Summary: Faithfulness is our way to live.
HE WAS FOrsaken but REMAINED Faithful
The Lord’s Supper
Revelation 2:8-14 2:10 “Remain faithful even when facing DEATH and I will give you the crown of life.”
Senator Mark Hatfield While touring her work in Calcutta asked, "How can you bear the load without being crushed by it?" Mother Teresa said “My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, but faithful.” Mother Teresa is right. God calls us to faithfulness, not to success.
Jesus would enter His beloved Jerusalem triumph on the back of a donkey with the crowd cheering Him on. He would leave this world with the taunts of an angry mob hanging on a disgraceful cross. The beating was bad but much worse than the beating was the forsaking. In a matter of hours all those he had shown love to would forsake Him. He would be put to the test of being faithful. For faith, love, loyalty (the things that faithfulness is made of), is only truly seen when put to the test of trail.
Faithfulness is when you stand-alone but loyal to the Lord.
Faithfulness is when you love the Lord more than life.
Faithfulness is when you trust God despite the opposition.
A missionary on furlough told this story while visiting his home church in Michigan:
While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived at the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital. Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting; one of them had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time I talked with him about the Lord Jesus Christ. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident. Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, "Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But, just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards." At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone out in the jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point however and said, "No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and let you alone." At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date and the man who interrupted told him this story: "On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong; I called the men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. "Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?" The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were - he was too busy counting how many men he saw. There were 26. This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in mysterious ways.
We want to look at Jesus” example of faithfulness in our message today.
I. He was forsaken by His Friends Luke 22:47-48
Most people become broken and embittered when friends forsake them. Take for example the women dragged before Jesus caught in adultery, where was her lover to protect her and care for her? She was broken. Take the woman at the well that was alone after five husbands. Do you think she had a reason to be bitter? Take Jesus, Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing." And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.” Where were His friends? If you had been there, where would you have been?
II. He was forsaken by His Followers. Matthew 26:56b
It’s bad to have a friend forsake you but what about those who say, "We’re behind you and would never forsake you!" When they are needed they cannot be found. How many of you would like to have someone that could not be found when things were not going right?