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Summary: The is a sermon on faithfulness from the series on the fruit of the Spirit. How to become faithful with: 1. Your PROMISES 2. Your RELATIONSHIPS 3. Your ABILITIES 4. Your TIME 5. Your GIVING

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Fruit Of The Spirit – Faithfulness

Developing Sticking Power

So far in our study of the fruit of the Spirit, we have looked at love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. Today we will consider the quality of faithfulness. Our focal verse for this series is from the book of Galatians where it says:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22-23 (NASB)

“Faithfulness” is a word we do not hear very often these days. It is a word usually reserved for retirement parties. After twenty-five years of faithful service – a worker gets a gold watch. When most of us think of the word “faithful” – we think of things that are old. My dog may be old and ugly – but she’s faithful. My car may be old and ugly – but it’s faithful.

To be faithful means to be reliable, trustworthy, dependable, consistent. Faithfulness is a rare quality. It is not easy to find someone who can really be counted on. The Good News Translation of Proverbs 20:6 says:

“Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!” Proverbs 20:6 (GNT)

But we should strive to be faithful for a couple reasons. The first reason we should be faithful is that God is faithful. Second Thessalonians says:

“The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NASB)

Since God desires for us to be like him – he wants us to learn to be faithful.

Another reason why we should be faithful is that God rewards faithfulness. In the Book of Revelation this promise is made:

'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.’ Rev 2:10 (NASB)

The Bible says over and over again that a faithful person will be richly blessed. So if you want to be rewarded in heaven – you should learn how to become a faithful – dependable person.

The most famous geyser in America is Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. It is not the biggest geyser in America nor is it the most powerful. What makes the geyser famous is its faithfulness! It’s dependability. People appreciate faithfulness – even in a geyser.

Do you have a reputation for being reliable – dependable? You may be talented, educated, and creative – but if you are not dependable, your talents are not worth much. Someone has said, “The greatest ability is dependability.”

On the flip side – unfaithfulness is the cause of many problems in life. Proverbs 25:19 says:

“Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.” Pro. 25:19 (NASB)

Unreliable people are a pain – like a bad toothache or a sore foot. You know what it is like to have a toothache. It hurts. When you are depending on an unreliable person – you can never quite relax. In the back of your mind you are always wondering, “Will he let me down again – or will he come through this time?” Working with inconsistent people is extremely frustrating. But God calls each of us to faithfulness.

Today we are going to look at five areas that you can do to develop faithfulness in your life.

1. Your PROMISES

Proverbs 25:14 says:

“Like clouds and wind without rain Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.” Pro. 25:14 (NASB)

The Message Bible puts it this way:

“Like billowing clouds that bring no rain is the person who talks big but never produces.” Pro 25:14 (MSG)

Do you know people like that? They make promises but never keep them. They tell you they will do something – but never do.

Be careful about the promises you make. We need to be dependable in what we say. We need to keep our promises.

Ecclesiastes 5:5 says:

“It's better not to make a promise at all than to make one and not keep it.” Ecc 5:5 (CEV)

When you are faithful with your promises – you don’t have to convince people that you are. You don’t have to make a big deal of it. You don’t have to say, “Cross my heart and hope to die – stick a needle in my eye.” No – you just say you will do it and then you do it! Jesus said:

“When you make a promise, say only "Yes" or "No." Anything else comes from the devil (evil).” Mat 5:37 (CEV)

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