Increase our Faith in Every Season
And the apostles said unto the Lord, "Increase our faith" - Luke 17:5
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And the apostles said unto the Lord, "Increase our faith." (Luke 17:5) And the Lord said, "If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this sycamine tree, be uprooted, and be planted in the sea; and it would obey you." (Luke17:6)

Jesus was talking to his disciples and told them it is inevitable that stumbling blocks, temptations to sin, and offenses will come. In fact, people will come into our lives with an assignment to stir up trouble, to provoke, to speak negatively about us, or entice us to do wrong. Those lapse of judgments are meant to discourage us in our walk with God and to cause us to lose our faith in hopes we stop communicating with our Creator. But in Luke 17, Jesus reminds us to pay attention, to forgive, to have faith, and to be of service to one another. Jesus said, "If a person sins against you, correct them and if they repent, forgive them. Even if the person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks for forgiveness, you must forgive." And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." And the Lord answered, "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this sycamine tree, be uprooted, and be planted in the sea; and it would obey you." (Luke 17:1-10) 

I love mustard seeds! I like to carry a bag of them with me for those times when I feel my faith is fading in a particular area. Then I pull out a mustard seed and tape it in the palm of my hand and am instantly reminded that I don't need a lot of faith to believe God in this situation. But sometimes there are situations or circumstances beyond our control and we say, Lord, increase our faith because this is the eighth time that so and so done did this now
Sycamine trees are very large trees and the
fruit that it produces is very bitter to eat. These trees are able to withstand in any temperature and easily grow in every environment especially in hot weather because their roots tap into the water source deep under the earth. Cutting the tree to its base does nothing to the tree because the roots are still connected to the water enabling it to keep resurfacing again and again and again.

Christ used the illustration of a sycamine tree that produces bitter fruit to show the apostles that when we have bitterness or unforgiveness in our hearts the only way to be able
to forgive, increase in faith, and to be in service to others is to uproot this bitterness, uproot this unforgiveness, uproot this anger, uproot this sycamine tree from our lives

Lord, you gone have to increase our faith. Reminds me of this wonderful song, Increase my Faith by Brian Courtney Wilson, "I've given my best and there's nothing left, but you never let me face what's next alone, I know that you're keeping me, strength when I'm weak, help me conquer the sorrow that creeps in when I'm anxious, and lose my way, I know you are preparing me for great things I have yet to see, but on those days when it's hard to believe, Increase my faith."

Lord, Increase our faith so that we pursue peace with everyone and do not fall short of your grace and that no root of resentment springs up and causes trouble in our lives. (Hebrews 12:14-15)

Lord, Increase our faith so that we are not quick to get even for the wrongs that have been committed against us. To repay evil for evil but give us strength to wait for you Lord because we know that you will handle the matter in the way it needs to be handled and you will deliver us. (Proverbs 20:22)

Lord, Increase our faith and forgive us as we forgive others. (Mark 11:25)

Lord, Increase our faith so our soul does not perish in bitterness, never having tasted of your prosperity. (Job 21:25)

Lord, Increase our faith so we are not quick in our spirit to be angry for anger rests in the bosom of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

Lord, Increase our faith as we release anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and obscene language from our mouths. (Colossians 3:8)

Lord, Increase our faith and remove the hatred that stirs up strife and fill our hearts with love that covers and overwhelms all offenses, forgiving and overlooking one another's faults. (Proverbs 10:12)

I pray that you uproot every sycamine tree in your life and that you Increase your Faith in every season! Now, back to my season business unless Jesus bids me to come and post another message!

Many Blessings upon you and yours - sincerely, Danielle Smith
 Happy New Year!
Health Awareness Month

In recognition of American Heart Month, we wanted to remind you to schedule your annual check-up so you can get your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure usually has no warning signs, so checking it regularly is vital.

In addition to a check-up, you can help protect your heart by:

Choosing heart-healthy foods    •Getting regular exercise 
Maintaining a healthy weight      •Managing stress
Quitting smoking                         •Getting good-quality sleep
Knowing your blood pressure numbers
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