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Increase Our Faith

What Jesus Said  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Our sermon will be on Luke 16:14-17
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Increase our Faith

I’ve been driving for quite a while.
I tend to drive a little fast and some times a bit aggressive.
Lizzie got nervous when I was driving the other day.
I know that when I’m in the car with one of the kids driving, I get a bit nervous.
Some of y’all can relate.
Years ago I was hunting with my Dad and Uncle.
I don’t know what Dad was doing, but I got a deer and was going to take it to the check station at Moody.
For those that don’t know, you used to have to take your deer to a check station, have it examined and weighed.
It’s done electronically now.
The road from Peggs to Moody has a couple of 90 curves that are about like turning at an intersection.
Well, I had never been that way or at least I didn’t remember.
My uncle was talking to me and telling a story.
We come to that first curve and I wasn’t expecting it to turn that quick.
It’s quite possible I was speeding.
When I hit the curve, the truck slid off the road and right into the ditch.
I recovered before we hit the fence and got back on the road and into my lane.
The whole time my uncle was telling me the story.
He never stopped and he didn’t even seem phased by it.
After we got around the second curve (at a much reduced speed), I asked him if he was worried (because I was). He said “naw, I knew you had it.”
He had faith in my driving.
Do have faith in God?
Today, we are going to ask God to “Increase Our Faith”
Luke 17:5–10 NKJV
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
The apostles asked Jesus “Increase our faith.”
In the parallel passages, the disciples had just got back from going out and healing and casting out demons.
But there was 1 they couldn’t cast out.
That’s the context of them asking for more faith.
So Jesus it going to take Faith and compare it to a seed.
A mustard seed.
Let’s play this idea out and tie it back in to Jesus’ teaching.

Faith must be Planted

Seeds must be planted. Our faith must be planted.
So how do we plant faith?
Well, first, we need to know what faith is.
We know that we are saved by grace through faith in Ephesians 2:8
Ephesians 2:8 NKJV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
But what does faith mean?
The word itself means to believe in the truth, to win over, or to persuade.
The truth is that we cannot separate the definition of faith from the Bible.
The best definition of faith comes from the Bible in Hebrews 11:1
Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Let’s see if we can understand what that is saying.
Hope is something that we wish for, however it is grounded in the truths that we trust in.
Earlier, we talked about my uncle believing in me even though we were off the road.
He never missed a beat in telling his story.
I have no idea what his story was about but he was telling it while we were bouncing around in the ditch.
He trusted my driving. That trust could be unfounded.
So this is why faith must be planted or grounded correctly.
If someone’s faith is in Buddha, then that faith is unfounded.
So faith doesn’t save you, but instead it is the one in whom you have faith in.
Jesus talks about soils in the parable of the 4 soils.
These represents different types of faith.
We need to make sure that our faith, our seed is on good ground.

Faith must be Plowed

In this story, Jesus tells us about a servant who is plowing.
Plowing and taking care of the soil is the difference between good soil and the other soils.
We have to maintain our faith.
In 2 Corinthians 13:5
2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
Paul is telling us that we need to til that ground, we need to check to see if our seed is growing.
I think that’s why the writer of Hebrews said to gather together.
Hebrews 10:25 NKJV
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
It’s also why God has set up a hierarchy within the Church
In Ephesians 4:11-12
Ephesians 4:11–12 NKJV
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
We come together to help one another become more like Christ.
That’s what I mean by plowing the ground.
So Faith must be Planted, Plowed and

Faith must Produce

This is really what what James talks about in James 2:14-17
James 2:14–17 NKJV
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
We must have works along with faith or there is no proof of that faith.
Think about what James is saying.
When you see someone who has died, a doctor will check for signs of life before they declare them dead.
They will check for breath and then they will check for a pulse.
If we are truly saved, there will be signs of life.
Earlier, I read Ephesians 2:8-10
Ephesians 2:8–10 NKJV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
What is that saying?
It’s saying that since we are a new creation, we are going to have works, we are going to produce.
So Faith must be Planted, Plowed, and Produce.

Faith cannot be Proud

I want us to read the last verse in our scripture again. Luke 17:10
Luke 17:10 KJV 1900
10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
I read these last few lines again and again.
It seems to us in our social context that the master is being harsh.
He’s telling his servants to fix his dinner before he can eat.
In that day and time, this was a normal thing.
The servants were expected to do this.
It’s not trying to say God is like that.
It’s talking about what our attitude as servants should be.
Cristy and I watched an expose of a very large worldwide church.
Their pastor stepped down a few days ago.
One of the things they did was having this idea of celebrity pastors.
One of their former pastors here in America was known for hanging out with celebrities.
A few days ago, I reposted this from 11 years ago:
Being a pastor does not make me holy. Instead, because of the time I spend in the mirror of God's Word, I should see my sins and my faults even more clearly than other people's faults.
I didn’t think about it at the time and I didn’t even realize what my message was about.
I don’t know always have this attitude but God reminds me of my fallenness and then I’m back on the right track.
Some people think Christians have this holier than thou attitude, and some of us do.
But that’s not the attitude Jesus had and it’s not the attitude he asks us to have.
Our attitude should be we didn’t do enough.
We have only done what is our duty.
If I become a rock star pastor, then Pride will be my downfall.
If we think we God owes us something, then we have the wrong attitude.
If you examine my life, God owes me nothing.
It is only by his mercy that I will receive a home in Heaven.
So let’s get to what I take from this passage:
If our faith is planted, plowed, and producing,
Then our faith will keep increasing.
If God does mighty works through us,
then that’s God’s work, not ours.
Faith in itself has no power,
but it’s the power of the one you have faith
Who is your faith in?
Is it yourself to keep from doing wrong?
or is it in God who will keep you strong?
Let’s go back to my uncle - why did he trust my driving?
Let me tell you, I don’t trust anyone’s driving.
Maybe he seen me enough to know that I’d be ok.
Or maybe he knew that even if he died, he knew where he was going.
Do you know where you are going?
Are you headed into the ditch?
Or are you on the straight path?
Lord, Increase our faith!
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