Devotional thoughts on Luke 17:1-10
By Jen Dunning
“When I’d get tired and want to stop, I’d wonder what my next opponent was doing. I’d wonder if he was still working out. I’d tried to visualize him. When I could see him working, I’d start pushing myself.”
—Dan Gable, Olympic gold medalist and wrestling coach
Increasing your skill at something isn’t anything that can happen overnight or by rubbing a magic lamp. It takes work—hard, never-ending work. The disciples in Luke 17 asked Jesus to increase their faith with a snap of his fingers. Jesus’ response comes in the form of a confusing parable about a servant coming in from working all day. So what exactly is Jesus telling his disciples and us about increasing our faith?
In any sport an athlete has to train in order to perform the best in competition. Even those we consider the greatest must train hard before they step out onto the field or court. If they don’t, their performance will be lackluster and they may fail. An athlete in pursuit of being the best cannot ever reach a point when they say they believe they have achieved perfection; they must always strive to be better.
This is the concept athletes like Olympic wrestler Dan Gable use in their training regimen when trying to obtain greatness. This is the concept Jesus was explaining to his disciples when they asked for increased faith.
Having the level of faith Jesus talked about in Luke 17:6 cannot be obtained in an instant. We have to constantly train ourselves by studying the Word, praying continually, and engaging in Christian fellowship. There are a number of ways to involve yourself in a Bible study. Get involved in a small group where you can spend time learning from other Christians who are also looking to increase their faith. Develop a regular connection to God through prayer, asking for his guidance in your faith-building journey.
The servant’s work never came to completion. He was always working to serve his master to the best of his ability. When it comes to increasing our faith, we must never have a sense of completion but desire to push toward the prize. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Jen Dunning and her husband, Anthony, and their two daughters, Natalie and Brynn, live in Katy, Texas, where she is the director of Pre-Teen Ministry at Current—a Christian Church.