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FAITHFULNESS: A Necessary Attribute To Authentic Christian Service

Pastor Andrew SchankRecently, I was reminded of a statement given by the late William Carey (1761-1834), father of modern missions, which he gave concerning his outlook on life. He stated, “I can plod… I can persevere to any definite pursuit“. Some might think this to be boastful, but it is really a statement made in faith. In the midst of deepest trials, God’s children can take one step in front of another and be faithful to their Lord! Whether in the loss of a loved one or in the midst of deepest poverty, one can be found FAITHFUL. This was the legacy of Brother Carey!

The Faithfulness Of Christ…

There is no example of faithfulness found in the Bible which surpasses that of Jesus Christ! The Incarnate Son of God emptied Himself of divine prerogative and took on the role of a servant in human flesh. No area of Christ’s life can be used to illustrate a lack of faithfulness. No Biblical event can be cited to argue that Jesus did not fulfill a responsibility given to Him by His Heavenly Father. In fact, the Gethsemane prayer of Matthew 26:39 reveals to the reader that when the pressures of responsibility and the weight of purpose were so heavy that the Master would ask for a reprieve, He still remained an obedient servant and said, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

(Matthew 26:39) And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (KJV)

The Criteria Of Accomplishment…

The measure of a man is not in how well he can create, nor is it in how well he can orate. It is not ascertained by the successes and trophies received of contests conquered. Rather, it is in how well a person can stay the course in midst of trial and difficulty. Faithfulness to the Lord in God-given responsibility is focal point of Christ’s appraisal! Over and over again, Jesus spoke of this. Consider the following verses:

(Matthew 25:21) 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. (KJV)

(Luke 16:10-13) He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (KJV)

Genuine fruit from a walk with God is due to the working of the Sovereign through a faithful vessel. Results may be the issue which means the most to the masses, but faithfulness, first and foremost, is what really matters! Results can be misleading, and in some cases, fabricated, when assessing the true nature and character of a person. An omniscient and omnipresent Lord is the only individual who can truly evaluate each saint and their faithfulness to their stewardship. 

Inclinations To Drift…

While natural disasters make headlines, they are not the major malfunction which cause destruction. Hurricanes are large, destructive storm systems made up of numerous singular elements. When these individual pieces work in concert, major destruction occurs. So it is in the life of a believer. Little faults, little sins, little indiscretions add up to shipwreck. Faithfulness to Christ curbs the inclinations to drift. Solomon reminds us in God’s Word that it was the little foxes which destroyed the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15).

Legacy Of Faithfulness…

What keeps a child of God consistent in their arena of service? What keeps Robert and Cathy Smith serving God for 40 years with Macedonia World Baptist Missions to the country Brazil? What keeps a mission board operating for five decades without losing integrity along the way? What keeps a man pastoring a church for 60+ years? FAITHFULNESS TO CHRIST!

(1 Corinthians 4:1-2) Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (KJV)

One man accurately stated, “We preach our own funerals every day of our lives.” This maxim “rings true” in every leader’s heart who labors in Christ’s church. Each will leave a legacy behind. Will future generations see a path paved in faithfulness to Jesus Christ?

Each will leave a legacy behind,
Some of mercies, some of grace and love,
Others of vice and victories… none.
Legacy is faithful to those behind,
Accurately portraying our life’s love,
What will your legacy declare when life is done?

Conclusion…

Authentic Christian service is the fruit of FAITHFULNESS to Jesus Christ. Daily submission to the leadership of the Holy Ghost fosters a pattern of faithfulness which makes the colors of life’s canvas brighter. The drab monotone of fleshly dominance gives way to a High Definition life when one allows God to work in their life on a regular basis. You may not be much but you CAN be found FAITHFUL!

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