< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Faithfulness

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Faithfulness

To be faithful means to be reliable, trustworthy, dependable and consistent. And it’s wonderful when you can find people like that. People you can count on! You can be talented, creative and educated, but if you’re not dependable, you won’t get far.

The Bible says God rewards faithfulness. In Matthew 25, Jesus says that one day God is going to judge us and it will be on our faithfulness: what we did for Him – and we’ll be rewarded in heaven.

The author lists 8 things we can do to develop faithfulness in our lives.

1.Keep you promises. First of all we need to be careful about the promises we make. Don’t promise to pray for someone if you aren’t going to do. Don’t be the person who never arrives when they say they will. Or promises their kids they’ll take them somewhere and then never does. Or promises a spouse that you’ll fix something – and never get around to it. Broken promises are a big part of resentment. Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, “It is better not to vow then to make a vow and not fulfill it.”

2.Honor your marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all.” This means “to hold in respect” “to value with high esteem.” You honor the vows you took, like the other fruits, as a choice you make.

3.Use your talents. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in various forms.” Warren says this means if we don’t use the talents God gave us, other people will be cheated because we’re not contributing what God has uniquely equipped us to provide.

4.Make the most of your time. The best use of your time is to use it in something that is going to outlast you. And we shouldn’t waste time with regret and worry. When we regret the past, we waste huge amounts of time looking backward to change something we can’t change anyway. When we worry about the future we waste time fretting over events that may never happen. And God says to be faithful now, not “when the kids are in school” or when I retire” – but, right now.

5.Stand by your friends. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A true friend is always loyal and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Genuine friends are reliable and consistent. They can be counted on in a crisis.

6.Manage your money. God says that if you are not faithful with your material possessions, he will not trust you with spiritual resources (that’s from Luke 16:11) We should plan prayerfully what we will give to the Lord and do it regularly.

7.Do your best at work. (Luke 16:10) Life is largely made up of little things, so if we’re not faithful in the little things, we won’t be faithful in most of life. The same is true with spiritual growth. The little things: daily quiet time and prayer, produce big results. Success comes from being faithful in the little things that other people may overlook. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for man.” Warren says Christians should have a reputation for being the most dependable people at work because they are always aware of who their true boss is.

8.Commit yourself to a church. A local body of believers. Christians are in a spiritual battle whether they know it or not and need support and reinforcement. A church membership is a commitment to other Christians. It’s a decision to become a participant, not merely a spectator. Not a consumer, but a contributor.

Jesus told the parable about the master who went away and left His servants in charge.

(Read Matthew 25:14-30) Jesus has left us in charge of His business here on earth and one day He will come back. When He returns, will He find us faithful?

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