Faithfulness to the Lord
Why do people visit Old Faithful? Why does the Marine Corp repeat the motto, semper fidelis (always faithful)? Why do we want honest (faithful) people to handle our money? The answer to each is obvious. We treasure faithfulness. The New Testament does, too.
After we are baptized into Christ, the Lord teaches us to be faithful Christians – those who live a life of faith in the Lord and His word.
What is faithfulness? Definitions include, “The state of being someone in whom confidence can be placed; bound to in trust; faithful devotion to duty.” Even without these definitions, we recognize faithfulness when our car starts every time we turn the key, when our appliances work regularly, and when people do what they promise. God has the right to expect faithfulness of His people.
1. How can we identify faithfulness?
- Luke 7:9, “When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” A Gentile centurion did more than Israelites who enjoyed greater advantages. “Great faith” shows that faith can grow.
- Luke 12:42-43, “And the Lord said, ‘Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.’” A faithful manager is trustworthy. He offers results, not regrets.
- Paul praises Timothy for his genuine faith. “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state” – Philippians 2:19-20. He faithfully carried out Paul’s requests in spite of difficulties. He showed faithfulness in . . .
- His zeal to work in Corinth in spite of difficulties, (1 Corinthians 4:17; 16:10).
- His tender care for young converts in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 3:2).
- His willingness to suffer for the Lord (2 Timothy 1:6-8).
- His steadfastness while imprisoned for his faith (Hebrews 13:23).
2. Kinds of faithfulness.
- Marital faithfulness occurs when two people keep their wedding vows (Hebrews 13:4).
- Parental faithfulness happens when parents love their children (Titus 2:4) .
- Brotherly faithfulness includes helping fellow Christians overcome problems and renew their commitment to go to heaven (Proverbs 27:6).
- Spiritual (personal) faithfulness requires total commitment to God. Jesus comforts the church in Smyrna, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). His “faithful until death” certainly includes remaining faithful for the rest of our lives, but also includes remaining faithful at the risk of our lives. Antipas has already died for Christ (Revelation 2:13); others would follow. Martyrdom is the greatest display of faithfulness. Heaven will surely be worth it all.
- This is confident faithfulness. Someone said, “Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.”
- This is courageous faithfulness. Micaiah’s faith stood firm in the face of hundreds of prophets who opposed him (1 Kings 22).
- This is continual faithfulness. The fire on the altar in Israel was to burn constantly (Leviticus 6:12-13). In like manner, the Christian’s light must never go out (Matthew 5:16).
3. How are we doing? Are we . . .
- Steadfast in our faith? (Hebrews 3:5-6)
- Growing in our faith? (Hebrews 6:1)
- Imitating the faithful? (Hebrews 6:12)
- Attending the assemblies? (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Living our faith (Hebrews 10:32-39)
Remember, semper fidelis!
- Rick Duggin