Posts Tagged ‘Faithfulness


Faithfulness Is Key

Jesus calls all who will listen to come to Him for forgiveness and salvation. God has chosen all who will believe to become His children and to inherit eternal life. Peter says that we need to faithfully confirm our calling and election as God’s people. He wrote:

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 1:10-11 (NIV)

Faith in Christ is not a one-and-done kind of arrangement. Once you put your faith in Jesus, you are called to a daily denial of self and a daily taking up of your cross. It’s called faithfulness. Jesus saves us and we, in turn, live faithful lives of obedience to Him. As we grow in faith we begin to look more like Him and less like the world. We sin less even though we will never be sinless. We love God and people more each day until the day He returns and takes us home.

Confidence Versus Arrogance

Faithfulness is one of the keys that unlocks confidence in Christ. Check out what the Apostle John wrote. He said:

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. – 1 John 2:28 (NIV)

There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. When we live our lives in faithful service to Jesus, we can have confidence in our status before Him when He returns. It’s not arrogance. Arrogance says, “Don’t you know who I am?” Arrogance believes that one deserves Heaven. Confidence says, “I know who He is.” Confidence believes that the grace of God is sufficient to bring us to our heavenly home. Arrogance pridefully thinks that it is all about us. Confidence humbly knows that it is all about Him. This confidence we have comes from walking faithfully with Jesus in love for and service to Him. Be faithful today and confidently trust in His grace to lead you home.

The Promise Of Eternal Life

Sometimes we forget that this life is not all that there is. God has promised us eternal life through faith in His Son, Jesus. But we get distracted from that promise by the things of this world and we get pulled away from Jesus. This is what John wrote:

As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life. – 1 John 2:24-25 (NIV)

If you are a follower of Jesus, you are going to Heaven. Say that real quick – “I am going to Heaven.” That’s not a wish upon a star or from a genie or a cricket. That’s not a dream or a fantasy. That’s a rock-solid promise from God. He’s not going to change the game on you mid-stream. So faithfully remain in Him. Don’t wander off. You don’t want to miss this…

The Antichrists Are Coming

There are many who live in opposition to Jesus. Those who oppose Him could be called “antichrists.” We tend to think of the Antichrist as an individual, but John says that there are many. He wrote:

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.  – 1 John 2:18 (NIV)

In the days since Jesus ascended nearly 2,000 years ago, many have lived as enemies of the cross. There are many who are merely indifferent to Jesus. There are many who oppose Jesus and His church. Those who are anti Christ live as enemies of Jesus. The thing is that Jesus wins in the end. When you are with Jesus, you win. Keep your eyes on Heaven and on Jesus. He will return some day and those who have been faithful to Him and doing His will are going to be rewarded and those who oppose Him will be condemned.

Patiently Waiting

No one enjoys suffering. The Christians of the first century suffered persecution at the hands of those who opposed the church. James told them:

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. – James 5:7-8 (NIV)

Just as a farmer must wait for the rain to water his crops, so too must Christians wait for Christ’s return. The farmer knows that the rains will come and we must know that Jesus will come back. It requires patient endurance. No matter what others may say about us or do to us, we have to remember that Christ will return and those who stand firm and remain faithful to the end will be rewarded. Jesus said that we should not be surprised if the world hates us. After all, they hated Him first. My encouragement to you today is to resolve yourself to remain faithful to Jesus no matter what. The world is getting scarier and scarier for followers of Jesus. Will you patiently stand firm until He returns?

Remaining Faithful To Jesus

John 6:60-66 (NIV)

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

Jesus taught some hard and even offensive principles to those who were around Him. When He spoke of eating His flesh and drinking His blood, no one understood what He was talking about. He was talking about giving His life for the salvation of the world. Yet people could not grasp it and they began to leave Him.
We sometimes are tempted to leave Jesus behind when life gets hard or circumstances change. When we face the threat of persecution or even in times of prosperity, we feel like the old hymn says, “prone to wander.” We feel the tug of the world on our coats. We hear the siren call of the world. We struggle with faithfulness versus turning our backs on Jesus.
We are not the first to be tempted in this way. Even those who were closest to Jesus were tempted to betray and deny Him. Those who knew Him best ran and fled when the going got tough. So how will we remain faithful to Jesus?  We have to remember His promises to never leave us nor forsake us. We need to remember that He gives strength for the journey. We need to remember that He is returning soon. Let’s remain faithful to Jesus one day at a time. Let tomorrow worry about itself.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, help me to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus today. Whatever this day holds, You are at the end of it and waiting for me. Give me strength to overcome difficult circumstances and situations. Remind me of Your great love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Church Jealousy

John 3:22-26 (NIV)

After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

Church jealousy is never a pretty thing. As a pastor, I can tell you that it is a very real thing. After Jesus’ late-night conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus and His disciples went out into the wilderness and were baptizing people. Jealousy arose among John’s followers because more people were going to Jesus than John.
Leaders and pastors are constantly obsessing over numbers. We are comparing and contrasting the size of our churches with others. We’re missing the point. Did it matter if people were going to John to be baptized or to Jesus to be baptized? Not in the least! The important thing is that people were repenting of their sins and turning to God! Does it matter if XYZ church has 100 members and ABC church has 1000? Not at all! God does not play favorites. The most important thing is that people for whom Christ died are coming to faith in Christ in order to be transformed by Him. What is the measure of success? Is it a larger building or a bigger budget or more bodies in the seats? Or is faithfulness more important than success. A church of 200 may be more faithful to Christ’s mission than a church of 20,000. Drawing a crowd doesn’t necessarily reflect lives being changed.
I want the church to be successful in reaching more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. More than that, I want the church to be faithful in presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a pastor, I believe that God’s view of success is based more on my faithfully answering my call on a daily basis than it is on someone’s definition of success.
PRAYER: Father, help Your church to be faithful to the mission for which Christ died. Fill Your people with the Holy Spirit and passion for sharing the Gospel. We ask that You would help us to overcome jealousy and envy. May we rejoice as the angels rejoice whenever someone comes to saving faith in Jesus. Amen.

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