Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Faith and faithfulness not only involve reliability and trust but steadiness as well.

A man from the east coast had always dreamed of owning a cattle ranch and had finally saved enough money to buy his dream spread in Wyoming. His best friend flew out to visit and asked, “So, what’s the name of your ranch?” His buddy told him that he and his wife had had a really hard time coming up with a name that they liked. Since he and his wife couldn’t agree on what to call the ranch they compromised on this name, “The Double R Lazy L Triple Horseshoe Bar-7 Lucky Diamond Ranch.” His friend was really impressed and then asked, “So where are all the cows?” The new rancher replied, “We had quite a few…but none of them survived the branding!”

Sometimes when it comes to faithfully serving God, we make it far more complicated than it has to be. It helps us to simplify things.

6 "With what shall I come before the LORD,

and bow myself before God on high?

Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,

with calves a year old?

7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,

with ten thousands of rivers of oil?

Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,

the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"

8He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the LORD require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6.6-8

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22.34-40

I. God Demonstrates His Faithfulness, Not Just His Forgiveness

Robert McCormack was a sergeant in WW I. He nearly lost his life while saving the life of Major Henry Parkin. Fortunately, both men survived the war. From that day on, until he died 25 years later, in April of every year Parkin wrote McCormack a letter of gratitude.

The last letter Parkin wrote contained this brief note: "Dear Bob, I again want to express to you my appreciation for another year of life which I would not have enjoyed had it not been for you & the price you were willing to pay to save my life. I want you to know, I am grateful."

A. In Words:

Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”

1 Corinthians 1:9, “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”

1 Thessalonians 5:24, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”

B. In Actions

I read that years ago in England when they still used the balanced scales that a baker sued a farmer over the pound of butter that he was buying. And he said that when he first started buying butter from the farmer, it was a full pound. But gradually the farmer was selling him less and less, until now he was only giving him about three quarters of a pound of butter and still charging him for the full pound. And so he sued him in court.

The farmer in his own defense said to the judge, "Sir, I only have a balanced scale to measure the butter." And he said, "I always put the baker’s pound loaf of bread on the other side of the scale and that’s how I know when he has his pound of butter."

Giving Abraham his descendants – stars/sand

Psalm 89:5, “The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too…”

Giving them the Land

Bringing the Messiah through them

Psalm 36:5, “Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.”

II. God Desires Our Faithfulness, not Our Flash!

A. God is interested in the marathon, not the sprint

“Slow and steady wins the race”

During the Olympics in Sydney, Australia, an Ethiopian runner won the marathon race. He was something of a new-comer to the marathon running scene. How was he able to win that race against so many fast and talented runners?

It was said that he trained at high altitude and competed in low altitude. Training in high altitude enabled him to run faster in the low altitude atmosphere.

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