Be Faithful Unto Death
In a very
simple but very profound statement the Apostle John wrote, "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.) These inspired words to the church at
Faithfulness to God requires a strong personal commitment. Christians who are truly committed to God are in the minority in the church of today. Our service to God should be "hearty service." A servant must serve his physical master "heartily" and just so we much serve Christ Jesus, our spiritual master "heartily." "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men." (Colossians 3:23.) Our commitment must be that, "whatever we do in word or deed, we will do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 1:17.) Personal commitment to God should be a strong point for every Christian! Our goal is not simply for people to attend church services; but our goal is for people to make a genuine commitment of their life to Christ.
Faithfulness to God requires a
strong personal choice. Each person must choose to be faithful or it
will never happen. God blessed the people of Joshua's day. Even
though it was true that God had truly blessed those people their faithfulness
required a personal choice. Hear the words of Joshua 24:13-15, "I
have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not
build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which
you did not plant. Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in
truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the
River and in
Faithfulness to God requires a strong and complete obedience. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30.) Jesus saves those who "obey." The Hebrew writer wrote, "though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:8-9.) Without obedience there can be no salvation. Obedience causes people to believe (Mark ). Obedience leads to repentance (Acts ). Obedience leads to confession of faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10). Obedience leads to baptism into Christ (Romans 6:1-5). It is in obedience that a person is saved from past sins and added to the church. (Acts .) Only those who obey have the right to wear the name "Christian." (Acts .)
Faithfulness to God requires a
strong resolve to put Him first in our lives. Becoming a Christian is
not enough. This is only the beginning of a life that is to be lived for God
daily. The Lord must be first in the hearts and lives of His followers.
"But seek first the
Faithfulness to God requires a strong interest in His word. The Bible has been called our "roadmap from earth to heaven." The Bible is both unique and powerful because of its source -- God! "And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (II Timothy 3:15-17.) Not one day should be allowed to pass without our studying the word of god. Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4.) The Bible tells us who God is and who we are. It outlines our responsibility toward Him. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Timothy 2:15.) The righteous man will delight himself in God's law. "Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:1-2.) The Bible tells us how to become a Christian and how to live for Him daily. Study your Bible. Make God's word a part of you.
Faithfulness to God requires strong self-discipline. "Discipline" is one of the forgotten words of Christianity. There is almost no church discipline and very little self-discipline. Self-discipline must be learned and practiced. Paul wrote, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified." (I Thessalonians 4:3-6.) Christians must be "not walking according to the flesh, but according to the spirit." (Romans 8:1.) Paul spoke of self-discipline saying, "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (I Corinthians 9:27.) Faithful Christian living requires discipline.
Faithfulness to God requires strong, dedicated service. Christians should seek opportunities for service. These opportunities are often right before our eyes. Paul wrote, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:10.) Jesus spoke of serving Him by serving others. He said, "And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40.) Christianity is a lot more than what we do on Sunday morning. James wrote, "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27.) Seek opportunities to serve God daily remembering that even a "cup of cold water" given as an act of service or in the name of a disciple will have its reward. (Matthew 10:42.)
Faithfulness to God requires continual and strong spiritual growth. Peter wrote, "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (II Peter 3:18.) Christians must grow in order to be able to discern between good and evil. "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:12-14.) Spiritual growth must move us above this world. Even though still "in" the world the Christian is not "of" the world. "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." (John 18:36.) Matthew records God's plan for spiritual growth in Matthew 16:24. "Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." As a Christian you must set your mind on things above. (Colossians 3:1.)
If you are not a Christian you should become a Christian today. (Acts 2:36-41.) If you are a Christian be faithful to the Lord in daily Bible study, in your commitment and daily living.
By Charles Box,