Monday, April 22, 2019

How Faithful Are You To God?

Being Caring is Proven by Faithfulness

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 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).

Brethren, please bear with us here, is not my intention to highlight me here the Lord is the One who should get the Glory! Now, when I was around 10 years old I met our neighbor's son and he became my best friend. So day after day we would play together and share almost everything with one other. Being at that age, I knew I did not really know or understand faithfulness it was only later that I came to understand what faithfulness was. As most of us know, having a friend compels us to do our bit to  to prove our friendship and loyalty to our friends. Being children, we allow ourselves to be influenced by our friends even if we must steal things or rob others. In order to maintain our continued friendship we learned the value of confidentiality. That's why, when I was in trouble for things we did together, I dare not implicate my friend.

Furthermore, please allow me to share another incident. I was about 14 years old I received a digital watch as a prize for academic excellence at school, because of the love I had for my friend I often took off my watch and give it to him to put on for awhile or while we were playing and before we part ways he would give it back to me. A few days thereafter and on a rainy day he accidentally (I hoped so) dropped my watch in the running waters and without apologizing he handed me my watch saying, 'see it fell into the water'. Being moved with disappointment and being hurt I took my watch and I decided not to go tell my parents the truth as to why my watch stopped working. Again, on another occasion, one day I had a quarrel with another boy who was about our age for passing hurtful remarks to me which was meant as a joke but it was somewhat embarrassing me to which drew negative attention. As it was, I objected to that insult and boy who passed the bad remark threatened me with violence to which I retaliated and through the side of my right eye, I saw my best friend, Michael handing a knife over to the other boy to stab me and this really hurt me but God gave me the strength to endure that unfortunate moment.

I was totally shocked at that act of cowardice and I looked at Michael my best friend, and I asked him, “Is that how much you hate me you even willing to have me stabbed?” He thought I didn’t see him and he walked away smiling embarrassingly. However, we made up and continued with our friendship. About 10 years later, when we were both in our early twenties we (Michael and I) met again in Johannesburg. It was an emotional moment of re-union for us. As we discoursed, he shared with me what he was doing and he showed me what he had achieved in life, including his new friends. Having learned from others that I was saved and in a good job, he had one intention to show off and to display some superiority to who I came and what I achieved. I told him that I had become a born-again Christian, and that the Lord had also blessed me with a good job and despite the setbacks in my earlier ways. By then 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 and later that evening, I gently rebuked one of his new friends and they reported it to him. Again, instead of diffusing the tension between us, he called me out for a fight. Being saved and born-again then, I didn't take him up on that challenge in stead I offered them my sincere apologies, while feeling hurt by this act of 'betrayal'.

Now Brethren, you might ask, why am I sharing this? I am trying to demonstrate  to you that human faithfulness is only lasts until you have nothing to more to offer it is then that people loses interest in you. As it were, I had nothing then 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 own need. Biblically, the Spirit of Faithfulness finds its root in love and it has a rich 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.