Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Being Faithful in Service to God

The Bible says, “Faithful is He who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you]” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 AMP).

Also, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich [at any cost] shall not go unpunished” (Proverbs 28:20).

Faithfulness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit: “but the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, and Faithfulness….” (Galatians 5:22).

Brethren, last week the Lord had us write about unfaithfulness, and this week we are writing on faithfulness. We have briefly mentioned about faithfulness in most of our previous articles, but the Lord, who has an all seeing eye, wants to remind you dear brethren that He commands us to be faithful every time.

This past Saturday, we relived a time of rebuke and repentance, as each member of our ministry received words of Judgement from the Lord. The Lord revealed the secrets of our hearts through Charis, and our deepest thoughts were exposed!

Brethren we must fear the Lord – He is Holy. If we who are being saved are so sinful, how much more the disobedient and unfaithful? (1 Peter 4:18).

Caring is Proven by Faithfulness

When I was around 10 years old I met our neighbour’s son and he became my best friend. We played together and shared everything with each other. Being at that age, I knew faithfulness through my commitment to my friend. I did everything to prove my friendship to him. He even influenced me to steal things in shops or at home, and I did. When I was in trouble I never implicated him. I can also remember when I was about 14 years old I received a digital watch as a prize for academic achievement, and I lent it to him during the day; I would only get it back when I going home before sunset. One rainy day he accidentally dropped my watch in the waters. This incident hurt me, but I decided not to tell the truth on why my watch stopped working. In a nutshell, I shared everything with this friend. As we grew up together, one day I had a quarrel with another boy who was about our age. We threatened each other and through the side of my eye, I saw my best friend, Michael, give that boy a knife to stab me.

I was shocked as I looked at him, and I asked him, “Is that how much you hate me, even willing to have me stabbed?” He thought I didn’t see him and he walked away embarrassed. We made up and continued with our friendship. A few years later, when we were in our early twenties we met again. He showed me what he had achieved in life, including his new friends. To me he came across as showing off. I told him that I had become a born-again Christian, and that the Lord had also blessed me with a job. He drank and smoked and enticed me to do the same things, but I told him that I am a child of God. This led him to speak ill about me in my absence. Later that evening, I had a sharp argument with one of his best friends. Again, instead of diffusing the tension between me and his new friend, he called me out for a fight. I did not respond and I offered my apologies, knowing that as a saved Christian, fighting was displeasing to the Lord.

You might ask, why am I sharing this? I am trying to testify to you that human faithfulness is subject to people’s needs. I had nothing to display or give to my friend like our junior years, so he despised me. This is a trustworthy observation; people show or prove loyalty when they can get something for themselves, and rarely because they care. Some people may care all the time for someone special to them, but only to satisfy their need. Biblically, the Spirit of Faithfulness finds its root in love and sharing concern all the time to everyone. We might be faithful in our relationship to our spouses according to God’s word (Proverbs 5:15-23; 1 Corinthians 7:3-4; Hebrews 13:4),but we remain unfaithful in matters pertaining to our relationship to God (Matthew 7:24-27). We want to serve God for only what we can get from Him. Like my friend Michael, he was spoiled by the things I gave him and our friendship only had life while I could give him something. I did not understand faithfulness then. This might be just one incident but oftentimes people show loyalty, not faithfulness, to receive a due.

Love Defined Through Faithfulness

When we display the fruit of faithfulness, we should expect nothing back in return; in fact we are doing it for the benefit of others (Luke 17:10). If we do expect some credit in return, we would have acted from selfish motives to receive something (Matthew 6:2-3). Faithfulness is fueled by love, and love is expressed through unconditional giving without expecting anything back in return (John 3:16).

When we are faithful, self is excluded and the well-being of others is placed before ours. In our previous articles, I mentioned by saying that faithfulness is not a human value but a spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22). Like the other fruits of the Holy Spirit, we must choose daily and where needed, employ the fruit in obedience to the Lord. In other words, do I submit through a decision to display faithfulness, or do I ignore and regain my convenience in disobedience?

In addition, faithfulness gives honour to the recipient and values the other higher than ourselves (Philippians 2:3; Matthew 23:11). This is a principle of the Kingdom of God!

Does Faithfulness Complete Our Salvation?

To this, I say a resounding yes!!! As marriage is incomplete if there is no faithfulness, our union with Christ is incomplete or disrupted if there is no faithfulness (Matthew 24:13). Being the bride of Christ, the believer must submit to the Lord through obedience, and thus showing faithfulness and appreciation for our salvation (James 4:7). We show faithfulness to the Lord when we:

  • Pray (Daniel 6:10; Psalm 55:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Read, study, and obey the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 2:2; Joshua 1:8; John 14:23-24)
  • Witness to others (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; Matthew 25:14-30)
  • Love and forgive one another (John 13:34-35; Ephesians 4:32)

The above examples, plus the employment of the rest of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, completes our salvation. These might be considered as works, but how can faithfulness declared if these are absent? (Matthew 25:31-46). If you want to know what the Lord is talking to us through Charis every day apart from visions, He points us to the above.

Recently, the Lord rebuked someone who reads the Bible with commitment but not with a faithful heart, meaning read to ease our conscious and not read in submission and appreciation. If we don’t occupy our lives doing the will of God, we will be occupied by the devil, which brings worldliness to activate our fleshly desires. When we are faithful in our service to God, others are being ministered to and Christ is seen through our conduct and service to them (Acts 4:13). This is Godly fear; love the LORD not just through words, but through your faithfulness! Jesus Loves YOU!

Are you faithful in serving God? Are you praying, studying, obeying the Bible? Are you witnessing to others on the love of Christ? Are you loving and forgiving? To get you started, here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance, and for any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Brother Glenn.