Increase Our Faith
THE APOSTLES SAID TO THE LORD JESUS, 'INCREASE OUR FAITH'.
I have often thought that if only I had more faith things would be different but I have felt uncomfortable asking Jesus to increase my faith as in Romans 12 v 3 we read, 'Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given to you'.
When the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith it was in response to Jesus telling them to forgive their repentant brothers seven times a day - ad infinitum. Jesus then goes on to tell the parable of the 'unworthy servants who have only done their duty'.
Is there a correlation in this parable, between faith and forgiveness? What increases and what diminishes faith?
The unworthy servant who had done everything right and recognised it as his duty had a right attitude.
Php 2 v 5 - 11. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
So it would appear that through wrong attitudes we forfeit/relinquish our God-given faith and through right attitudes our faith remains and develops.
The Book of James - just five short chapters - is a helpful aid to see what hinders and what develops faith. One particular hindrance James covers is favouritism - putting our personal likes, dislikes, desires, opinions, agendas before Jesus. Unforgiveness is a product of favouritism as we favour ourselves!
As Christians, the Holy Spirit is the Plumbline, The Counsellor in our lives and Jesus calls us to follow Him - put Him first. In Peter 1 v 2 we read that we are 'chosen for obedience to Jesus Christ'.
Maintaining a Christlike attitude by the help of the Holy Spirit is an encouraging key to faith, its development and increase.
by Erica Campbell