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Summary: In this sermon you will find encouragement and motivation to remain faithful to Jesus Christ.

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Over the past few weeks I have highlighted several overarching qualities that I see in the people of our church. These are not a source of arrogance. This does not mean we are superior to any other church. We celebrate these qualities because God has assembled a group of people who share similar qualities. This makes us the unique body of believers we call Faith Baptist Church. I focus on these qualities in order to praise our Heavenly Father for His gifts. I also focus on these qualities in order to commend you for allowing God to magnify these in your life and your church. I have discovered that God uses our unique qualities as a source of ministry. The quality I highlight today is faithfulness. Faith Baptist Church has been here seven years. A new church will go through trials as it is being established. New churches confront such trials such as shortage of money, shortage of workers, issues concerning values and issues concerning church polity. You have faced many of these trials. However, you have been faithful. As a church, faithfulness has become a part of your character. However, faithfulness has become a part of your expectations. I have been working with a group to define our vision, values, expectations and identity. As we worked to define our values I noticed that faithfulness underlies many of our value statements. Our people feel very strongly about being “genuine, sincere, loyal and faithful.”

Faithfulness is an important quality. It is important in any endeavor of life.

Faithfulness is important in service to our country. Several years ago there was a terrorist attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, in which hundreds of Americans were killed or wounded as they slept. There were many terrible scenes as the dazed survivors worked to dig out their trapped brothers from beneath the rubble. A few days after the tragedy, Marine Corps Commander Paul Kelly, visited some of the wounded survivors in a Frankfurt, Germany, hospital. Among them was Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, who was severely wounded in the incident. Nashton had so many tubes running in and out of his body that a witness said he looked like a machine rather than a man; yet he survived.

As Kelly neared him, Nashton, struggling to move and racked with pain, motioned for a piece of paper and a pen. He wrote a brief note and passed it to the commander. On the slip of paper were two words -- "Semper Fi", the Latin motto of the Marines meaning "forever faithful."

(Contributed to Sermon Central by Roy Fowler. SOURCE: J. Dobson & Gary Bauer, Children at Risk, Word, 1990, pp. 187-188.)

Faithfulness is important in marriage. Several weeks ago, I went with a group of our senior adults to Pigeon Forge to a conference. Art Linkletter was one of our guest speakers. He is now 95 years of age. In his speech he indicated that he and his wife have been married 70 plus years. We need role models who set that kind of example of faithfulness in marriage.

Faithfulness is important in church. One of Southern Baptist’s most famous missionaries was a lady named Annie Armstrong. In fact, our home mission offering is named after her. Annie had a simple ambition for her life. She wanted to be faithful. Before her death she requested that the words, “she hath done what she could,” be printed on her tombstone.

There has been much said and written about Billy Graham over the years. The thing that endears Billy Graham to people has been his faithfulness. He has been a man of steady character, faithfulness and integrity. He has counseled Presidents and spoken to Kings. All of those individuals have respected his integrity and character. In an interview several years ago Billy Graham said "we are not called to be successful. We are called to be faithful."

(Contributed to Sermon Central by Christian Cheong)

I share this message for several reasons.

First, I share it to commend and thank you for your faithfulness to this church.

Second, I share it because faithfulness is a much needed quality in our society. Faithfulness is a missing ingredient in our vocabulary. It seems as if we have taken this word and ripped it off of the pages of our dictionary.

• There needs to be commitment and faithfulness in marriage.

• There needs to be commitment and faithfulness in supporting our churches.

• There needs to be commitment and faithfulness in supporting our country.

• There needs to be commitment and faithfulness in following Jesus Christ.

I want to focus on faithfulness to church and faithfulness to Jesus Christ in my thoughts today.

1. Let’s be honest: we often face trials that will dampen our enthusiasm for our faith .

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