Seeing the fruits of faithfulness
These men and women belong to the committed core of a community that has served God and God’s people in Germany for thirty-seven years. Each year more than 10,000 people are deeply touched by them through retreats and teaching seminars. They have close relationships with many church leaders and pastors as well as with many lay people throughout their home country. They are widely recognized as a source of life and strength for the Christian people. Through them many small, committed groups have sprung up which continue to receive support and direction from them.
But this group of men and women is neither large nor spectacular. As this handful of people shared with me over dinner, they told me in their own words how God had worked through them to bring them to that point of fruitfulness.
Seeing the fruits of faithfulness
Now they are seeing the fruits of faithfulness. Their outreach work is effective and widespread—far beyond what they could have expected from their numbers, talents, or gifts. Their own children are becoming adults, and are choosing to follow the Lord faithfully and to hold fast to the way of life that they were taught
God loves faithfulness. Faithfulness to him in righteous behavior and obedience to his commandments. Faithfulness to him in daily prayer. Faithfulness to one another in marriage commitments and family life. Faithfulness to our brothers and sisters in Christ even through times of serious disagreement. “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands” (Exodus 34:6-7). It is God’s own nature to be faithful.
Our faithfulness will be tested
But God remains faithful. He loves and rewards faithfulness. A simple inventory can help us to see those places where we need to be faithful and where our faithfulness is tested. Take some time to consider those relationships and those situations in which you have commitments to God, to your family, to brothers and sisters in Christ. List those commitments, and consider how well you are keeping them and how they are being tested. Then ask for God’s strength to remain faithful to the commitments he has given you. He promises to bless and give grace to those who seek to be faithful to him and call upon him for help (see Psalm 31:23; 101:6).
Faithfulness is effective
Faithfulness to God and to one another makes us effective in our service for the Lord. That little group of people in Germany with whom I spoke have seen for themselves the effectiveness of faithfulness in their daily lives and commitments. They have seen the fruit it has borne.
Jesus himself, who had worked mighty miracles, worked no miracle at the crucial time when he was arrested in the garden. He simply remained faithful to God’s will for his life. He trusted himself to God, who is also faithful to us. Jesus’ faithfulness to his Father brought about our salvation and the salvation of the whole world, Faithfulness is effective.
Faithfulness in the last days
In the last days when there is spiritual warfare, when trials and temptations are far beyond what we ourselves can handle or respond to, faithfulness brings victory. And our faithfulness will be rewarded (see Revelations 2:10). In those days, in the last days, in these days, God responds with faithfulness and deliverance to the faithful obedience of his people.
[Bruce Yocum is President
of Christ the King Association and a member of the International Executive
Council of The Sword of the Spirit.
This article was originally published in New Covenant Magazine,
publishing address: Park Royal Business Centre, 9-17 Park Royal Road, Suite 108, London NW10 7LQ, United Kingdom