An Attribute God Always Honors – Faithful
(This particular sermon targets each person with the concept that they can be faithful to God and the service of others. If you gain anything from this it will be in spite of the formatting rather than because. This message is quite preachable and hits an oft-needed target.)
The true skill in life lies in faithfully handling the ordinary.
Luke 16:10 He that is faithful (trust worthy – worthy of trust) in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
This comes at a point where the book of Luke records several parables that cover a number of chapters. The over-arching theme of the collection of parables would be “about living life well.”
Jesus brings into the conversation a word to explain how certain qualities should be valued: faithful. Faithful defines constancy and consistency.
Anyone can be faithful. Faithful is not attached to wealth, talent or any other secondary criteria.
Noah – faithful
Paul – faithful
These are noble names . . . but there are millions of others who have no notoriety whose life had great value – as God sees it – because they were faithful.
The fable has been told of the beginning of the building of a magnificent cathedral where an angel came and promised a large reward to the person who made the most important contribution to the finished building.
As the building went up, people speculated about who would win the prize. The architect? The contractor? The woodcutter? The artisans skilled in gold, iron, brass, and grass?
Maybe the carpenter assigned to the detailed grillwork near the altar?
Because each workman did his best, the complete church was a masterpiece.
But when the moment came to announce the winner of the reward, everyone was surprised. It was given to an old, poorly dressed peasant woman. What had she done? Every day she had faithfully carried hay to the ox that pulled the marble for stonecutter.
Everybody say: I can do that!
I. God is such a realist. He never asks the impossible. Matthew 25:14 (Don’t read but refer to . . . until the highlighted verse: Matthew 25:14-27 (KJV) 14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
A. Notice something: The concept of faithfulness was not simply to be active or to hold on . . the idea of faithfulness – measured the effectiveness of the service rendered.
1. Old rule: To endure, being constant is sufficient.
2. Rule in evidence here: Effectiveness is expected.
a) In every aspect of ministry we should on occasion step back to evaluate the significance of what is being done to make disciples for Jesus Christ.
b) Activity is not adequate.
c) To maintain is not adequate.
B. Faithful is portrayed as wisely using the talents God puts in one’s life – and using the talent in a way that brings gain to God’s cause.
1. Multiplying the effect and benefit of those talent.
2. Faithfulness was not to polish the talents and make them look good; it was not to keep those talents safe – instead faithfulness was to take one’s gifts and do the necessary thing to increase the value – on behalf of the owner who provided them.
b) Reading – Leaders are readers
c) Faithful – ask meaningful questions and apply the answer.
C. Am I being faithful?
II. Faithfulness is not an option. It is a requirement. 1 Corinthians 4:2 It is required of a steward that he be found faithful.
A. During the Reagan Presidency terrorist bombed Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Hundreds of Americans were killed or wounded as they slept.
B. When Marine Corps Commandant Paul X Kelly, visited some of the survivors in a Frankfort, Germany, hospital one of the wounded was Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton.
C. Nashton was severely wounded and had so many tubes running in and out of his body that a witness said he looked more like a machine than a man.
D. As the Commandant neared him, Nashton, struggling to move and racked with pain, motioned for a piece of paper and a pen. He wrote a brief note and passed it back to the Commandant. On the slip of paper were but two words — “Semper Fi” the Latin motto of the Marines meaning “forever faithful.”
E. With those two simple words, written with such difficulty – Nashton spoke for the millions of Americans who have sacrificed body and limb and their lives for their country — those who have remained faithful.
F. A fitting story to be told at the outset of this week where we honor our Veterans.
III. Faithfulness is rewarded Matthew 25:21 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
IV. Faithfulness is our own individual responsibility. Personal. A man cannot do this for his wife or a child for a parent. God cannot and will not do this for us. The habit of FAITHFUL.
A. Revelation 17:14 (KJV) These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. – notice three things – called, chosen and faithful
1. God calls – Acts 2:39 Acts 2:38-39 (KJV) 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
2. God chooses – John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
3. But it is up to me to be faithful.
R. G. Lee told the story (Whirlwinds of God) of the preacher who was called to a particular home because the man of the house had shot himself and was calling for the pastor. The preacher went to the little house that was so neglected. It was a family the preacher knew well. The man’s wife and children had been faithfully been part of the church he pastored. She had evidenced everything of faithfulness that I’ve talked about today.