Faithfulness to God Leads to Greater Blessings
Faithfulness to God is a wonderful thing because of the strength and the blessing that it brings to so many. God and godly people are happy over souls that have stayed faithful in the church. It was shown in early Bible days that people can and must serve God faithfully. "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." (1 Corinthians 4:2) Let us never be like the Jews of Old Testament days. They turned away from God and lost their blessings.
Our faithfulness to God is not an optional matter. When a man and a woman commit themselves to each other in marriage they must be faithful to one another. Fidelity must be a part of the marriage covenant. It is the same in our relationship with God. Faithfulness is not an option in our relationship with the Creator. God's desire is seen in 1 Samuel 2:35. He said, "I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind..." Loyalty and love for God is shown by our obeying Him. God expects and demands allegiance from His servants. As Christians we should all desire to hear the Lord say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21)
Jesus is the great example of faithfulness. His single desire was that the Father's will could be done in His life. (Luke 22:42) We learn from Jesus that obedience does not come naturally. Obedience is learned. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." (Hebrews 5:8) We must learn to be faithful in all areas of our life. When we are faithful to God it has an effect on every aspect of our life. We must be unwavering in every situation that life brings our way. As a child of God our habit must be to obey God promptly and continually. God said, "Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me." (Psalm 101:6) Set your goal to be someone that God can trust to carry out His instructions. Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." (John 8:31) Determine to please God in your thoughts, your words and your every action. Let us observe what happens when we stay faithful:
When we stay faithful to our Lord the church gains members: Every member of the church is an important member. Each member is a part of all the other members of the church. "For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another." (Romans 12:4-5) The church of Christ is one body. All that believe in Jesus and obey from the heart the gospel are added to that one church. (Acts 2:36-47) Jesus is the head and the members make up this one body. (1Corinthians 12, Ephesians 5:23-33, Colossians 1:18) In Christ we are all one. In Christ we are in partnership and fellowship with one another and with the Lord. Those that stay faithful help the local church stay strong and growing. The church grows only because God blesses the efforts of "the faithful" as they spread His word and serve others.
When we stay faithful to our Lord He has a true servant: The faithful brother or sister in Christ is a "servant." Jesus said, "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave -- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:27-28) Servanthood is at the heart of our salvation. Jesus taught us that to save our life we must lose it in service to others. (Matthew 16:25, Matthew 25:31-46) Jesus spoke of service when He said, "I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." Greatness in God's kingdom comes through service. The Lord said, "But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant." (Matthew 23:11) Can the Lord correctly say to you "well done good and faithful servant?" At the Judgment Day the faithful will hear the Lord say, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matthew 25:23)
When we stay faithful to our Lord other Christians gain a true brother or sister: Those that love and serve God faithfully are a blessing to other Christians. How wonderful to enjoy the sweet fellowship among brethren in Christ. Jesus said, "...Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50) Those that stay faithful are true brothers or sisters to other Christians. Those that become Christians are in a new and wonderful fellowship with other believers. The key word for followers of Christ is "relationship." When Paul described brethren that had touched his life he used terms like "a beloved brother," "a faithful minister," "a fellow servant," "a faithful and beloved brother," "my fellow prisoner," or "a bondservant of Christ." Not many descriptions could be more touching than when Paul called Onesimus, "a faithful and beloved brother who is one of you." (Colossians 4:9) Onesimus was one of Paul's friends and brothers that sought to correct his past. Paul wrote to Philemon to encourage him to forgive and restore his repentant slave, Onesimus. Onesimus had become "one of us." He was a brother in faithful work and service of the Lord.
When we stay faithful to our Lord the community gains a powerful Christian influence: It is God's will that Christians shine as light in a world of darkness. Paul wrote to the Philippians saying, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15) We must remember at all times who we are. We are children of God. You belong to God because you have been adopted into His family. When you go out into the world you are representing your heavenly Father. We must also remember at all times where we are. We are in a world of darkness and corruption. The darkness and corruption is often deep and ugly. Paul described it as "crooked and perverse nation." We are in this dark world to shine or to say it another way we are here to reflect the light of Jesus Christ! By shinning brightly you glorify your Father in heaven in this world of darkness! Our mission is to accept the Word of God into our life and to shine brightly as we give out that same Word of God to this dark world! The very life of a Christian must be an honor to Jesus Christ and to His cause. If a Christian loses his influence he is good for nothing. (Matthew 5:13)
When we stay faithful to our Lord we save our own soul. Those who draw back, "draw back to perdition" or perishing. "But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul." (Hebrews 10:39) Those that stay faithful save their souls. One purpose in the writing of the Book of Hebrews was to urge Christians not abandon their faith in Christ. The difficulty come not in obtaining faith but in maintaining that commitment and dedication over the years. After conversion the real life problems are still there. You still have to deal with family, job, health and many other issues. Fellow Christians that in the beginning seemed refreshingly different from the world are now disgustingly the same as the world. Regardless of anything or anybody that we might be surrounded with the Hebrew writer wanted us to understand that Christ is superior to anything or anyone, so, therefore we must stay true to our conversion to the Christian faith. The faithful can pray the prayer of Psalm 86:2, "Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee." Our soul is at stake. Let us never be casual about our faithfulness to the Almighty.
If you are not a Christian you should become a Christian today. (Acts 2:36-41) If you are a Christian stay faithful to the Lord in daily Bible study, in your commitment to God and in daily living. The Christian that remains faithful is a blessing to others and will be blessed eternally. God's word says, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Revelation 2:10) What a wonderful victory is ours through Christ! Think about your eternal home and stay faithful to God.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA