The Increase of Faith
Luke 7:1-10
Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.…

I. FAITH IS THE CONDITION OF THE EXERCISE OF GOD'S POWER UPON US — a condition, let it ever be borne in mind, of God's own making, and springing wholly out of God's own wisdom and love to us. For, I ask, What is faith? and I reply that, speaking generally, faith is sympathy with God — it is the receptive attitude of the soul — it is the laying open of the whole being to the influence of God. If I would keep the tender flower from the frost, I must cover it up and wrap it round to shut out the icy touch that would freeze up its life. But would I quicken it with the sun I must take away all barriers and let its blessed rays stream in. Unbelief covers up and closes the soul: faith opens it to the sunshine.

II. FAITH IS THE MEASURE OF GOD'S GIFTS TO US. The gifts are proportioned to our fitness and our power to receive them. There are partial gifts for partial faith; fuller gifts for fuller faith. To recur to my former illustration, the measure in which the sun streams into a chamber depends on the degree in which all impediments are removed from its entrance. The limit is not in the glorious orb, but in that which receives it. It will enter wherever it can, though it be but through a broken link. Throw wide open the broad shutters, and how it will stream in, till every object becomes beautiful in its rays! If we would have more faith, we must cultivate it; and I will tell you how.

1. There must be conscious desire in your minds for more faith — not a general wish for more grace in a vague and unmeaning way, but a deep sense of your need of a fuller trust in God and an earnest desire for it.

2. Try to exercise faith. The gift, indeed, is all of God; but He works through the human effort. Not the listless idle soul, that folds its hands and takes its ease in Zion, will ever get close to God, but the soul that presses on and up, and, in our Lord's vivid language, "takes heaven by violence."

3. To assist you in this effort, endeavour to watch and study the dealings of God with you, like one who expects to see God everywhere. Be not like the man who saunters along the road, not caring or thinking whom he shall meet; but like one who is looking out for a friend, and watches on every side to see him. Think of God as a real being, and both in the answers to your prayers and in the details of your life, try to trace His providence.

4. Let us dwell much upon the promises; let us live in them and on them, making them the habitual atmosphere of our religious life.

(E. Garbett, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.

WEB: After he had finished speaking in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum.

The Centurion's Love for God's House
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