Daily Reflection – 11/11/19
Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to (this) mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. ( Luke 17: 1-6)
What’s the driving force in your life? Jesus speaks of two forces at work in our lives — the power of temptation to sin and the power of faith to overcome obstacles. The scriptures warn us about the snare or enticement to go astray and to do what is evil. “Keep me from the trap which they have laid for me, and from the snares of evildoers! “(Psalm 141:9) The Jews held that it was an unforgivable sin to teach another to sin. If we teach another to sin, he in turn may teach still another, until a train of sin is set in motion with no foreseeable end. Jesus warns his disciples of the terrible responsibility that they must set no stumbling block in the way of another, that is, not give offense or bad example that might lead another to sin. The young in faith are especially vulnerable to the bad example of those who should be passing on the faith.
While Jesus warns against the sin of bad example and scandal, he also demonstrates the power of faith for overcoming temptation and obstacles. What did Jesus mean when he said that our faith can move trees and mountains as well (see Matt.17:20; Mark 11:23)? The term “mountain remover” was used for someone who could solve great problems and difficulties. Don’t we often encounter challenges and difficulties which seem beyond our power to handle? What appears impossible to human power is possible to those who believe in God’s power. Faith is a gift freely given by God to help us know God personally, to understand his truth, and to live in the power of his love. God expects more from us than we can do by ourselves. Faith in God is the key for removing obstacles and difficulties which keep us from doing his will. We are his servants, and he is ever ready to work through us and in us for his glory. For faith to be effective it must be linked with trust and obedience — an active submission to God and a willingness to do whatever he commands. Do you trust in God’s grace and power to resist temptation and to overcome obstacles in doing his will?
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, help me in my weakness and increase my trust in you and in your power to resist temptation. Give me the grace and strength to choose what is right and to set a good example for others, especially to those who are young in the faith.”
How is it going for you with your life of community, with your life of forgiveness? Have other people hurt you? Have you hurt other people? Do you find it hard to forgive and seek reconciliation? Do you take the initiative to restore a good relationship, or do you just sit back and stew in your juices? When you see a brother or sister in Christ going off track, do you just ignore it and block it out of your mind? Or do you do the risky thing and try to help that brother to come to repentance? You see, our failure to pursue forgiveness and reconciliation and repentance and restoration–this leads to bitterness, broken relationships, and conflicts in our family and in the church. And if you just stay within yourself and your own resources that you can muster up on your own, that will always be the case.