Being faithful guarantees us a place of service to God and humanity.
HYMN: MORE ABOUT JESUS, WOULD I KNOW
TEXT: Matt 24:45-51
Faithfulness is a disposition and virtue that should be evident in the life of every believer. It suggests allegiance to duty or a course or a person; it connotes steadfastness, conscientiousness, commitment, dedication, loyalty, and devotion. In other words, it refers to a disposition of being trustworthy, reliable, dependable, truthful and consistent with the truth no matter the consequences. Faithfulness happens to be one of the attributes of God. It is a character of God that galvanizes confidence in the hearts of every believer. Because of these attributes of God, the believer can stand firmly on his promises of salvation, deliverance, healing, protection, provisions, guidance, etc. The believer knows that from generation to generation, the Lord remains the same and what he did then, he can do again.
Being children of God, we are expected to be like our father who is faithful. We are expected to be covenant keepers and the people whose word can be trusted. The faithfulness of the believer should be seen in the business dealings, in his relationships, in his workplace, in his school, and with whomever he interacts. It must stand out distinctly before everyone when this is not the case, then the genuineness of the face that the believer professes his cold question.
The objectives of this study are:
To know the meaning of faithfulness
2. To know ways by which believers can show acts of faithfulness
3. To discuss the importance of faithfulness in these last days.
4. To know the causes of unfaithfulness.
5. To know that faithfulness in little attracts greater responsibilities.
Q1. WHAT IS FAITHFULNESS?
Faithfulness is strong devotion, adherence, and commitment to a person, idea or duty or a course. What we have just alluded to is an understanding of the word “faithfulness” in its broadest sense. However, in the present context, faithfulness refers to an ardent devotion to God and his divine plan of his dealings with humanity. For the believer, his first primary devotion is to the Lord. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”. (Deut 6:5) it is from this devotion that the believer demonstrates his faithfulness to his neighbor, spouse in their marital relationship, in business, and other human relationships.
Q2. IN WHAT AREAS SHOULD THE BELIEVER BE FAITHFUL?
There are many areas of life that the believer should be faithful. However, as earlier indicated, the believer has to first and foremost he faithful to The Lord, and then it will be easy for him to be faithful in all these other areas that will be addressed.
When we are faithful to God, we find pleasure in obeying his word. Our obedience to his word arises from the understanding that God cannot be separated from his word. There is a urinating in the heart of the believer to study God’s Word, to know his mind and purposes. As the word takes root in the heart of the believer, the outcome is obedience. “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors, for I delight in your commands because I loved them. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:24, 47, 103, NIV).
The believer is called upon to be faithful in giving a witness to the lost as a mark of obedience to God’s command and love for the lost. There is the command to preach the gospel in Matthew 28: 19-20 which should be heeded by every believer. However, the effectiveness of our message will depend upon our love for the lost. “when Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So, he began teaching them many things”. (Mark 6:34)
The faithfulness of the believer encompasses respect for constituted authority. Constituted authority consists of authority in the local church, in civic society, and the marriage institution. Within the local church, the pastoral office should be honored and respected by every believer in that assembly. “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well all worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching”. (1 Tim. 5:17) In this respect, youths within the local assembly should take this word seriously as there is that tendency to step out of bounds under the cloak of being zealous for God. Within the civic society, every believer is expected to honor those in authority (Rom 13:1-7). There is also a clear line of authority in the marriage institution. Every wife is expected to be under the marital authority of her husband (Eph. 5:24).
Faithfulness is expected of every believer in that area of tithing and giving. Typing is not to be negotiated with God under any circumstances; it belongs to him (Mal. 3:8-11). In addition, the believer should be faithful in financially supporting the Lords work and assisting brethren that are in need. Stewardship is closely tied to faithfulness. Everything that we owned today has been given to was in trust by the Lord, and we must be careful to inshore we are good stewards. We shop all Sunday give account of the way we used these endowments. These endowments include spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:5-11, Matt 24:45-46) and talents (singing, music, writing, administration, communicating, etc.). The faithful believer strives to insure that these endowments are used to the praise and glory of God Andy edification of the body of Christ. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”. (1 Cor. 10:31)
Within the marital relationship, the husband and wife or expected to be faithful to each other (Eph. 5:22-33). Marriage is a sacred union which should not be toyed around with. Infidelity should not be given a place by Christian husbands and wives.
There is also the call of God on servants and masters (employees and employers, workers and their bosses) to be faithful (Eph. 6:5-9). The Christian worker does his work with the understanding that he is working for the Lord; he does not work just because his boss is around: he knows that he has a heavenly boss who takes record of his service. In the same vein, the Christian Boris is faithful in treating his workers with respect, knowing that he has a heavenly boss to whom he is accountable. The Christian boss ensures that his workers are paid as and when due, and that their salaries are a fair reward for the services of his workers.
