This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Saturday, 1 October 2016
Luke 17:5-10 Big Things Come in Small Packages
wealthy man died and went to heaven. He was met at the Pearly Gates by Saint
Peter who led him down the streets of gold. They passed mansion after mansion
until they came to the very end of the street. Saint Peter stopped the rich man
in front of a little shack. “This belongs to you,” said Saint Peter. “Why do I
get this ugly thing when there are so many mansions I could live in?” the man
demanded. “We did the best we could with the money you sent us!” Saint Peter
you ever noticed that some of the greatest or most beautiful things in life
come from thingsthat are very small?
me give you an example. How many of you plant vegetables or flowers? Plants and flowers
start as seeds. Once these seeds are planted, they slowly grow into plants and
vegetables of different sizes. All you have to do is look at pumpkins that are
entered into various weigh-ins at this time of year. Some of them weigh
hundreds of pounds, but they all started from a small seed.
is like a seed. It starts as something small and over time grows into something
larger that allows us to do great things in Christ’s name. Many people believe
they would be better equipped to live the Christian life if God wold only grant
them more faith. Jesus focused not on the quantity of faith but its character.
More faith does not equal greater ability to accomplish things, since God is
the One who does the work. The Lord is able to accomplish great things with
only a grain of genuine faith. Even an small amount of faith can lead to
remarkable results if it is the result of a genuine trust in God.
we ask for more faith like the disciples did in the reading we heard from Luke
17:5-10 earlier in this morning’s service, it’s often because we are facing
difficulties in life and we fear that our faith will weaken or that it won’t
match the trials we are facing.Jesus
tells both the disciples and us that the quantity of faith we have is not
important. What matters is the quality of our faith. A small amount of faith
will enable us to do great things for God. Having faith does not mean that we
will have the power to perform crowd-pleasing miracles. Sometimes the simplest
things done in faith can have huge impacts. Our response to the gift of faith
is the desire and ability to do what Jesus asks us to do, including great
illustrated His teaching on faith by pointing to a nearby mulberry tree-a
large, stout tree know for its longevity and deep root system. Our faith is to
be like the mulberry tree-large, strong, long-lasting and deeply rooted in the
love we have for God.
we struggle against life’s injustices and wrongs, we are reminded that the good
work we do is a gift from God. That gift is sufficient to enable us to do what
needs to be done to further God’s dominion on earth. Faith is putting one foot
in front of the other and walking toward a future we do not see but trust that God
is working. Faith is heading out the door every day looking for opportunities
to do God’s work in the world.
standards might seem to be too high, but they represent the minimum duties for
a servant of Christ. When we obey Christ, we are not to think that our
obedience is meritorious.Servants are
expected to do the will of their masters or employers; their work is not a
favour but a required service. A servant of God seeks to obey God’s commands
without question and without bargaining for a reward. When we follow Jesus’
teachings, we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. God owes us nothing,
and we owe him everything, even our lives. We are not owed any special favours
or rewards for our good works. We will be rewarded in heaven.
it comes to obeying Jesus, full faith is needed. If we want to increase our
faith, we must understand what faith is, and we must be rightly motivated in
wanting to see our faith increase. These motives are:
1.Wanting to please
2.Wanting to do
good works of love, which is a mark of a true Christian.
4.Wanting to live
wants to strengthen our faith through the hardships He allows into our lives. God
works in all kinds of circumstances, among all types of people, in all kinds of
situations. He is with us wherever there is even faith as small as a mustard
seed. He is alive wherever we practice the faith we already have.
are two ways to build our faith-repetition and impartation from God. Our faith
builds as we see God working in our lives and we come to trust Him more and
more because we see that He is faithful to us. When God imparts faith to us, it
is for a specific purpose or task. This is the type of faith we received when
we trusted God to save us. When we act in faith, we will grow in faith. Faith
is like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it gets.
isn’t a game plan for solving our problems. Faith does not mean understanding
why things are the way they are. Faith isn’t about answers. It’s about the love
of God through Jesus. It’s about being grasped by Jesus so that we know in our
hearts and bones that our lives, his life and the world are mixed together.
It’s about God working through us.
we live our lives according to the pattern Jesus laid out for us, we should not
expect any special commendations or rewards. Following His pattern is simply
the way to live life. We are only doing what He expects us to do. It is the
life we are expected to live by serving God. Faith is found in the ordinary,
daily acts of doing what needs to be done, responding to the needs around us
and caring for others.
having faith means having our thoughts, feelings and actions transformed by God.
It means being a “slave” to God and being wholly devoted to God’s purposes in
the world. Faith is just doing our job, or our duty, not because of any sense
of reward but simply because it needs doing.
is gracious to us. Each day He gives us the faith we need to face whatever the
day brings. We can grow weary, and we need to be waited on. That’s what God
does for us. He has us sit around His banquet table. He serves us with a
special chosen Word to encourage us. He gives us bread and wine to renew us
with Jesus’ life. We are renewed and we can go back to everyday life.
David: The Jeremiah Study Bible, New King
James Version (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013; pp. 1419-1420)
Bible. Part of Wordsearch 11 Bible software package.