260 Devotional, Apr. 4, Luke 17

1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 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. 3 So watch yourselves.    “If your brother or sistersins 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.

7"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? 9Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "

Meditation:

  1. Here Jesus shows us that we are to rebuke one another when one of us sins, but be quick to forgive when he or she repents.   Each of us is to accept responsibility to care about one another’s walk with God.  In the community of faith each is to find forgiveness and support to live a godly life.
  2. Jesus commanded his disciples to confront, to accept someone when he repents, and to forgive.  Responding to a command isn’t a matter of faith, it is a matter of obedience.
  3. How many times have you held back, wishing you had more faith to do something you knew God wanted you to do?  How many times have you pleaded for more faith in your inadequacy?  And how many times has the longing for more faith simply masked the fact that you have been unwilling to obey?
  4. Allow the questions to speak to your heart.  Continue this quiet time with God.  If the Holy Spirit is rebuking you right now, confess it and ask for God’s forgiveness.  Pray for mercy to obey God willingly.

Suggestion for Family Devotional Time:  A mustard seed is very small but produces big results when planted.  What can you think of that is small but could produce great results?  What is a little faith?  How do you think Jesus would want you to do more with the faith you have?

Prayer & Journaling:  On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.

Proverbs for Today 8:14-16

14 I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength. 15 By me kings reign,  and rulers decree what is just; 16 by me princes rule,  and nobles, all who govern justly.

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