To kick off 2010 I’ld like to go back to a word we received from the Lord at the end of 2009. The last Sunday of the year while we were thanking the Lord for His faithfulness the Lord spoke to us and asked if at the end of 2010 we would be able, not only to testify of His faithfulness but also testify that we also have been faithful. It got under my skin and I have been thinking, meditating, eating, drinking, chewing on faithfulness ever since. And naturally, I preached on it this Sunday and will continue next Sunday.
I honestly think that often we are not aware that there are things God expects from us, and this is one of them faithfulness. Paul was one who boldly said that God had established him in ministry because He found him faithful. How many of us can dare to call ourselves faithful, in truth. But when we think of Paul, we think of the untold hardships he went through, not because of his own stupidity, which is sometimes the case with us, but because of his dogged commitment to Christ and to His gospel.
Too many of us want to be ‘in the ministry’ but we cannot handle any pain, any rejection, any refusal to give us the first place, we drop out and we cease to be faithful. There are many things over which I am jealous of Paul the apostle, one of them is his steadfastness and faithfulness. He went through hell for the sake of Christ and just kept going. And his son Timothy was just like him, Paul called him beloved and faithful son. So many are beloved but not faithful, the dream of every minister, and I am no exception is that God will give us those who are both, beloved and faithful.
And that is what God wants, people who are reliable and dependable, who do not swear absolute fidelity today, and be off tomorrow; people to whom He can commit a task and know for certain that they will see it through and not give up halfway. Too much of God’s purpose is flouted because His children are flaky, one minute they are on fire, next minute you cannot get them to darken the doors of a prayer meeting all the while thinking that God agrees with their foolishness. This year 2010 will you consider being faithful to God and to the purpose of God? Examples abound in every direction.
Timothy was a beloved and faithful son. Yet even as Timothy was faithful, Demas was unfaithful, Paul said he abandoned me. Terrible indictment, if Demas had known future generations of Christians would know of his perfidy, he may have been more cautious. Then there was Diotrephes mentioned by the apostle John as not receiving him and always wanting to be first, he was also unfaithful. And then Demetrius, of whom everyone gave a good testimony. And the beauty of it is that God is not unforgiving, bible scholars believe that it is the same John Mark who Paul did not want with him at some point because he had once abandoned him (which led to the split between him and Barnabbas) that he now later describes as being ‘useful’ to him in ministry.
I pray that at the end of this year God will be able to testify concerning us as Paul did concerning Timothy that we are beloved and faithful children.