In the corporate world of business, Christian men and women are expected to be faithful to their contractual obligations. Cheating, lying, and defrauding others should not be mentioned among Christian business people. Business should be pursued with Christian ethics taking the centerstage. The idea that cleaning business and Christianity does not mix is a lie from the pits of hell. They blend perfectly when the business is driven by godly principles. In essence then, the believer is called upon to be faithful in virtually every area of his life.
Q3. WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM GOD’S FAITHFULNESS?
It is heartwarming to know that the believer serves a faithful God “with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning”. (James 1:17) there are many derived from the fact that God is faithful. It’s strongly indicates that the Lord stands by every promise that he has made to his children. “for all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, want to the glory of God by us”. (2 Cor. 1:20) the Lord stands by to fulfill to the believer the promises of salvation, healing, deliverance, prosperity, provisions, etc.
God’s character of being faithful teaches the believer to be faithful. As a child of God, the believer desires to be like his heavenly father. When we are not fateful, it’s means that we are children of the devil who is known as the father of all liars (John 8:44).
Q4. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COURSES OF UNFAITHFULNESS AMONG BELIEVERS?
One of the major causes of unfaithfulness among believers arise when the take their eyes off the Lord and focus on their circumstances. We are told, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right-hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). It is no doubt quite distressing for off father to watch his children go without basic necessities of life, and the temptation to be unfaithful becomes quite appealing when there is a window of opportunity to cheat. That temptation can only be overcome when that father takes his eyes off his situation and focuses on the Lord who is his provider.
One other course of unfaithfulness is greed. When we become obsessed in being left every other person who seems to be doing well materially, we risk being unfaithful. Contentment is a virtue that no believer can afford to let slipped off his hands, more so in such trying times that have overtaken the entire world (1 Tim. 6:6-11). In these times, the believer cannot afford to fret when he sees the wicked doing well materially (Ps 37:1-2). The believer must remain focused on the Lord. He should have deep-seated convictions on his system of values. A good case point is Balaam. “They have left the straightway and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam, son of Beor, who love the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey a beast without speech who spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness”. (2 Peter 2:15-16)
Another reason for unfaithfulness is when the believer and leaves his first love for God (Rev. 2:4). When we deport from our first love, the things of this world which were previously very dim, begin to glitter like gold before our eyes (1 John 2:15-17). The only way that we can be restored to faithfulness is a return to our first love. A word of caution is appropriate here for those who have been long in the faith, say over 20 years. There is a tendency to leave one’s first love for God and slip into lukewarmness, thinking that one is maturing. That subtle deception from the devil should be shaking off by a return to a close walk with God.
Q5. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNFAITHFULNESS?
The consequences of unfaithfulness can be quite grave. The believer soon finds that he is out of fellowship with the Lord, though he may still be involved in church activities which haven’t lost meaning to him. The joy of Christian service gets lost.
Unfaithfulness on the part of the believer paints a wrong picture of what Christianity is all about to the unbeliever. It sometimes puts a stumbling block in the path of that honest inquire where of the faith. That, we must avoid as believers.
Unfaithfulness could deprive the believer of his eternal inheritance. “but suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, my master is staying away a long time, and he then begins to be his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on the day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. (Matt 24: 48-51)
Q6. HOW DOES FAITHFULNESS IN A LITTLE AREA ATTRACT GREATER RESPONSIBILITIES?
Matt 25:23 tells us, “His Master replied, well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Masters happiness!” This passage is quite instructive in the sense that every believer should take seriously whatever has been committed to his charge. It may appear very insignificant in the eyes of every other person, but the believer should not toy with it. His faithfulness in such seemingly small matters is a short guarantee for greater and bigger responsibilities and assignments. Persons who would not be faithful in small matters, who are itching to have greater responsibilities in order to be faithful may well have missed the point altogether.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
The world is in dire need of faithful individuals. The political, corporate, and business world has witnessed a lot of unfaithfulness, and that has shattered the public confidence. Christians hold the key to restoring that confidence. As the lord lifts his children into political offices, strategic positions in the corporate world, position in the church, such men and women must strive to live exemplary lives of faithfulness. They must send a clear message of hope until our Lord’s world, “this is how it is done”. Then the name of the Lord will be glorified in many shall turn to him.
1 Corinthians 4:2
“Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful”.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Mon: Called to be faithful.
1 Cor 4:1-6.
Tue: Faithful in preaching the gospel.
1 Cor 9:16-27.
Wed: Faithful in marriage.
Thu: Faithful in little things.
Fri: Unfaithfulness rewarded.
Sat: Parable of the servants.
Matt 24: 45-51.