In It Together
Lord, Your Word is for all people, but I know You want to speak to me, personally. I thank You.
Read Luke 17:1-10
 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.  It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.  So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.  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.”  The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”  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.  “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?  Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?  Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do we learn about forgiveness here?
We’re in this together—does that make your heart sink, or your spirit soar? It’s often hard to get along. In this passage Jesus gives his disciples, and us, some guidance. The first two principles are closely linked: don’t be a bad influence on other believers, but do be quick to restore relationships when others hurt or mislead you. Being part of the Christian family means being careful how we behave. In particular, we need to help, not hinder, each other’s faith. Jesus encourages us to deal with problems openly, honestly, patiently and promptly. When we forgive each other and build one another up, his kingdom advances. Forgiveness can be difficult, though. Maybe that’s why the disciples thought they needed more faith. Jesus’ answer is reassuring: it’s not the amount of faith we have that matters most, it’s whether we have any at all. When we trust God, even a tiny bit, he can work miracles. Duty is an unfashionable word today, yet it sums up why we should try to get along. We owe everything to God; our faithful, trusting service and obedience is the least we can offer him in return.
How can you encourage a friend in their faith today? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you; then, go ahead.
Lord, it’s not always easy for me to be forgiving or do my duty to You and others. Please help me.
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