Day 24

Faith and Duty

from the Luke reading plan

Luke 17:1-37, Deuteronomy 10:12-13, Hebrews 3:7-11

BY Guest Writer

I’ve sung the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” nearly every night for the past decade. It’s the lullaby I sing over my children as I put them to sleep. I’ve spent thousands of hours rocking a swaddled cherub in my arms and softly singing these words:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

I mean it. Deep down in my gut, I swear I do. And yet, in the light of day, when life is hard, my heart doesn’t turn toward praise quite so easily. The Lord described us perfectly when He said, “They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways” (Hebrews 3:10). There’s no sense in trying to sugarcoat it.

The prophet Isaiah declared, “We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way” (Isaiah 53:6). It’s why Robert Robinson, writer of the hymn I mentioned above, included these words, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love…” And why I sing them to my babes, knowing they inherited their wandering hearts from me. I’m so prone to wander toward fear, doubt, and worry, instead of trusting that God will come through. If the measure of my blessings hinged on the amount of my faith, I’d have to go without.

Faith is the only gift we have to offer the Lord. It’s what the Samaritan leper brought Jesus in Luke 17, and it was enough. “And he told him, ‘Get up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you’” (v.19). But unlike faith, the grace of God isn’t measured in mustard seeds. The “streams of mercy” we sing about are more like a tidal wave, capable of washing away our sin and guilt (Zechariah 13:1), even when our faith is frail.

Perhaps the reason I’m so comforted by the words of Come Thou Fount, is because of a story I once heard about its songwriter. As it goes, one day Robinson was riding in a stagecoach when a lady asked him his thoughts on the hymn she’d been humming. Robinson reportedly replied, “Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.”

I’m so grateful for and encouraged by the disciples’ request of Jesus, found in Luke chapter 17. They asked, “Increase our faith!” (v.5). Their words remind me of the tender prayer of a father desperate to see Jesus heal his boy found in Mark 9:24, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”

Prone to wander. Lord, I feel it. And yet, we serve a God who is relentless in pursuit of us (Luke 15:4). Whether you have faith the size of a mountain or a speck today, you can wrap yourself up tightly and rest in this:

Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (66)

66 thoughts on "Faith and Duty"

  1. cinback says:

    I, too, stand with all of you in prayer for Casi, her son, her family, and her faith (and mine). Amen!

  2. Crystal says:

    But unlike faith, the grace of God isn’t measured in mustard seeds. The “streams of mercy” we sing about are more like a tidal wave, capable of washing away our sin and guilt (Zechariah 13:1), even when our faith is frail.

    Living near the ocean, I could visualize the tidal wave. The enormity, the force, the sheer volume of water in one wave and the mighty roar that comes with this. Then apply that to God’s mercy and how strong, mighty, and full of force His mercy is and I am overwhelmed with tears of gratitude and praise. It doesn’t trickle upon us as a stream trickles down stream, but it covers us with such enormity we are swallowed up by it. Praise the Lord. Then I think of this…The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness(Lamentations 3:22-23). Every single day we are drenched by the tidal wave of His mercies, even on the days we wander. Oh how undeserving I am, but how safe I feel when I mess up that I am still loved unconditionally. This makes my heart rejoice today.

  3. Alexis says:

    Casi- I love your question: “How is it that after all God has done for us – the answered prayers, all of the times He’s shown up – how is it that my first response to bad news is still fear and doubt and not faith and trust?” I struggle with this too. I pray peace over you and your family today. Let God guide the hands of the surgeons, and may your baby boy have a long, fruitful, fun life getting to know Christ as his Lord and Savior. Thank you God that you love us, and understand our worries- knowing that they will cause us to run to you. You do not judge or condemn us; you love us. Amen

  4. Kimberly Hernandez says:

    Loved this today. I especially loved the “whether you have faith the size of a mountain or a speck today” I feel like some days I am putting my full trust in God and others I struggle to remember to whom I belong. It’s encouraging to be reminded that no matter the size of my faith God still chooses me and loves me.

  5. NanaK says:

    Such a meaningful devotion for me today and I truly appreciate and relate with everyone’s comments….thank you ladies for sharing your thoughts and hearts with me.

    Casi, I am agreeing in prayer with all of these sisters for your family, your sweet little man, all the care providers, and for you. I pray you will find strength and peace in the shelter of our loving Savior’s arms.

  6. Michelle Dunmire says:

    Casi, I am lifting you and your precious family to our most Gracious Heavenly Father this morning!

  7. wendy says:

    Praying over the whole family Casi – especially little man Casi – Holy Spirit breathe into the lungs of this little miracle one – Jesus be in the hands of these surgeons – as the Angels sing softly over this room – Father God hold Mom and Dad and little man Casi so tight that they feel your embrace……amen

  8. wendy says:

    A mustard seed is small – but it is alive and growing. Like a tiny seed, a small amount of genuine faith in God will take root and grow. Almost invisible at first, the seed will begin to spread, first under the ground then visibly. Although each change will be gradual and imperceptible, soon this faith will have produced major results that will uproot and destroy competing things. We don’t need more faith; a tiny seed of faith is enough……if it is alive and growing.

    1. Sarah Clegg says:

      I have always struggled with understanding the analogy of the mustard seed. Great explanation, Wendy! Thank you!

    2. Jessica Salinas says:

      Thank you for this explanation ♥️

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