For some 12 weeks now we have been looking at the spiritual fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. Just like physical fruit need time to grow, the fruits of the Spirit will not ripen in our lives overnight. As we mature in our walk with Holy Spirit, all the characteristics of our spiritual fruits will grow as well.
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We have looked at love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. Today we focus on ‘faithfulness’.
Faithfulness is a quality or attribute applied in the bible to both God and man.
The bible tells us that God is eternally reliable, steadfast, and unwavering because faithfulness is one of His inherent attributes. Unlike humans God does not have to work at being faithful; He is Faithful! Faithfulness is part of who He is.
What God says He will do. What He promises He will fulfill. We change our minds, but not God,
God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19, NIV)
God stands by every single promise He’s made in the bible. Every single one of them! (There are over 3,000 promises in God’s Word.)
Did you know that God’s love and mercies are brand new every morning? Toward us?
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV)
Every morning you wake up God’s mercies are waiting to meet you. As far as God is concerned your past stays in the past! All the things you messed up 50 years ago, 5 years ago, 4 months ago, last night, are forgiven. But now, instead, you are given what you do not deserve – mercies! Those mercies include God’s provision, protection, guidance, care, goodness and love. God is faithful to you every single morning!
In God’s faithfulness He provides a way out when you are tempted,
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
(1Corinthians 10:13, NLT)
Wow, next time you’re tempted and fail recall the above verse, especially the first line: ‘The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.’ When you hear: ‘Poor you, you are the only one who’s suffering from this problem!’, remember that’s a big fat lie of satan! The above verse says that your problem is a common one. Plus, the Holy Spirit already has a solution for what you are struggling with and will give you the power (usually thoughts) to get away from the pull of that/those temptation(s). God is faithful!
The question then is – how do I become faithful like God? If the Holy Spirit is living inside me, how do I co-operate with Him in order to live a life of faithfulness to my wife, husband, children, grand-children, etc?
The master answered, ‘You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.’
(Matthew 25:21, NCV)
First, be loyal or faithful to small things! Because the small things prepare you for bigger things. Listen again to the master’s words, ‘Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me!’
Secondly, pass the acid test of money:
If, then, you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, how can you be trusted with true wealth? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what belongs to you?
(Luke 16:11-12, GNB)
Every cent that comes your way is God’s. He is the Owner of all things. You are His financial manager while on earth. Money was here before you were born and will be here long after you’re gone. He watches how you spend His money.
The ‘true wealth’ mentioned above is God’s spiritual or supernatural gifts through the Holy Spirit. Jesus, who is speaking in the above verse, says, that if you manage money well (e.g. tithes, offering, give to the poor, help others, etc) God will release His supernatural gifts in your life. Otherwise, the Holy Spirit’s powerful gifts will ruin you if you don’t know how to manage money! Read and study Luke 16:1-13.
Lastly, how would you answer these questions:
1. Do you make promises and then break them? (God always keeps His promises.)
2. Do you turn up late for appointments? (God is always on time!)
3. Do you let your bills become overdue? (Someone else is waiting for their money).
4. Do you borrow money and not pay back? (The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives. Psalm 37:21)
Faithfulness is – BEING DEPENDABLE. Are you?