Actionable Faith – 7-25-22

And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:19 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Luke chapter 17 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Jesus Warns of Offenses

17 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no [a]offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should [b]offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins [c]against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns [d]to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

Faith and Duty

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

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. 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’? 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’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded [e]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.’ ”

Ten Lepers Cleansed

11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

The Coming of the Kingdom

20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, [f]‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is [g]within you.”

22 Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, [h]‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. 24 For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his [i]goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two [j]men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 [k]Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”

37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”

So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

Footnotes

  1. Luke 17:1 stumbling blocks
  2. Luke 17:2 cause one of these little ones to stumble
  3. Luke 17:3 NU omits against you
  4. Luke 17:4 M omits to you
  5. Luke 17:9 NU omits the rest of v. 9; M omits him
  6. Luke 17:21 NU reverses here and there
  7. Luke 17:21 in your midst
  8. Luke 17:23 NU reverses here and there
  9. Luke 17:31 possessions
  10. Luke 17:34 Or people
  11. Luke 17:36 NU, M omit v. 36.

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 6:1-2-

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Welcome back and I hope you had a blessed weekend. We are picking back up going line-by-line through the book of Luke (or as close to it as we can with our limited time together – I do try to keep these reasonable).
Update on the podcast – well, it looks like I need some equipment as well as programs. Praying for provisions to follow the vision! Also praying for health because I have been feeling a bit under the weather. If you are a prayer warrior – please agree in prayer for my complete healing. I have an autoimmune disease and it seems having covid a few times has made it weak and now I seem to catch everything – AND I REBUKE IT! ALL of it! Praying for complete healing of EVERYTHING even the autoimmune disease. It is hard to write these, study, pray and share the Lord while sick – so this hindrance MUST go in the name of Jesus.

I sometimes with I was super human and had it all together – but the struggle while growing and managing through the fiery darts of the enemy is hard – and sometimes I feel weak and beat down. But I am reminded of Paul’s declaration that when we are weak, HE is strong through us. It is the best way to be out of God’s way and let Him do what I cannot, so HE can be glorified. It would be nice not to have to encourage myself in the Lord, so often. But Paul told us to, and I am starting to see why.

So without a smooth transition – onto today’s reading. And it is so relevant for today’s world.

1 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!”

What is crazy, is that we can offend people without meaning to. All of us can. Oh if we can learn to control our tongue (or our fingers on the keyboard)! Lord help guard our words!
And what is even crazier is that there is an entire generation coming up who are offended by everything – even things that are not offensive. So we cannot stop offenses from coming. It is such a trap the enemy has devised against us. Because NOT only is it a woe to him through whom it comes… BUT:

It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

There is a BIGGER woe to anyone who offends the young!
How do we protect ourselves from this curse? We guard our words and ways, and if we offend we pray for forgiveness and go to them as ask for forgiveness. AND for those offenses that we do not know we committed? We ask God for revelation so we can take care of it – while praying for forgiveness for all unknown offenses.
Jesus went right from talking out offending to forgiveness just as fast:

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

FYI – rebuking someone often leads to THEM being offended! Then you have to ask forgiveness for offending them! Same with us when we are rebuked – we often take it as offense instead of as sweet and tender love from God! Like David said:
“Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.” Psalm 141:5 NKJV
Ya see David knew this principle – yet Jesus still had to say it in a more clear fashion. It doesn’t matter if someone who sinned against you gets right with God, you still have to do your part and get yourself right with God and with man.

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
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.” 

Marine biologists have found mountains and volcanos under the oceans and seas. And in Matthew, Jesus was quoted as saying mountain and not mulberry tree. So I keep watching documentaries to see when they discover a mulberry tree growing underwater so I can praise the Lord for some very literal chap who moved it there! Yes – I am sure that someone in the last 2000 plus years tried it and God said, “sure, why not”! Then, when discovered a remnant group of radical believers who take this stuff literal – like you and I – will rejoice and have our faith inspired.
But Jesus isn’t making that point – nor the point that all it takes is a small amount of faith. He is telling us that we already have a small amount of faith and we aren’t using it. This is a rebuke.
Lord, give us more faith, more anointing, and more of our gifting. We pray.
And Jesus is saying: “Why? You aren’t using what you have!”
Serious moment here to examine ourselves.
With guidance from a mentor, I am activing trying to use what the Lord has given me according to the Bible. Are you actively sharing the gospel, laying hands on the sick, and making disciples? Are you growing to the point where you can cast out demons and raise the dead? AND IF YOU ARE… oh yes, even you, are you a good steward of these thing and using them to the fullest?
When Jesus speaks of stewarding money – I usually speak to it as literally money and encourage you to tithe and give generously above and beyond that, even when you have little. I apply it to money because most preachers will not be direct and when they preach it; instead they remind us that we can apply this to being good stewards of our talents and gifts. This is also true. And we all can be blinded by pride and miss that we are NOT fully using what God has for us. AND do not argue with me; instead humble yourself and ask Jesus. Because if you were using what God gave you and signs and wonders followed you – you’d be flogged by mobs needing healing and deliverance!

