Prayer Focus: Singapore

Bible Reading: Mathew 19; Mark 10:1-31; Luke 16-18:30

Scripture: “He who is faithful in a little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” 

“Be on your guard! if your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”   (Luke 16:10-11; 17:3-5)

Observation: Here is a command to be faithful with what we have, with an implication that more might be possible. Here is also a command to forgive, and an implication that more might be asked of us.  A valid response to both is, “Lord, increase our faith [fulness].”

Application: So many times when we think of faith like a mustard seed, we think of great and migthy acts of freefalling with God, taking risks and seeing the impossible occur on a grand scale. I’ve never related it back to the concept of forgiveness. When I juxtaposed this thought with being faithful in all things, I had to stop and take a closer look. I know the teachings about money and serving two masters, which certainly applies in this context, but what if more might be gleaned from these passages? How much faith does it take to forgive? It can be challenging in the best of circumstances – someone wrongs you and repents, never to wrong you again – but can seem nearly impossible in situations described here – SEVEN times . . .in ONE day? Wouldn’t we question the sincerity? How sorry can they really be?

Over and over in Scripture we see verses that reference reconciliation – Eph 4:32 forgive as you’ve been forgiven; Col 3:13 forgive as the Lord forgave you; Luke 6:27 love your enemies; 2 Cor 5:18 we have the ministry of reconciliation.

What if forgiveness and reconciliation are the ‘true riches’? According to Jesus, we have the capacity to forgive – we have the capacity to be faithful in much. Do we have the desire? It’s much easier (though not always easy) to write a check rather than reach across the aisle, or the table, to restore fellowship with one another. Jesus says it doesn’t take much, just the faith of a mustard seed. I think the disciples got it right here – to paraphrase – “Wait a minute – that’s going to be difficult. Help me out here.” 

Prayer: Father, may we be faithful in all things, increase our faith, help us forgive. May we speak Truth into the lives of those around us, restore relationships, break down walls, and be overwhelmed with true riches that build your kingdom here on earth. For the Glory of Your name, Amen.

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