The heart of faithfulness
2 Tim 2:11-13
11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
What do think of when we think of faithfulness?
It can be seen in us being trustworthy, showing integrity, persevering against the odds, not a quality we see much of today where we constantly expect change at an ever increasing rate, and our commitments are often based on ‘what’s in it for me’. Yet, God is faithful in nature and our faith and hope rests in the trustworthiness of his character. Let’s just consider some aspects of his faithfulness:
God is faithful to his word, its commands and promises, you will never see him step outside of what he has recorded for us to live by.
God is faithful to his promises, this does not mean we get everything we want or think that we need, God's plan for us is to become like Christ, and he works all things together for that end
God is faithful in salvation, He wants us raised up, Heb 10:23 ‘let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful’. ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved’ Rom 10;13
God is faithful in perseverance, he persevered all the way to the cross for us and he wants us to be held up in our journey with him, Phil 1:6, 'being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus'.
can we reflect God's faithfulness in our lives?
Mark Hatfield tells of touring Calcutta with Mother Teresa and visiting the so-called "House of Dying," where sick children are cared for in their last days, and the dispensary, where the poor line up by the hundreds to receive medical attention. Watching Mother Teresa minister to these people, feeding and nursing those left by others to die, Hatfield was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the suffering she and her co-workers face daily. "How can you bear the load without being crushed by it?" he asked. Mother Teresa replied, "My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, I am called to be faithful." (from ‘Beyond Hunger’, Beals)
Faithfulness is one of the keys to the book of Ruth. A time of social unrest, violence, immorality & war yet her story is given in stark contrast to the way the supposed people of God were living, 'no king in the land and each one did what was right in their own eyes'
Ruth's faithfulness to her mother -in -law produced a harvest in their lives as the family is redeemed and brought into the very centre of God's saving purpose.
Faithfulness for us is a fruit often seen in the small things,
Darryl Bell tells of Fred Craddock, in an address to ministers, caught the practical implications of faithful,consecrated living: "To give my life for Christ appears glorious," he said. "To pour myself out for others. . . to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom -- I'll do it. I'm ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory. "We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking $l,000 bill and laying it on the table-- 'Here's my life, Lord. I'm giving it all.' But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $l,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid's troubles instead of saying, 'Get lost.' Go to a committee meeting. Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home. Usually giving our life to Christ isn't glorious. It's done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at at time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it's harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul."
F.B. Meyer said, ‘Dont' waste your time waiting and longing for large opportunities which may never come. But faithfully handle the little things that are always claiming your attention’.
As a pastor I am blessed by the many faithful, kind acts that I see many of our folk carry out in a quiet manner with a gentle, humble attitude. This quiet serving is probably the best we do in reflecting God and blesses his heart above everything else!
So, let us seek to be faithful, as God is faithful to us