A couple years ago I told you all how when I came back to God I needed deliverance. I was addicted to smoking and alcohol and had all sorts of sins that enslaved me. I searched for a pastor – any pastor who was willing to anoint me with oil and pray for my deliverance. And I found NONE. SO I searched for a friend, a foe, ANYONE who was willing to obey the word of the Lord and anoint my head and pray for my deliverance and I found none! So, I searched the internet and I found video tape footage of, a now deceased, preacher who specialized in mass deliverance and I watched all the videos I could find and read the books. And one by one I eventually overcame. God used a dead man – because there was no living man willing to do the job that I could find. So, I know we are not all using ALL that the Lord gave us. (Including me! I have not yet raised a dead person in the name of Jesus. – because it is written that we should do greater things than Jesus did!)

The last thing you and I should do is get caught up in a theological debate on if Jesus said Mountain or Mulberry bush. The discrepancy speaks not volumes than it both accounts were the same. Jesus intentionally is letting us know we should NOT get caught up on what we are throwing into the sea – we can throw our house, our problems, our flesh, or anything into the sea! It is about learning to steward our faith – not about what we apply our faith to. Let us apply our faith to everything!

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’? 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’? 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.’ ”

HUMILITY! Again, humility is the key. Jesus continues the rebuke with telling us we are barely fulfilling our duty. We think we have done above and beyond – but we have not. Not even close. We are servants and if we are barely doing all the little things required of us – how can He give us bigger things? How can we be honored to sit at the table and eat with Him?
AND there is the TABLE again. If not for grace we’d never see that table. We are not worthy of sitting at it. But we are servants, who are adopted – and as children, we may join the table. Moreover we are servants who are so honored we’ve become the bride to the Son and the table is set on our behalf!
And regardless of our lack of worthiness – let us study, practice and actually do this Christianity stuff and at least try to become worthy – not because it gives us any gain, but because we love Him whom we serve. If not, what is the point and why are we even here?

11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 So when He saw them, He said to them, 
“Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 
16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
17 So Jesus answered and said, 
“Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

Although I was originally taught that the other nine were not healed because they did not come back, we really do not know. We only know that for sure one was healed because of His faith. And the 5 lessons of gratitude that are often preached from this passage – it was not gratitude that healed him. It was faith. It clearly says so.
And of the ten lesson from the ten lepers – the strongest lesson is that faith is actionable.
That even in offense, faith actionably forgives others.
That in our own sin, faith actionable repents.
That in our small faith, faith actionably throws mountains and trees into the sea!
That in our dutiful service, faith is actionable to compel us to do more in love.
That in our healing, faith is actionable to make us go and give Glory and praise to God.
And that in His Kingdom come, faith is actionable to find us co-laborers building the kingdom.

Yes – faith is in action.

20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
22 Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. 24 For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.”

After reading so many parable about the Kingdom of Heaven – Jesus is again, clear, today. The Kingdom of Heaven is within each of us. Each soul won and surrendered to God is another brick in the wall (so to speak – interesting how secular music tried to make that out to be a bad thing). Anyway…

In the end times – which we are in:

26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”

The goal is to be the one who ends up in the arms of Jesus! In the Greek it says one is received and one is sent. Then it make more sense why they disciple said “where” in this next verse:

37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”
So He said to them, 
“Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

Ok so that is a little unclear. Let’s try the Berean Literal Bible Translation:
And answering, they say to Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered together.”

Oh.

We all have a life or death decision to follow Jesus or not. We all have the faith we can use to believe this. We also have the faith to do this. If not, what is the point?
Faith is actionable. So let us all take action today.  And seek God as to what action He wants us to take.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: