Summary: Developing the fruit of faithfulness
What does it take to be Dependable, Committed, Reliable, AND FAITHFUL?
Bulldogs and Poodles “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” James 4:8 NKJV The story is told of a bulldog and a poodle who were arguing one day. The bulldog was making fun of the poodle, calling him a weak little runt who couldn’t do anything. The bulldog said, “I challenge you to a contest. Let’s see who can open the back door of their house the fastest and get inside.” The bulldog was thinking he would turn the doorknob with his powerful jaws, while the poodle was too small to even reach the knob of his back door. But to the bulldog’s surprise the poodle said, “I can get inside my house faster than you can. I accept the challenge.” So with the poodle watching, the bulldog ran to the back door of his house and jumped up to the doorknob. He got his teeth and paws around it and tried to turn it, but he couldn’t get enough grip on the knob to do it, so he finally quit in exhaustion. Now it was the poodle’s turn. He just did what he’d been doing every day for the last several years. He went up to the door and scratched a couple of times, then waited patiently. Within a few seconds, his master not only opened the door, but also picked him up in his arms, patted him on the head affectionately and carried him inside. The difference was in the relationship. Some of us are bulldog Christians. It’s all grunting, growling and trying to please God. Give it up! All God asks us to do is, “Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you.” from The Word for Today.
I start with a very important question, can God depend on you? As we have been speaking on the fruit of the Spirit we need to keep in mind that fruit is something that grows and is in different stages. We need not give up on the development of the fruit in us because God is not finished with us yet. I have given you many steps to follow as we have gone through Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness and Goodness. I trust that you have put some of them into practice and your fruit is becoming more mature. Today we come to the fruit of faithfulness. What do you see inyour life that others would consider you a faithful person? Are you reliable, trustworthy, dependable and one that others can count on? PR. 20:6 “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” Do you find that there are people who tell you they will do something but do not follow through? I would like us to see two reasons we need to be faithful and then follow up with eight ways to build up our faithfulness.
1. We need to be faithful because God is. DT 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving-kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; Ps 36:5 ‘Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds. 1 COR 1:9 “God is faithful.” 2 TH 3:3But the Lord is faithful. HB 10:23 For he is faithful that promised. Our main goal is to be like Him. When we are faithful life is more enjoyable. If we fail then life is miserable. PR 25:19 “Putting confidence in an unreliable person is like chewing with a toothache or walking on a broken foot.” Being unfaithful only makes life frustrating. Think of what you depend on? News reporting, telephone, mail, police, bank, alarm clock and car. There is geyser that is not the biggest one or the most powerful one but it is one you can depend on. I have seen it and you can set your clock by it. It is Montana and called Old Faithful. 2. The 2nd reason is that God rewards faithfulness. In this parable we read that one day Jesus is going to judge us on what He has given us and what we did with it. We will not be judged by the intentions we had to do something but if we actually did it. Our reward in heaven comes form our being faithful with what God has given us. Let us look closely at ways to become more faithful with what God has given us.
1. Being faithful means to keep the promises you made. PR 25:14 People who promise things that they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain. We are going to be held accountable for the promises we have made. Some people are known for saying they will promise something just to get others to quit bothering them. I promise to come to church is one I have heard. PR 20:25 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. It you do not intend to do something it is better not to say any thing. I think the biggest challenge in being a pastor is to keep people motivated to be what God wants them to be. It seems to me that it is so easy for people to slack off in their spiritual life. The things that lead us to into not being faithful are laziness, boredom, waiting for someone else and dryness in our spiritual life. Only I can change that. A man named Pascal prayed, “Lord, help me to do great things as though they were little, since I do them with your power; and little things as though they were great, since I do them in Your name.” God gives us the ability to do all that we need to do. It is dependable people that get the job done. They make others around them work with confidence. God is keeping track of your faithfulness.