Jesus is faithful to teach you everything you need to know so you can walk intimately with Him each day. It is possible to be intimate in the same way Jesus was with His Father when He walked on the earth. When you live by God’s Word, you become a faithful person. When you believe God at His Word, Jesus takes you on an adventure where your faith grows roots that go deep. When you allow God’s Word to take you from self-righteousness to brokenness over your sins, you become an image bearer to the Kingdom of God.
Jesus’ time on earth was coming to a close and He had much to teach His disciples before His death (and glorious resurrection). He knew what they would face in the coming days, weeks, and years, so He made wise use of His time and taught them well.
One teaching time is found in Luke 17:1-10. Jesus wanted His disciples to know how to remain faithful to the calling. He knew that the world will bruise them up and rattle their faith. He understood how the enemy will try to steal it right from under them. This has not changed. Satan is out to steal your faith too. He hates God and he wants to keep you disgruntled and doubtful over who God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are so you will choose anything but them.
In these 10 verses, Jesus gives 7 traits that will keep your faith intact. He begins with a reality statement, “There will always be temptations to sin.”1 Trait #1: Always remember that your flesh is weak and it enjoys sinning. Wake up each morning asking God to guard your heart and mind from the evil one. Read Romans 12:2, Psalm 73:26, Colossians 3:5, and Proverbs 3:5-6 to aid in keeping your faith safe and alert.
Trait #2: Take God’s Word seriously. You do not want to be the person who tempts others to trip over their faith. You do not want to be someone else’s stumbling block. How you live each day will impact those around you. Are they seeing God in you or the world? Because of trait #1, you must believe and receive the Bible. It becomes your guide for each day.
Trait #3: Live your life where others can see Christ in you. Every area of your life is affected by the love of Jesus. If you don’t, you will cause others to fall into sin (or hold them back). Look at what happens to you if you cause someone to fall away, see verse 2. Read what it says in Matthew 18:6-7, “But if you cause one of these little ones who trust in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.
“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin.”
Stand strong in your faith and be an encourager to others. It is good to remember that in God’s Kingdom, we are all in this together making our way home to heaven. Let there be no division residing in your heart.
TRAIT #4: Watch yourself! Don’t take your focus off of Jesus and His Word. Keep it alive in your heart and meditating on it day and night; see Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 119:15,97.
TRAIT #5: Help your brother or sister in Christ who has fallen down. Jesus says to rebuke the sin and help them to repent and turn back to God. If they do, forgive them. Even if they wrong you more than once, if they ask for forgiveness, forgive them. Jesus forgives your sins. You are called to do the same.
The apostles asked Jesus to show them how to increase their faith. Their hearts were willing but their flesh was weak. Read Matthew 26:41, Galatians 5:17, Romans 7:18, and Romans 13:14 to deepen your weak faith. Until Jesus takes you home, your faith has room to grow and mature.
TRAIT #6: Small faith is all God needs to work in you. “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed.”6 You can do great things when Jesus is calling the shots for He knows you better than you know yourself and He knows what your tomorrows look like. So, go ahead and surrender yourself to Him for He will be found trustworthy.
Finally, TRAIT #7: You are called to serve others. Living by faith means you will get up each morning and put your apron on. In everything you do, you are serving the Lord, your Master; aka your boss. Essentially, do what your told, and your response to Jesus should be, “I am an unworthy servant who has simply done my duty.” And might I add, thank Him for loving you, forgiving you, and providing a way out of this sinful world.
Living out these 7 traits will keep your mindset aligned to God. They will help posture your thoughts towards the truth which feeds your heart. Then, God’s delicate hands will open your heart and remove worldly ways and replace them with His ways.
Your faith will become so strong and free. Because of your willingness to follow Jesus and believe, you will become a beautiful beacon of light to those who need Jesus. You will make the world a brighter place.