Are You Developing Faithfulness in Your Life?
May 10, 2023
Are You Developing Faithfulness in Your Life?
One of the most important character traits a believer can develop is faithfulness.
I am in ministry today because as a young man, I chose the route of faithfulness.
God is absolute faithfulness!
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
When God looks at our lives, He looks for faithfulness.
When I came to Jesus, I found that one of the first things I needed to develop was the characteristic of faithfulness.
Here are six things that we need to know about faithfulness:
1. At Christ’s reward seat, we will be judged as to whether or not we used the gifts Jesus gave us.
Were we faithful with what He gave us?
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
He has called us, and planned our lives before birth. (Psalm 139). He places in us a gifting that He wants to use through us for His Glory.
What we do with the ability He gives us is totally up to us!
2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NLT)
In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
Romans 14:10-12 (NKJV)
But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (NKJV)
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
If you were suddenly right now at the judgment seat of Christ, what would He say about your faithfulness?
2. Faithfulness allows the gifts God places in you to develop.
Many don’t enter God’s best for them because they do not prove themselves faithful.
Matthew 22:14 (NKJV)
For many are called, but few are chosen.
We find our place in the family of God by being faithful.
Paul was called to be an apostle, and was then placed in that office as he proved himself faithful.
Romans 1:1 (NKJV)
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.
There is a time between a call, and the separation to the call.
Many people are called by God to do things, but are never separated into them because they are not faithful.
Faithfulness separates us into the call God has for us.
Faithfulness: The quality or state of being faithful.
Faithful: True or constant in affection or allegiance; loyal; firm in adherence to promises, oaths, or undertakings; firm and thorough in observance of duty.
A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (NKJV)
Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2 (AMPC)
Moreover, it is [essentially] required of stewards that a man should be found faithful [proving himself worthy of trust].
In what way have you proven yourself faithful to God?
Can God trust you with a responsibility He wants to give you?
God will often ask you to do something that is beyond you, or will open up an opportunity for you that will challenge you.
Don’t wait to be asked to do something; find a need and help out.
Become a member of VC and then join our Serve Team!
You will not grow spiritually without action. Faithfulness is action.
Just attending services is NOT enough!
I taught Sunday School to seasoned saints in a Pentecostal Church when Susan and I were just married. Fish out of water.
5 hospitals each week as a 23-year old.
Janitor – to deal with personal pride.
Personal ministry for pastor when I was 25…thought I may lose my job every day…
Cross-cultural ministry all over India and in Africa…
God may be leading you to help in children’s ministry, or in youth ministry, or in technology, or greeting or parking or in our various outreaches.
It may be a real stretch for you.
If you play it safe, you may not pass the test of being faithful.
1 Timothy 1:12
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
Grateful am I to Him that empowered me.
I give thanks to Him who puts strength in me.
New English Bible:
And I thank Christ Jesus my Lord, who has made me equal to the task.
2 Timothy 2:2
And the things you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
3. Faithfulness is the major character test God gives.
Skills can be taught, but character must be developed by us alone! No one can do it for us!
Character sustains the call and anointing on your life & either attracts or repels you to or from God’s plan for you.
You NEVER rise above your character!
Stephen and Philip developed faithfulness by helping feed the crowds in the early church, and God promoted them to other ministries.
Acts 6:1-5 (NLT)
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”
Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith).
Me: Sunday School teacher, home groups, hospital ministry, janitor – before I ever got into the ministry God had for me.
4. Big things have little beginnings.
For who has despised the day of small things?
If you’re not willing to do something small. You cannot qualify for something bigger.
Don’t wait for something big before you decide to be faithful. It may never come!
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
I never imagined that teaching a Sunday school class, or visiting hospitals weekly, or being a janitor would catapult me into the pastoral ministry.
But God knows that what you do in little things you will do in big things…
God will keep you in a place until you own it…willing to do it for the rest of your life.
Grace as a janitor – in bathroom.
Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter the joy of your Lord.
Are you faithful in the parking lot, as a greeter, an usher, a small group leader, or as a teacher in our children’s ministry or youth ministry, or in our technology dept, or in an outreach area?
Faithfulness shows God who can be trusted.
5. Faithfulness produces promotion.
Psalms 75:6-7 (NKJV)
For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. 7 But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.
Big things only come to those who are small in their own eyes.
Luke 16:10, 12
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much…(12) And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
I am in ministry today because of faithfulness in small things.
My church needed people to set chairs for the services each week…
My church needed someone to visit hospitals in 1982. I stepped up and volunteered.
I started in ministry as a janitor. It was a great place for testing faithfulness. My attitude and motivations were tested in fire!
I prayed and sought God in private before anything ever was produced in public. God was testing my faithful heart.
I became a pastoral staff member in 1984 for Bob Yandian at Grace Church in Tulsa.
I was tested in my loyalty, in wanting to do things differently than he, in wondering why he did or didn’t do this or that!
God wanted to see if I would be faithful when I disagreed!
I became an associate to Carl Morris in 1993. It was a great test of faithfulness in my life because I did not do life the way he did in ministry!
When I first attended Abundant Life Church in Florence, I judged everything. I had been on a staff team at a very large church. I had started my own church plant. I had been involved in a traveling ministry.
I can sing better,
These ushers are just so off.
That pastor can’t preach.
The Lord challenged me: “Who are you to judge another man’s servant? To me he rises or falls.”
That changed my life. I learned to do what I do to Jesus whether I agreed or disagreed. And God rewards faithful hearts.
I pastored another man’s church for one year before I came here. God was testing my faithfulness.
People told me I was a better preacher, and I said, “Be quiet! Never say that again!” I refused to record my messages. I refused to draw disciples to myself. God was testing my faithfulness.
I built his church up and then gave it back a year later when he came home from the mission field.
And that opened the door for me to come here in 1994.
6. Start where you are with the opportunities you have.
For me in a ministry call, I had to show myself faithful first:
Submission to another ministry.
If you are a Serve Team member here at Victory, be the best! Give God your best. Have an attitude of excellence.
Even in Serve Team positions, we should give our best just as though we were being paid! In fact we are!
Colossians 3:22-25 (NLT)
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.
- What would Jesus say about your faithfulness if you were at the judgment seat of Christ right now?
- Are you faithful in small things?
- What can you do right now to show faithfulness to Jesus in your local church?