Summary: Great is God’s faithfulness!
A common source of challenge in life is commitment as illustrated in the following story:
The church choir director was frustrated with the sporadic attendance of all the choir members for rehearsals for the Christmas Choral Concert. At the final rehearsal he announced, “I want to personally thank the pianist for being the only person in this entire church choir to attend each and every rehearsal during the past two months.”
At this, the pianist rose, bowed, and said, “It was the least that I could do, considering I won’t be able to be at the Christmas Choral Concert tonight!”
Thank goodness for cassette and CD accompaniment tracks! I am very glad that our Easter choir was very faithful in their attendance through the practice season and that we had a wonderful cantata two Sundays ago. And that they had a tape to sing with! But, in a humorous way the story does illustrate the challenge of commitment in our lives. All of us face the challenge of balancing the various commitments in our lives and sometimes it truly is a challenge to fulfill them.
I would like to suggest this morning that one important component of celebrating our past and embracing our future in Christ is commitment. We are seeking financial commitment to the continued and future ministry of our church through pledges (beyond one’s tithes and offerings) over the next three years. But this morning we need to look behind and beyond that commitment to the reasons for making them in the first place. And a place to start is with thinking about the issue and importance of faithfulness.
There are a whole host of people through the history of our church who have exhibited faithfulness in their lives and service. They’ve been pastors and laypersons. They’ve been young and old. They’ve been kids and teens. Their faithfulness influenced many people in ways large and small. And some of us here this morning are the direct result of their faithfulness. And all of us here are the indirect result of their faithfulness.
What were they faithful to? Well, for starters we can say the church and its mission. They were taught and they embraced the beliefs and practices of the Church of God and attempted, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to live out those beliefs and practices no matter where they were – here at church, at home, at school, in the workplace – everywhere they were. And God, through the teachings of the church and the Bible and through the obedient walk that was nurtured by the Holy Spirit, planted and nurtured faithfulness in their lives and used it to continue the ministry and mission of this church.
They were faithful to their own place of service. Some of those who we think of this morning taught Sunday School for years. Some played the piano or organ or led the singing. Other served on the Trustee’s or as an usher or in the nursery. Some served in one area of ministry for their entire time of service and others served in many different areas. And they served faithfully through easy times and hard times. They served in times of world conflict and in times of significant peace. They served faithfully.
But they also (most importantly) were faithful to God. Because of His faithfulness to them, they responded with faithfulness to Him. And because of that faithfulness – their service and ministry were empowered by God through His Holy Spirit and they made a difference in people’s lives. They believed in God. They committed themselves to the Lord. They had asked for and received the forgiveness of their sins. They were faithful to the Lord.
We celebrate that this morning! We celebrate others faithfulness to God and the ministry of this church and we celebrate God’s faithfulness to us!
In our text for this morning we are reminded of God’s faithfulness. I want to read it again:
The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. And it is good for the young to submit to the yoke of his discipline.
What words and/or phrases catch your attention? Take a moment and write them down. (Pause) Now, pick one of those phrases and write down a reason why that phrase speaks to you. (Pause)
The first phrase is one that speaks to me. The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! The church has been a part of my life before I was born. My parents were faithful followers of the Lord and faithful servants. My father I think did just about every thing in the church over the course of his adult life except preach and perhaps do nursery duty. My mother taught Sunday School, did VBS, served in various leadership capacities.