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July 15, 2019 3:00 am
There was a statement that is being attributed to George MacDonald and it goes something like this. Being trusted is greater complement than being loved now wanted to just take a moment and the justice it took me a long time to really come to focus on being trusted is greater complement than being loved. I must confess to you when I read the statement first startled me and I began to really think very hard about it and when I did I found myself to be an absolute agreement with it. I don't need to tell you how trustworthiness has become an endangered species. There was a time when a man's word was his bond.
I know there was a time when trustworthiness was more important than fame or wealth or popularity. There was a time there was a time where a promise is a promise is a promise.
Faithfulness is such an old-fashioned word that is some has been taken out of circulation from our language.
Faithfulness is is a word that that somehow is fading away from the lexicon as I look around I see that the only commitment that seems to be on the increase is a commitment to medical expedience. The only commitment that seemed to be on the increase. It is a commitment to personal gain to the personal glory to took to making yourself look good commitment to personal gratification. Sometimes I wonder even if our younger generation will know what that word means.
Yet faithfulness is the heart of our human existence. Faithfulness is the lifeblood of all relationships. Faithfulness keeps our family or our society from disintegrating faithfulness is a powerful words an important word and it is not surprising, therefore, the apostle Paul includes faithfulness in the last of the fruit of the spirit from Galatians chapter 522 and 43. As I looked up the Greek word, and I did some stud. I found out that in the Greek language the word is one word that is translated faith of faithfulness and some of your translations have it. Faithfulness other translation has it faithfulness.
That's one word in the Greek and you can translated either way.
And there is a good reason for this and the reason is this faithfulness stems from faith or trust. I have faith that when you make me a promise you will keep it.
Why because you are faith full of full of faith. I have faith that when you make a commitment. You will generate why because you are faithful when you make a promise you got to keep it.
I have faith that you mean what you say and you say what you mean. Why, because you are faith full of faith factor heard about the small-town preacher who called his deacon on Sunday morning at 8 o'clock and is a look, I'm not feeling well today you preach and television of the Deacon really was thrown into a frizzled bear and he was. He went ahead and preach but then he confronted the preach on Wednesdays and not preacher, is it true that you are at the ballgame. Sunday and the preacher said it is an absolute lie on. I have the fish to prove it. This week I read something that was really interesting is just a statement was made and goes like this… When a hitchhiker sticks his thumb in the air. He is basically saying you furnish the car you furnish the gas you attend to the repairs of the car you will take care of the upkeep of the car you will supply the insurance and I will ride with you and if you get into an accident. I will sue you for damages, that's how one-sided is a massive man hitchhiker's in a given institution.
How many hitchhiker in a given organization.
How many hitchhiker's in a given charge. Many church members seem to be saying you go to the meetings that you serve in the various ministries of the paperwork you give generously will go to the prayer meeting I will just go for the ride and if it doesn't suit my fancy. I will complain and criticize and grumble and probably will hitchhike out for another group. Many people today reminded of this young man who poured his heart of devotion out in the letter to the woman of his dream and here's what he said to her recent darling, I would climb the highest mountain swim the widest stream across the burning desert at the stake for you. PS I'll see you Saturday. If it doesn't rain temporary faithfulness, conditional faithfulness, but you see faithfulness is closely tied in to the truth. Just as unfaithfulness is closely tied in colliding they go together and that is why truth and faithfulness identify with God himself, and therefore human right. Please enter society or any home where God is rejected the truth and faithfulness are diminished and are replaced with unfaithfulness and with experience and relies when God is marginalized, truth and faithfulness are marginalized and are replaced with unfaithfulness. There are replaced with lying when God is defined as anything and anyone truth and faithfulness become open to definition to it is not surprising.
What we seeing in the courts today where people are actually torturing the English language and are trying to tell us depend on what is is and further, it is was not surprised to me to see the Eastern establishment on the Hollywood elite to be outraged at the fact that the courts still treat lying and perjury is wrong. I got news for them.
God does. If there's one thing about that you must know about the faithfulness of God. It is one thing you can be sure about the faithfulness of God. It is this listen to me. Please God's faithfulness is not peripheral or occasional God's faithfulness is not sporadic or whimsical. God's faithfulness is not only exercised when he feels like it. God's faithfulness is not even dependent on faithfulness.
That's the kind of God we worship. And as I told you in the last message when you hang out with just God like you, but rather God's faithfulness is his very being God's faithfulness is the combination of his power and his will of God's faithfulness cannot be hindered, it cannot be stopped.
