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Exercising Your Faith
Theme: Mustard seed faith. Little is much when God is in it. Proper 22 (27) Year C
Object: A jar of jelly (or something similar) and a hand exerciser or a rubber ball to squeeze.
Scripture: The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you! Luke 17:5-6 (NLT)

One day I took a jar of jelly out of the cabinet and tried to open it. I tried and tried to open the jar, but my hands just weren't strong enough to hold the jar tightly and turn the lid. It is a little embarrassing to try to open a jar and not be able to do it, so I decided that I needed to increase the strength in my hands. I got this hand exerciser to help me. You have probably seen one of these. You just squeeze the two sides together, like this. If you don't have one of these, you can do the same type of exercise by squeezing a rubber ball. By doing these exercises every day, my hands will surely be strong enough to open a jar of jelly. It doesn't take a huge amount of strength to open a jar of jelly, does it? No, if you just have a little strength, that will be enough.

How many of you know what faith is? Faith is trusting in God and depending on him. Faith is like a muscle, if you exercise your faith every day, it will become stronger. We are sometimes very quick to say that we have faith in God. We say that we believe that He can do anything, but then we act as if everything depends on us. That isn't a very strong faith, is it?

One day, Jesus was teaching his disciples about the importance of forgiving others. He told them that even if someone sins against you seven times a day, you must forgive them every time. The disciples thought that would be a very hard thing to do, so they said to Jesus, "Show us how to increase our faith."

Jesus answered them, "If you had faith, even as small as a mustard seed, then you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."

Wow, that is amazing faith, isn't it? Do you know why that is possible? It is because God's power doesn't depend on our strength. It all depends on him! There is a song that we sing that says it all. "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There's nothing my God cannot do!" All we need is a just a little bit of faith!

Dear Lord, help us to exercise our faith each day, but also help us to remember that your strength is enough for anything we need. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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An alternate sermon based on Luke 17:5-6: "Mustard Seed Faith"
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