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Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An Increased Faith

And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
(Luke 17:19 – KJV)

So what is an increased faith, what does it look like, and how do we get it? Now I want you to look at the whole of Luke 17 up to this point and realize something. This all goes together. Look at it. First, He teaches them some difficult things, and they realize that they must have more faith in order to do these things, and they ask for an increased faith. Jesus gives them hope by speaking of faith’s power and then teaches that faith is not merely doing one’s duty, and then we have an object lesson of what persevering, increasing faith looks like. It does do what is asked of it but then it goes further and so its power goes further, not depending on doing its duty for the faith, but depending on God. Having faith in God not faith in faith, or faith in personal devotion, or faith in merit or service or sacrifice, but faith meaning praise and thanksgiving to God. Not faith to get stuff but faith that understands it has been given stuff already.

The nine received the outer blessing just as many are looking for and that was all they wanted, but the other man wanted Jesus Himself and was made whole. Sure he was looking for the outer first, but his faith had increased, he saw the greater miracle, he was made whole, and his relationship with God was made right. Health is great but wholeness is better. They wanted an increased relationship with Jesus’ power; the other man wanted an increased relationship with Jesus Himself. The nine saw their most pressing physical need; the 10th also saw his real need. You have received many blessings; do they cause you to look to God in thanksgiving and praise, or to look to Him for more stuff? He wants to give you more, more of Him, as your faith increases.

Faith is about the inner life and how it relates to outer struggles, not how to change the outer struggles but to change our inner perspective. Faith is trusting that no matter what your walk looks like, God is going to see you through to the other side of judgment. They asked for and received mercy but the one received more.

Here is an object lesson, more than just the body, living a life of praise and thankfulness is faith and it results in being made whole. That doesn’t mean going around singing songs all day, not that this is bad, but it means to be faithful to come to God for problems, do what He says, and be thankful. When Jesus has done something He still wants to do more; do you have the faith for it? Not for getting something out of it but faith in God no matter what He might do.

In Matthew 15:21-29 the Canaanite woman had faith even though Jesus seemed to insult her. Job had faith although God seemed to want to destroy him and everything surrounding him. Abraham had faith although God looked like he wanted to kill the very seed He promised. God has given us the seed of the Word of God to grow our faith spiritually, for spiritual things, to see with spiritual eyes, to bear the fruit of the Spirit, and He wants it to increase, to have that fruit be a blessing to God and to others. Do you want the faith for that?

The nine had been given a great gift, but the 10th man saw Jesus as He truly was, as greater than mere healing, not just great enough to give him what he wanted, but so great that Jesus became what he wanted. 17:18 – don’t miss the fact that Jesus calls Himself God here. The other nine knew Jesus was able to heal them and they received it, but the 10th man saw himself as needing more than just physical healing, he realized that he might have been healed, and that he may have everything he thought or anyone else thought he needed, but he realized he was lost without Christ. The nine saw their physical problem, but the 10th man saw his spiritual problem. His faith went further, his faith had increased to accepting Jesus to fulfill deeper needs than just the physical. He realized the great difference between himself and Christ, it wasn’t simply that he was a leper, and he came back, he bowed down, and he worshipped the King of Kings for who He was. All 10 men were separated from society, were healed, and made able to draw near to other people again. But only one man knew how he really was separated from God, he was made whole and drawn near to God. His faith wanted more than a part of Jesus, it wanted the whole Jesus, and he was made whole.

Is Jesus Christ truly the desire of your soul today? Do you know what you really need? How much of Jesus does your faith want? Are you looking to Jesus to make you whole? I think we all need an increased faith.


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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13 Comments:

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Jesus Christ is truly the desire of my soul, today, and every day.

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Well, amen, and would your answer be different if I had chosen a different word instead of "soul"...not flesh, but will, or well, do you know what I am getting at?

Truly our desire is to thee (Isaiah 26:8)...

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger Annette said...

I find it interesting how you often talk about just what I need to hear and help me clarify thoughts and consider new ideas.

Thanks. :)

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

I have faith in Providence...blessings to you...

 
At 3:59 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

I hope and pray the "light comes on" for all who are seeking an increased faith this season...

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger donsands said...

"Having faith in God not faith in faith"

The faith in faith is big with the TBN crowd.

The Lord does say to us, "Trust Me". And this trusting Him grows through blessings, and adversity.

I just finished reading Elisabeth Elliot's "These Strange Ashes", and she actually lost everything she accomplished in 9 months in Ecuador in 1952-53. What a woman of faith she grew to be.
If you've never read it, it's a builder-upper.

Thanks for this excellent teaching JD. Very difficult to understand exactly what faith is. Hard to nail down. And this helped me.

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

I am grateful to God and giving thanks that you understood what we were trying to convey here Don, may it continue to be fruitful in your life...

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

Don, did you see the film, "End of the Spear?"

I know there was a lot of controversy surrounding the particular actors chosen, but I wonder if it was true to the real story?

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger donsands said...

No I didn't see it, but a good friend saw it, and he was disappointed. He said there were some good parts, but on the whole it was pretty bad, so I passed on it.

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Craver Vii said...

JD, that is so good! I wish I had this for my Sunday School lesson last week! Oh well, I'll save it for later. (Faith in God, not faith in faith.)

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Good post JD.

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thanks guys, and hey, be sure to visit tomorrow, (I'll probably put the post up later today)...this next post will be about something that is near and dear to my heart, and I wanted to post it this Thanksgiving Day, for it is truly something I am thankful for...

However, it may seem controversial...and I know it is Thanksgiving, but it might give hope to someone you may be with...I look forward to growing in God as we give thanks for His grace...

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Sista Cala said...

This post brought to mind the idea of seeking God's face and not just his hands. Seeking his approval rather than all the things he can do for us.

 

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