God's faithfulness cannot be contradicted or reversed. That's the kind of God we worship God's faithfulness. Listen to me goes with God. It goes with God when he is rejected and ignored or marginalized. His faithfulness goes with him and consequently faithfulness to each other and to God goes with him to the Scripture gives us an example of a nation who rejected God ignored God and marginalize God. This part of warning after warning year after year and finally God withdrew God, withdrew the prophet Amos cries out in lament. In chapter 8 verse 11, he said, behold, the days are coming, said the Lord, that I will send a famine in the land not famine for Brad not thirst for water but for hearing of the word of God and then he continues and they shall wonder from sea to sea from the north, even to these and very short run to and fro to see the words of the Lord, but they shall not find it. And you know this searching the searing this burning this feverish hunger for the word of God developed in Israel after their force of God after they kept ignoring him and for 400 years God was silent, silent, only to break his throbbing isolation, with the voice that was crying in the wilderness, declaring the coming of the Messiah, who replaced Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ. You see when God called Abraham back in Genesis 12 he did not call them out of the beauty of his blue eyes.
He called in for purposes of Abraham in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed Abraham I want somebody to tell the world about me.
I want somebody to tell the pagans about me and you chose him and his descendents for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to carry the commission of making now. I know, but instead what they do, they begin to worry about their own leads.
What about the wrong circumstances under Horton, God not only that they wouldn't share him. There will even worship him and God said, okay, enough is enough then through the Lord Jesus Christ. God gave that commission took it out of Israel, and he gave it to Jesus and Jesus gave it to the church which is the new Israel of God according to Galatians chapter 6 and says you do it.
Listen to me this is the rest of the story because throughout history, when the church blew it got to get away from them does not respect of persons or see God is not respect of persons is, or doesn't happen in the New Testament all yes Revelation chapter 3 I'll take you back to the first century where there was a church just like the American church owner tell you something. As I study the Scripture a probably there is no church like the American church like the church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation show, much like the American church like the church across this land, a church that has replaced the mourners bench for a psychiatrist couch a charge where preachers were preaching sermons making people feel good instead of being good at church that was outwardly successful. A church that once was a power voice in society. A church that was most prosperous among all the churches of Asia minor and yet there were unfaithful. There were unfaithful, the Laodicean church was established by a preference material thing or two about legacy of the city.
Laodicea had a vibrant economy. Now this is GNP growth national product was off the chart. They had no inflation. The stock market was at all times high, the shining black wool and linen export broke all records. Their pharmaceutical industry was booming, especially in eye salve factory that was exporting all over the world.
That's why God calls him DC they're the experts on ourselves.
They produce it and send it to the world, but there were blind they thought there were rich but there were not the medical school there train the best doctors all over the world. Not only that, but Laodicea was the banking center of Asia minor of the time and yet and yet in the midst of such prosperity.
The Christians grew unfaithful they develop something called spiritual pride is making got sick. He said you are neither cold nor hot. Lukewarm people drink lukewarm water eviction motion should one of your development and that's what God is saying is, are you making me sick as a neither hot nor cold and yet in the midst of this time. Look at verse 20 of Revelation 3, God extends to them an invitation to return back and be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Listen to what he said, behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me. And often you hear this passages quoted for evangelistic endeavors that God is saying to the center.
I want to come into your life. No, no, no, no, God is talking to the believers here allow the cilia is talking to the Christians are talking to members of the church. Here is what is saying to them, he's speaking to those who have ceased to be faithful. He is talking to these Christians who got so busy with the prosperity that they had stopped going to prayer meetings is talking to Christians who got so comfortable in the lifestyle that they became sporadic and the worship is talking to Christians who became so entangled with God's blessings that they have forgotten the lesson is talking to Christians who were so preoccupied with their own reputation that they refrain from sharing Christ with others. That's was talking about is talking to Christians who are so caught up in the political process that they marginalize the truth and integrity is talking to Christians who were so busy in church politics that they have left out of the lives and out in the cold governor Lord who died for the church. That's what he's talking to the Laodicean church was indifferent to the invitation of Jesus and before long it became a shadow of its former glory. Today it's an Islamic city in Turkey is where it is you say well you know that just doesn't happen now. Oreo go to England go to Scotland. Look at the cathedrals and edifices that has no more than a dozen people worshiping that on Sunday morning go to Germany go to Holland go to the land of the information where the church once were thriving in the churches and see what happened.
Let me tell you something God moves on does not strive with us forever or before get carried away. Let me tell you two things about faithfulness before close two things. The first thing I want to tell you about faithfulness. Is this faithfulness in living things. Faithfulness in small things find our character. Faithfulness in small things define our character.
