For the last few days, we have been looking at the FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. We have been focusing on Galatians 5:22…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We’re not speaking of spiritual apples, grapes, pears, or peaches here. We’re talking about what’s going on in the orchard of your life. We acknowledged that we are all sinful and fall short…. And we celebrate the fact that God loves us anyway! “Christian character” follows faith and is produced by the Holy Spirit…not by merely trying to live by the law. The indwelling Holy Spirit produces faith and Christian virtues. If the goal of the Christian life may be stated as Christlikeness, then surely every trait developed in us that reflects His character must be fruit that is very pleasing to Him. Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit in nine terms. I am going to take each of these characteristics one per day. So far, we have looked at LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS.
Today we will look at Faithfulness.
We are all too often like the little boy whose mother asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup. The little boy didn’t want to go into the pantry alone, and he said, “Mommy, it’s dark in there, and I’m scared.” “It’s all right, Johnny,” she said, “You go in there and get a can of tomato soup. I need it for a recipe.” He said, “But Mommy, it’s dark, and I’m too scared to go in there by myself.” “It’s okay, Johnny,” she said again. “Jesus will be in there with you. Now you go and get a can of tomato soup.” Johnny went to the door and opened it slowly. When he peeked inside, it was dark, and he was scared. His hands began to tremble, but he got an idea. He said, ”Hey… Jesus, if you’re in there, would You hand me that can of tomato soup.”
The definition of faithfulness…is a quality of being faithful, loyal, constant, staunch, steadfast, resolute, to be firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance. Faithful implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted.
Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. Even when going into a dark pantry!
The most famous geyser in America is OLD FAITHFUL! It’s not the biggest geyser in America…nor the most powerful. What makes it famous is it’s faithfulness! It runs like clockwork…dependable! But that’s just a geyser. What about us?
Biblically Faithfulness comes from a place of trust and loyalty. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is a confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” As a Christian, it is important to be faithful to God. It is one thing to simply believe in Him, but another to be faithful to Him.
Right about now, you may be saying to yourself… “Dave, these devotions are nice, but I feel overwhelmed! I can never live up to all of these virtues we have been looking at!” Well, That’s a good place to be! On your own, you can not master any of these characteristics of a Christ follower. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in. The more time we spend with God through prayer and in His Word…the more FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT will show up in your life. How do I get faith? The Bible answers that question… faith comes from the Word of God. (Romans 10:17…Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.) Fruit grows and matures when it is rooted in God’s Word and watered in prayer. (Colossians 2:6-7… So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.) Use this verse to picture a tree… nourished and held in place by strong roots…built up and growing… strengthened by the sun and rain…overflowing in fruit. You are God’s tree! Be grounded in the Lord!
Our role model for faithfulness is Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:9…God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Joshua 21:45…Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
2 Peter 3:9…The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Look up, focus on the words, and sing “How Great is Thy Faithfulness”
We have faith in the faithful one…and the Spirit fills us with faithfulness!
So…it makes sense that if we want to be faithful (full of faith), we need to have a growing faith. I heard it put this way….if you do not use your right arm, it will eventually lose all its power to move. Its muscles must be exercised to stay alive. If you have faith, you must exercise this also. If you don’t, it dies.
Faith in God seems easy on the good days…but it is tested and grows stronger when life gets tough. Faith is a gift to you from God!
A widely known professor in a New England university started out as a practicing Christian, a man of faith. Over the years, however, this all changed. He became known as an agnostic, or an atheist even. He said, concerning that change, that he never consciously abandoned faith. He said, “It was as though I had just put it away in a drawer, and later when I looked for it, it wasn’t there. “God never stopped reaching out to the man but… the man had let faith die for want of exercise.
If you have faith, keep it out and keep it active. Faith does not survive packed in an old trunk or kept in cold storage. Some fine musical instruments must be played to survive; leave them idle and they will no longer make music for you. Use the faith you’ve got, and it will grow stronger; fail to use it, and it will weaken and perish. Exercise your faith!
There are many ways of doing this: helping others, loving them; forgiving others, living a noble life; firmly holding high ideals and staying the course God has planned for you. But your faith is best exercised when you ask it to do the thing it alone has the power to do, when you ask it to lift up your soul for the touch of God. This you do when you truly worship him.
- How would you rate yourself in the area of faithfulness? In your home / family life? In your job? In keeping your promises? In the use of your time, talents, treasures?
- Are you faithful in your spiritual life, prayers, Bible study, worship, serving?
- Stop and thank the Lord for giving you eternal life thru faith in the faithful one.
- How would others rate your faithfulness?
- How would God rate your faithfulness?