Increasing Your Faith and Gratitude
Luke 17:5-19(NIV): 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’? 8 Would 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’? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.‘” 11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him-and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
In this portion of scripture the Lord teaches how to increase our faith.
You increase faith by exercising it: 1. By speaking God’s Word (2 Corintians 4.13; Mark 11.22-23) in apparently impossible situations: say to the mulberry tree ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea’. 2. By acting on God’s Word (James 2.17-18) in the wisdom of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. 3. A spirit or attitude of excellence: A dissatisfaction with anything that is less than excellent: so not expecting or being satisfied with commendation when you have only done what you should do. So desiring to do even better than what is required or commanded (1 John. 3.22).
You increase your gratitude by going out of your way to give thanks well.
Of the 10 lepers who were healed only one returned to give thanks with a loud voice and falling on his face.
Why didn’t the other 9 return? They did not make the extra effort in energy (to praise God with a loud voice, to fall on their face) and time to go and look for Jesus to say thank you.
The scripture speaks of giving thanks well (1 Corinthians 14.16-17) by giving thanks in tongues. This means it is possible not to give thanks well.
It is therefore possible and desirable to increase your gratitude.
1.By making a greater sacrifice of time, strength (in singing, clapping and dancing like David (2 Samuel 6.14) with all your might) and in some cases money to say thanks to God showing a deeper depth of gratitude. This is why the Bible speaks of thanksgiving as a sacrifice (Psalms 116.17).
2. By showing a greater level of obedience and diligence to the things that matter most to God: the weightier matters of the law: judgement, mercy (or love) and faith (Matthew 23.23).
True gratitude is shown and increased not in words only but also in actions!