and gain.

When we serve Christ the need of the many out ways the needs of the one. Or the needs of our brothers and sisters are more important than ours.

So who rules you?

 

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What you got!

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’ ” (Luke 17:5-10, NRSV)

How many of you have been where the disciples are in this reading?

How many of you have asked Jesus to increase your faith?

But is faith something we can quantify?

Is faith something we can really have more of?

Jesus tells the disciples “IF you had faith the size of a mustard seed…”. This means they don’t even have that much faith.

We think this is bad, because most of us look at what we don’t have rather than what we do.

Jesus is not saying the disciples need more, but what they have is enough! Their faith, like ours, is not enough to move a tree into the sea, but what we have been given is enough to do what is expected.

So don’t wish for more. Be happy with what you have!

 

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