FAITHFULNESS in the Little Things is a GREAT Thing
We're almost half-way through February…. Question - How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions? Too often we stay in the rut called routine, rather than risk failure by making resolutions. Making resolutions is not difficult, but keeping them is another matter. If we're going to keep some quality resolutions in our life, FAITHFULNESS is essential.
Proverbs 28:20 states, "A faithful man will be richly blessed." Proverbs 20:6, "But a faithful man, who can find?" 1 Corinthians 4:2 "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." Most Christians are aware of the word faith and how much of God's word is devoted to that subject, but what about faithfulness?
Other words for faithfulness, might be CONSISTENCY, dependability, or reliability. Are we faithful? Are we consistent in our devotion to the Lord? Are we faithful in the use of our gifts (time, talents, resources)? I certainly miss the mark at times, how about you?
DEFINING success is more difficult than defining faithfulness. Society’s idea of success often revolves around: popularity, being famous or wealthy. Yet, “tragically”, we see some of the rich and famous experiencing addictions, multiple moral failures and children becoming collateral damage, and too often their lives end in drug overdoses or suicide.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta once was asked, "How do you measure the success of your work?" She looked puzzled for a moment & then replied, "I don't remember that the Lord ever spoke of success. He spoke only of faithfulness. This is the only success that really counts."
WHY should we develop the character quality of faithfulness? One reason is TO BE LIKE GOD. God is faithful. He is faithful to fulfill His promises. When we sin, He is faithful to forgive us of our sins (1 John 1:9). Aren't we glad? He is faithful to help us in our time of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). “God’s faithfulness means that God will always do what He has said and fulfill what He has promised.” Wayne Grudem
God’s Faithfulness Means That God Will Always Do What He Has Said and Fulfill What He Has Promised
God also wants us to develop faithfulness so that he can PREPARE us for ministry, service and leadership. If we’re not faithful with little, how can He trust us with more (Luke 16:10).
HOW CAN WE DEVELOP FAITHFULNESS or consistency in our lives? One way is to FOCUS on a life of CHARACTER. There are two kinds of people in life. Those who are driven by emotion and those who are character driven. The emotion driven individual acts when they FEEL like it. If they feel like doing something, they do it. If they don't feel it, they don't. Not complicated. This type of person may be a very good person. They may love Jesus Christ greatly. But they're going to miss out on numerous opportunities in life, because emotion has become the fuel that powers their engine. The character driven individual does things because they're supposed to do them. Their faithfulness is not determined by how they feel and I'm not referring to legalism or perfection. They will find numerous opportunities the Holy Spirit has for them simply because they've developed the character of faithfulness. Holy Spirit, help us as parents and grandparents to be individuals of character as role models for our children and grandchildren.
A Little Thing is a Little Thing, but Faithfulness in the Little Things is a Great Thing…..Hudson Taylor
Another way to DEVELOP FAITHFULNESS in our life in this new year is to focus on the BIG PICTURE. The grind of daily life has a way of wearing us down, doesn't it? So often we ask ourselves, "Is our life truly making a difference in the lives of others? One of the top reasons why ministers are leaving Christian ministry is not because of $$$ or pride or moral failure, but they simply didn't think their life was making a difference. If you dedicate your life to the Lord, He will use you to make a difference in the lives of others, wherever you are. 1 Corinthians 15: 58 says, "Therefore my dear brothers, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Quit comparing yourself to others. Scripture says it’s unwise to play the comparison game (2 Corinthians 10:12). The Holy Spirit has designed each of us with different gifts, temperaments and purpose for His Kingdom. Be who you are IN Christ and you will make a difference.
Faithfulness is like a MARATHON, not a sprint! In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City there was a dramatic story in the marathon race. The marathon is a run of 26 miles. The stadium was filled to capacity. All the runners had to return to the stadium and run a final lap to finish the race. All the runners had completed the race except one. When he (last runner) entered the stadium, the flag of his country was raised and a chorus of instruments began to play his country's national anthem. The runner had experienced an accident during the race. His leg was bandaged and blood was on his left arm. As he hobbled around the track to complete the race, his pain was obvious to all. He grimaced with each step. As he crossed the finish line, the whole crowd stood & applauded this man's gallant effort, even though he was last. As he slowly walked off the field, a reporter came up to him. "Sir, why didn't you just quit after your accident. You had no chance of winning any medals," asked the reporter. The runner stopped and said, "My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish the race."
God didn't just call you and me to start the race, He called us to FINISH the race and HE will help us. One day at the end of this life we will stand before the Lord. We hope to hear the words, "Well done, thou good & FAITHFUL servant" (Luke 19:17). May I encourage you to Make FAITHFULNESS to the Lord your RESOLUTION / PRIORITY for this year.
I’m reminded of the classic hymn - Great is Thy Faithfulness…… “Great is Thy Faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.”