THANK GOD FOR THE FAITHFUL
This is a special message to the faithful members of the Walnut Street Church of Christ. Today I just want to say, thank God for you, the faithful. The importance of faithfulness in a Christian’s life can never be overestimated; for without it, it is impossible to please God. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22) As Christians we are to support one another, to hold each other up in prayer and encouragement. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13) Much of what is written and preached from the pulpit is directed to indifferent, weak, or unfaithful members and to those who are not Christians. The purpose of this lesson is to express to the faithful what a blessing you are and to give you a word of thanks and appreciation. “O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful.” (Psalm 31:23)
Those who are faithful love God and that love keeps you focused on heaven. There are many members of the Walnut Street Church of Christ who do not have to be begged, petted, or pampered to get you to attend the services of the church or the Bible classes. You are there! You are there Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, Gospel Meetings, Vacation Bible School, or any other special service. Your love for God keeps you faithful. (Matthew 22:37-40) You make no excuses and neither do you grumble and complain. You respect Bible messages like, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” (Philippians 2:14) You are always on duty, ready to do your part. Those of you who are faithful make up the majority of this spiritual body and you are the strength of the Lord's Body in Greenville. One beautiful quality of your life is that you do not have a need to be recognized or praised for your faithfulness. Yet, the Bible says, “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Romans 13:7) Those of you who are faithful, loyal and dependable deserve to be recognized and appreciated. God bless you for your loving service to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” (1 Timothy 6:15)
Those who are faithful demonstrate a Christ like attitude. Words are not adequate to express the deep appreciation, love, and respect I feel for the many faithful members of the Walnut Street Church of Christ. It matters not how many meetings there may be, you are always present. You are the ones who support and teach in our Bible school program. Bible school would be impossible without you. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42) You are the ones who attend gospel meetings, and invite your family and friends to attend. You are the ones who give generously every Sunday. (Luke 6:38) When there is a need for extra money for mission work or special needs you are the ones who give. You are the ones who have strong commitments and avoid all the distractions of the world. You do not try to see how worldly you can be and still remain a Christian. You heed warning like, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17) One of the reasons I love and appreciate you faithful brethren so much is that I know you really do not need this sermon. Your wonderful attitude makes it that much easier to say "Thank You.” Your loving service is truly a blessing to God and to man.
Those who are faithful help to build up the church. You who are faithful are not the ones who criticize and complain about what is done. You simply join in to do what you can to make things better. “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:6) You realize that preachers, elders, deacons, song leaders, and Bible class teachers are human beings like yourself. You pray for them and encourage them. You are always loving, working, sharing, and encouraging; trying to help make things better for others. The things you do may not be sensational or spectacular but you are a servant and God will bless you for having a servant's heart. “Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.” (Psalm 86:2) You encourage both young and old. Your life is an inspiration to those who know you best. No one ever has to apologize for your conduct to those who are not members of our Lord's church.
Those who are faithful to God serve and glorify Him and they also bless others. The faithful are a blessing to others as they help save those who are lost. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16) The faithful are a force for good in their community because they put God first in their lives. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) The faithful pray powerful prayers for the church and for others. They know their prayers are heard. “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” (John 9:31) A faithful Christian is a blessing to their family, to the community and to the church. God told fathers, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) The faithful glorify God and they have the hope of going to heaven when life is over. (Matthew 25:23) The faithful can have the assurance that God is pleased with their actions. “His lord said unto him, 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)
What a blessing it is to think about Faithful Christians! Our desire is that there will be more and more in this group. Thank you for being a Christian. Thank you for being faithful. We know a crown of righteousness awaits you at that last, great day. (Revelation 2:10) On that day you will hear the Redeemer say, "well done; good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." God bless! Keep the faith! If you are not a Christian you should obey the gospel today. To be saved from sin hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of sins (Luke 13:5), confess Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10:32), and be baptized into Christ. (Romans 6:3-4) After baptism, keep yourself in the love of God. (Jude 1:21)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037