Summary: We know that God is faithful because the Bible tells us so, and we see His faithful track record.
A. Well, a lot has happened in each of our lives in the last three weeks, and even more so in the world.
1. Last Sunday when we met together, a major hurricane named Katrina was aiming its furry at New Orleans and the neighboring cities and states.
2. As you know so well, it came ashore on Monday morning and its devastation and resulting complications, continue to become evident.
3. At first it looked like New Orleans had been spared the worst, but then the levies broke and the city is completely flooded.
4. We’ve all, no doubt, been saddened and horrified to see the devastation of Bilouxi, Mississippi, and to see death tolls and helplessness of the people continue to rise.
5. We want to encourage everyone of us to do all that we can to help those who are in such need at this time.
6. Many of the hurting are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and all of them are our neighbors, as described by Jesus in his teachings.
7. This nightmare for them and for the nation will not soon be over.
8. We will all be effected by this in many ways for some time.
9. We’ve already seen how this crisis has brought out the best and the worst in some, and I pray that as it brings out the best in us, we might lift up our God, and many might put their trust in God through this painful trial.
B. In many respects, the events of this week segue nicely into our message for today.
1. Today’s sermon marks the beginning of a Sermon Series I’m calling “God’s Faithfulness and Ours.”
2. This summer, we elders, have been praying and planning about our focus for this fall and this year.
3. God has directed our hearts toward the subject of faithfulness and its importance.
4. Later in the series, we will direct our attention to the need for our own personal faithfulness to God, but for now we will direct our attention to the faithfulness of God.
C. Brothers, sisters and friends, God’s faithfulness is something that we can celebrate.
1. We live in a literal sewer of unfaithfulness.
2. There is so little that we can trust in anymore.
3. Parents can’t trust their children, and children can’t trust their parents.
4. There is a distrust among husbands and wives.
5. Politicians make all kinds of promises and follow through on few of them.
6. Companies are far less faithful than they used to be to their employees and the communities they come from.
7. I like the story of the college student who walked into a photography studio with a framed picture of his girlfriend.
a. He wanted the picture duplicated.
b. This involved removing it from the frame.
c. In doing this, the studio owner noticed the inscription on the back of the photograph: "My dearest Tom, I love you with all my heart. I love you more and more each day. I will love you forever and ever. I am yours for all eternity."
d. It was signed "Diane," and it contained a P.S.: "If we ever break up, I want this picture back."
8. In contrast to all this unfaithfulness and distrust is our God who is so faithful.
D. It is this reality that I want us to celebrate and embrace over then next few sermons.
1. This is not a truth to be heard and forgotten, but one that we need to be reminded of constantly.
2. Our God is a faithful God. We can trust him.
3. I want to tell you, on a personal level, that I don’t believe that God has ever let me down.
4. I cannot think of a time when God has not been there for me.
5. He has always given me exactly what I needed, when I needed it. Whether it was provision or correction.
6. I especially see his hand as he has carried me through my 21 years of full-time ministry.
7. He has been by my side, day in and day out.
8. There have certainly been high points and low points, successes and failures, but either way, God has been faithful.
E. Perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s take a minute to define what faithfulness is.
I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FAITHFUL?
A. When you think about being faithful what comes to your mind?
1. You probably think of things like: being steadfast, dedicated, dependable, and worthy of trust.
2. If you think those things, then you are on the right track.
3. The Hebrew root from which the words translated "faithful" and "faithfulness" in the Old Testament are derived, means to prop or stay or support.