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Summary: The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 9) The faithful hold on to TRUTH, PERSEVERE, keep their COMMITMENTS, and make a FRESH START. This message is also appropriate for graduation. (See sermons in Word format at www.praiseag.org)

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FAITHFULNESS

The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 9)

Galatians 5:22-23

Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)

[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

INTRODUCTION:

This morning we are going to continue our series of messages with the seventh of the nine expressions of the fruit of the Spirit—FAITHFULNESS. However, God has worked this out that I can have a heart to heart talk with our graduates. The rest of you have the opportunity to eavesdrop and listen in.

Why talk with graduates about faithfulness?

Faithfulness sets us apart from other people. Faithfulness separates:

 the successful from the failures,

 the finisher from the quitter,

 the responsible from the irresponsible,

 the mature from the immature,

 the righteous from the sinful.

You have grown up and are living in a society that is unfaithful. The tabloids are filled with stories of unfaithfulness; Hollywood marriages, divorces and love affairs are glamorized and sensationalized for all to see.

It’s apparently no big deal for marriages to come and go. If we were to take a poll of your graduating class statistics would tell us that over half of their parents have divorced. Today it’s marriages that last the test of time that are unusual.

We can even find the society’s acceptance of unfaithfulness at the card shop. Visit a Hallmark store, “when you care enough to send the best,” and you can find cards that fit the unfaithful style of our day. One card in the love and sweetheart section reads, "I can’t promise you forever, but I can promise you today." I suppose you could even put that on an anniversary card! That’s about as deep a commitment as some are willing to make.

I’m glad God promises us more than just today!

Psalm 100:5 (NIV)

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

When it comes to faithfulness one thing you can know for sure; GOD IS FAITHFUL. God will never turn His back on you; God won’t abandon you. God will never take advantage of you or mistreat you. God will be faithful!

 What is faithfulness?

Let me ask you what does faithfulness mean? What word would you use to describe faithfulness? Authenticity. Truthful. Real. Accurate.

I don’t normally go to the dictionary, but I liked this definition of faithfulness. The American Heritage Dictionary defines faithfulness as “adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person cause or idea.” Faithfulness is a stick-to-itiveness that won’t be broken; faithfulness is the “superglue” of the heart that holds fast and won’t let go. Faithfulness means you follow through with your commitments regardless of what it costs.

Through out this series on the fruit of the Spirit, I have described each as an expression of love. Love is the blossom; without love it is impossible for the fruit to develop. The fruit of the Spirit begins and ends with love.

o Joy is love rejoicing.

o Patience is love enduring.

o Peace is love trusting - resting.

o Kindness is love serving.

o Goodness is love extending.

o Faithfulness is love proving.

o Gentleness is love touching.

o Self-control is love restraining.

Faithfulness is love proving. Faithfulness is love that hangs on to the end; it’s love that won’t quit. Faithfulness is not just a one-time display; faithfulness proves itself over and over again. Faithfulness is a lifestyle of consistent dependability; it’s the superglue of the heart that won’t let go.

 What does faithfulness look like?

Well in a word faithfulness is Jesus. If you want to see faithfulness lived out in the day to day life of someone look at Jesus. If you are going to live a faithful life, then live your life just like Jesus.

Hebrews 2:17 (NLT)

It was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us . . . so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God.

Jesus lived His life with unwavering commitment and faithfulness. He didn’t quit or throw in the towel when things got hard; His love for us was steadfast and true. Jesus remained true to His commitment regardless of the cost—Jesus loved us to death, and beyond! Not only did Jesus go to the cross to lay down His life for our sins, He was resurrected to life so that we might be able to live with Him.

The faithfulness of Jesus continues. He will never be unfaithful to us.

2 Timothy 2:13 (NLT)

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

Jesus is faithful and true. Jesus shows us how to live faithfully – to adhere with firm devotion to God and to have an unbreakable stick-to-itiveness for one another.

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