WHAT GOD CAN DO
Read: Luke 17:3-6
3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (NIV Luke 17:3-6)
Study: Jesus told his disciples that, in his kingdom, they needed to be ready to forgive someone, even seven times in the same day if that were necessary. That sounded awfully hard, so the disciples cried, “Increase our faith.” But Jesus said faith isn’t a matter of “size.” Any faith can produce big changes in our hearts and lives. The Old Testament at times reflected our natural human response toward people who hurt us (Psalm 139:21: “Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD?”). Jesus taught, very clearly (if uncomfortably), “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). How can you recognize and deal with your times of hurt and anger in ways that allow you to pray for, and seek the good of, people who offend or hurt you?
Prayer: Lord, in some ways, “increase my faith” could leave it up to you to change me while I wait passively. Instead, I trust you to guide me while I steadily seek to grow more like you every day. Amen.