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Tag: glory

God’s Words: Faithfulness

Life-transforming words

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 27/03/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FaithFaithfulnessGodFaithful


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

I just love the word “faithfulness.” If there is any quality I want to always be developing in my life, it is being faithful to God. It is very difficult to be useful to God if we are unfaithful to Him. Faithfulness is the idea of someone being able to depend on us to do something for them. We all know how disappointing it is when someone tells us that they are going to do something for us, but then they fail to do it. If someone tells you that they will pick you up at 8 a.m., but they never show up, I doubt seriously that you would even ask them to come to get you again. Why? Because they were unfaithful in doing what they promised they would do.

I had a great friend who just died of brain cancer. After he found how he had cancer, he only lived about one year more. As he got closer to the end of his life, there were many of us who would take turns going to his home, visiting him in the hospital, spending the night with him and helping his wife move him and feed him. People cut their grass, took their children different places, fixed meals for them and came and just spent time with the family. It was the faithfulness of these friends that helped the family get through a very difficult time in their life.

So, exactly how does God define “faithfulness”?

The easiest way to understand that question is to simply look at the life of Christ and see how He lived. In everything He did, He was willing to do exactly what His Father wanted Him to do.  He never once swerved from doing what His Father sent Him to do — to die for our sins. Jesus fully knew what the enormous cost would be to Him personally, but He was always faithful to God’s will for His life no matter the cost. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says this about being faithful: “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”

In other words, if we are going to be someone who God can trust to do what He wants us to do, then we must “be found faithful.” No one would consider a man to be a faithful husband if every two or three years he would divorce his current wife and go find another woman to marry. That would be a good example of what it means to be unfaithful. None of us would want to hear that our marriage partner was faithful to us 98% of the time. That would be just as bad as being unfaithful all the time. To be faithful means to remain, to stay, and to continue with someone no matter how difficult life may be at times.

So, how should I demonstrate faithfulness in my life? 

Well, the best way to demonstrate “faithfulness” is to simply be obedient to God’s Word. We would never consider someone to be a faithful friend who was always doing things that would hurt us in some way. Maybe they would make a promise to us that they would help us finish something that we were building, but then they would never come over to help as they had promised. For someone who is a fully devoted follower of Christ, the best way to demonstrate faithfulness to Christ is simply to be obedient to His Word. Jesus said this in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” 

That may be one of the simplest yet most important statements in the Bible because it defines how God measures our love for Him. If someone is always disobedient to God’s Word, then in essence they are not being faithful to Him and really do not love God. If you have children, you want respect from them, and the way they show respect is by being obedient to you. If you own a business, the way your employees show respect is by being more than willing to do what you ask them to do and to do a good job. Well, it is no different in the Christian life. God the Father calls on us to simply be faithful to Him, and we do that when we remain obedient to His Word.  

Does faithfulness have a reward?

Sure it does. Jesus gave a parable about faithfulness and this is what he said in Matthew 25:23 to those who were faithful.

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

We will never be disappointed in how God rewards faithfulness, so be encouraged that you can truly be someone that He sees as a good and faithful servant.


Pray this week:

Lord Jesus, when life seems to bring me a very difficult test, my prayer is that You would help me to be faithful during the trial so that You can be glorified in my life.


If someone were to look at your life, would they consider you to be a loyal and faithful servant of Jesus Christ?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How can We Have Joy in Trials?

The Bible says our faith is like gold that needs to be purified and refined in fire. The joy comes when we realize the fire makes the end product more valuable and beautiful.

Written by Hope on 13/04/2014

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ChallengesDifficultyJoysTrials


 

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:2

 

Why does God allow trials in our life? They help build our faith and dependence on God. The Bible says our faith is like gold that needs to be purified and refined in fire. The joy comes when we realize the fire makes the end product more valuable and beautiful.

Expect Suffering

Our hope cannot be based on a comfortable, trouble-free life here on earth. Jesus said, “In this world you will have troubles, but have courage! I have overcome the world” John 16:33. Jesus tell us to expect it; He says you will have troubles, not if you have troubles. Jesus’ promise is victory over the things of this world, not happiness in them. The Bible warns against us loving this world and its comforts (1 John 2:15-17). This world is fading away, and so are the pleasures it holds.

