Sin, Faith, and Duty (Luke 17:1-10) ~ Christine Malkemes

The Word

And He said to His disciples… Luke 17:1a

Contemplative Reflection

The first ten passages in Luke 17 carry significant weight. There are three different lessons here: the temptation to sin, increase in our faith, and unworthy servants. 

The temptation to sin (Luke 17:1-5)

We deceive ourselves if we think the temptation is for others and not us. 

Pay attention to yourselves… Luke 17:3a

Pay attention to what happens in your life. The enemy of your soul does not take a day off. But, unfortunately, there are false teachers all around us – in our smartphones, radio, television, and social media.

People will sin against you again and again. You might even be tempted not to forgive them. 

Take heed, sister disciple, for sin is crouching at your door and wants to sift you like sand. Run, don’t walk, away from temptation. Determine not to entertain false teachers. For those who sin against you, forgive – forgive if they repent. 

Forgive, not for the sake of the trespasser but the sake of your soul. Unforgiveness seeps into the soul, bitterness to your lips, and takes away your peace. Unforgiveness is a sin. 

Be sure your sin will find you out.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it is a sin for him. James 4:17

Increase our Faith (Luke 17:5-6)

Jesus has given attention to the disciples and others. Then the apostles lift their voices as one to gain his attention. 

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5

We could spend days talking about faith. The apostles took to heart everything Jesus was saying and feared they didn’t have enough faith to do what the Lord was asking them to do.

Jesus chose these 12 apostles. They were given the gospel and the great commission to go and make disciples. We know they were successful on this side of history and an open Bible. Jesus increased their faith as He does for us, little by little. 

Faith as small as a mustard seed applies to the power of prayer, but the Lord noticed they needed the confidence to forgive others.

The more time we fellowship with Christ, our faith will increase. It will not be done if we think it can’t be done. But, if we approach it as doable by faith, even the mountain can be removed. 

Nothing is too difficult for God. 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrew 11:1

Unworthy Servants (Luke 17:7-10)

We need to understand who we are as servants of Christ. The Master deals with us as His beloved servants. We are and never will be equal. The servant is never more significant than the Master.

So you also, when you have done everything you’re told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” Luke 17:10

We obey, not out of obligation nor to gain a great reward. Our servant’s hearts do not expect preferential treatment for doing what He’s told us to do. 

Service is as servants do.

Service is the loving, thoughtful, and active promotion of the good of others. Service demands obedience – it requires we go beyond ourselves to do as He directs us. It is our honor, not our duty, as a servant of the Living God to obey willingly and faithfully.

Whoever serves Me must follow Me, and where I am, there will my servant be also, whoever serves Me, the Father will honor. John 12:26

How Now Should We Live?

Take care to obey God’s call; pay attention to yourself by making every effort to stay away from the temptation of sin. Spend more time with the Lord and watch how much your faith will increase. 


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Christine Malkemes is a wife, mother, minister, and retired Army Officer. Her passion is to see women find intimacy in their relationship with the Lord. She will tell you the most powerful prayer she ever sent to heaven was "Lord, You must become more and me less!" She is on a journey to the heart of God. Will you join her.

Christine Malkemes, Founder of Words Whispered. Used with permission.

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