Archive for the ‘Pensées’ Category

A Matter of Obedience

A few days ago, I had a chance to give an exhortation to a youth group based on the disciples asking the Lord to “increase” their faith. As I went through the passage in Luke it is easy to miss out the context; in the previous passage the Lord exhorted them to be forgiving (seven times in a day)!

However, it seems that the disciples were not keen on doing that. To forgive is not easy. Instead of asking how a person can forgive another “seven” times (or seven times seventy times), they asked for greater faith.

The Lord did not give them a list of what or how to increase their faith. In fact, the presence of faith is enough, as long as that faith is clearly directed to Christ. The content of faith is more important than the amount of faith. Thus the Lord said to them, that even faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to uproot a century-old tree.

The issue is not having deep faith. The issue is obedience. Having faith in Christ should result to more obedience to His word. Many among our believers today are seeking God’s will (or specific will) in their lives. Yet those explicitly stated commands in the Bible, we rarely follow or we ignore them. For example, Paul does exhort us to be “joyful always,” to “pray unceasingly.” and to “give thanks in all circumstance.” Are we truly joyful? At all times? Why is obedience so important? The Lord gave a parable about a servant (doulos) who had to serve his master ahead of his need even though he’d toiled in the field for a whole day. Until the master is satisfied that was the time the servant can attend to his personal need. Thus, he can only say, “I am an unworthy servant, I have only done my duty.”

Faith in Christ should also lead to thanksgiving. Luke continues to record the healing of the ten lepers. As soon as they got well, only one came back to praise the Lord; and he was a foreigner. We are unworthy of all the things the Lord has done; we do not even deserve such abundant grace. We can only respond by being grateful–for we are unworthy servants.

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