If I ask husbands and wives and so are you faithful I think most people say yes because most people think faithfulness has to do with sexual fidelity. But listen to me.
Faithfulness is much deeper than that.
Faithfulness in marriage.
It means that you build each other up, not tear each other down. Faithfulness in marriage means encouraging one another, not constantly criticizing one another. Faithfulness means more than just fidelity faithfulness means that you are making decisions with the other partners best interest at heart. Faithfulness is much deeper than that. It means making decisions that are maybe even the serving you with serving your spouse and on and on and on. I could go faithfulness and little things means faithfulness and big things. Faithfulness a little things define our character.
Listen to what Jesus said whoever is faithful with very little is faithful also in much faithfulness at work means. This means that you are faithful, whether your boss is watching you are not faithfulness at work means that you are faithful, whether you are appreciated or not. Faithfulness at work means that you are faithful, whether you are appropriately rewarded or not.
And the reason for that is because first and foremost, your work for one boss, and his name is Jesus, and I was Robert Frost who said that by working faithfully eight hours a day, you might eventually be a boss and work for 14 hours a day, and often say that the people who have the most demanding bosses are those who are self-employed.
Faithfulness in small things define our character.
The second thing I want to tell you about faithfulness.
Is this. Don't let the lack of immediate rewards for your faithfulness cloud your vision. Don't let the lack of immediate rewards for your faithfulness cloud your vision.
You see, I know in the 90s were we so used to these IPOs in these companies that are doubling in value overnight and I want that all the time and that's how we think and that's why I shutter personally have a longer view of history. What will happen with the society to begin to think that way there is vision of the future they lose vision of the big picture was in the work of God and serving God and serving for a believer in any place of God places you must think of the long vision must think of the big picture and have that in mind, don't have shortsightedness when it comes to faithfulness. Steve Ferrer ends up his book finishing strong with a hypothetical scene is what he said. He said imagine that you are a traveler back in time first century Jerusalem, the days of the early church, and as you walk in a busy street there near the temple you interview several passersby just individuals that you pick at random and and and you asked them. Each of them a typical Israelite of the day and ask him to simple questions. Number one who of your generation will people likely. Remember 2000 years from now being part of the Roman Empire. The average answer most likely would've been Caesar Nero then you ask a follow-up question, but what about those people known as Christian, do you expect that some of them will be remembered. Even the leaders he would slide the new site. There you got a mechanic that a bunch of nobodies.
They don't have any influence at all. They will hardly be remembered a month from now, let alone 2000 years from now and you probe a little further. Do you mean to tell me you've never heard of Peter or Paul have you not heard of Mary and Martha and every Jewish man on the streets of Jerusalem would interrupt you and he would say these folks are insignificant.
The only thing I know about them is that their leaders keep ending up in jail. Believe me, in 2000 years nobody will ever remember that there ever existed in five concludes here we are 2000 years later we name our children Paul, Peter, Mary and Martha and Manama dogs Caesar and Nero see you have to have the big picture. You have to have the long vision.
This immediate gratification. The cursor is progressing. Our culture is cursing our generation has nothing to do with God has nothing to do with the faithfulness of God. Faithfulness goes on and on and on with you rock with you down because I want to remind you of couple things as our clothes that the ultimate reward of your faithfulness is not really a boss the ultimate reward of your faithfulness is the Lord God, the God who sees you when nobody does. The God who hears you when nobody can the God who watches you when nobody else is around.
He is the one who sees in secret is going to reward you publicly before the whole world to see.
You have the word of God on the word of God ask you this is a question that often pasta myself help me keeps keep short accounts among faithful with God's resources, really faithful with the blessings of God that is given me, I really faithful with God's blessings of energy. My faith for God's blessings of time, my faithful with God's blessing of talent on my faithful even when nobody else is seeing or knowing shall we pray, my beloved friends. The spirit of God has spoken to you. You must respond to him if it's only my voice that you've heard ignore my voice of God has spoken to you say Lord I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that on my bear the fruit of faithfulness.
D. The cry of your heart.
I plead with you, but of God has spoken to you. So yes, Lord, father the Lord Jesus my Lord was faithful unto death, even though she did not relish the fact of being separated from you because of my sin. When he hung on the cross that he was faithful to the end all got our cry to you that in these days we your children will become more and more defined be known without faithfulness by our faithfulness.
Father encourage every heart that truly seeks to be faithful shaker soft with the June our indifference remind us of the time is short and that we need to work while Mr. day because not come will not be able to empower us in the name of Jesus and for his sake. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that LTW.Ward