Suffering Builds Faith

Jesus died to make us holy and righteous. Our strength of character and faith is more important to him than our temporary happiness. “We confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that trials develop endurance; and endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 5:3-4.

When trials come, we are forced to trust in God. We realize we cannot depend on our own strength and knowledge. Jesus wants us to believe in his promises no matter what our current situation is.

Focus On the Joy

When we focus on Jesus and the things in heaven, we see that our troubles here on earth are only temporary. They cannot compare to the wonderful things God has ready for us in heaven.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. We can endure suffering when we have faith in God’s promises for eternity. Jesus himself was able to endure the cross “because of the joy awaiting him.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Let our prayer be this: “For I want to understand what really matters, so that I may live a pure and blameless life until the day of Christ’s return. May I always be filled with fruit of my salvation–the righteous character produced in my life by Jesus Christ–for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Philippians 1:9-11


Pray this week:

For help in bringing glory and praise to God in the midst of suffering.


What have you learned from your trials or circumstances in your life, or the life of others? Do you have questions sabout why hard things happen?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Who Am I?

Your Secret Identity in Christ

Written by Dan Lee on 17/10/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: IdentityFriendship


For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:3-4

Literature is full of secret or hidden identities. Many superheroes, such as Superman or Spiderman, spend most of their time disguised as a regular person. In the old fable of Beauty and the Beast, a prince is trapped in the body of an ugly, scary monster. At the end, when all hope seems lost, he is magically transformed back into a handsome prince.

It’s only a fairy tale, right? Yes, but every good story is a a small picture of the great Story, written by our Creator. And for those who know Him, this Story ends with a glorious revealing of our true self, more wonderful by far than the old.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Until that great day of revealing, we don’t look different from anyone else. Yet we are new inside.

Here are a few more important identities of a true follower of Christ:

Identity #1: We are his children

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1a)

American President John F. Kennedy famously allowed his young children to roam around the White House and come to him at almost any time. While civilians and even powerful people often could not approach the president, Caroline and John, Jr. had access to him — not because of anything they did, but just because they were his children.

Having rich and powerful parents is great. But the Bible tells us that we are far more blessed than that. We are beloved children of God, the Creator and Owner of all, with unlimited access to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). And we are heirs, not just of money and possessions, but of God’s eternal, unshakable kingdom (Hebrews 12:28).

Identity #2: We are a chosen race

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

God’s original chosen people were the Israelites — descendants of Jacob. But now in Christ, we are also the chosen people, adopted by God into His family. Note that this is not for our benefit only, but so that we can tell others about God’s greatness and excellence.

Identity #3: We are God’s friends

Being God’s servant would be a great honor, but Jesus goes beyond that, telling us, “You are my friends, if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his Master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15).

This statement comes with a condition: “if you do what I command you.” That does not mean we are perfect, but it refers to a lifestyle, a pattern, of seeking to know and obey God’s will. A person who doesn't know or care what God wants him to do is probably not even a true believer.

And the result of friendship in this verse is that Christ shares with us, through the Holy Spirit, what He hears from the Father. So the more we obey Him, the more He will reveal to us, and the deeper our friendship can grow.

If you ever struggle with feelings of unworthiness or unimportance, spend some time re-reading and meditating on the passages in this article. Let God’s word renew your mind (Romans 12:2), and ask Him to give you a greater understanding of your great worth — your infinite value — in the eyes of God, the Creator of the Universe. And remember that for those who know and follow Jesus, “happily ever after” is not a dream from a fairy tale, but a solid promise from God.


Pray this week:

Thank You, Father, that because of Jesus, I now have infinite worth and am completely loved by You — as your child and Your friend. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to know and believe this truth more and more, and to live with confidence as a Child of the King, proclaiming Your excellence to others and bringing You glory.


Need more encouragement about your identity in Christ? Connect with one of our caring volunteers to learn more.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member