Monday, February 20, 2012




·       Love (Agape – God’s love in us)…joy (In Jesus, despite circumstances)…peace (inner, outer, eternal)…longsuffering (patience) …Gentleness (kindness)…Goodness (doing good for others).
·       Today we come to Faith, or FAITHFULNESS.
·       We know that God is faithful to us in all things.
o  1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
o  1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
·       We know God is faithful, and He gifts to us the ability through the Holy Spirit to be faithful. But what does it mean to be faithful?
·       Faith, in this list, means faithfulness. If you are a child of God, you will be faithful.
o  If you are married, you will be faithful to your husband or wife.
o  If you are an employee, you are going to be faithful to your job and to your boss.
o  If you are a church member, you are going to be faithful to your church.
o  You are going to be faithful wherever you are and in whatever you do.[1]
·       This will be our focus this morning - FAITHFULNESS IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE
a.   Ecclesiastes 5:4–7 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.
b.   Promises inevitably spring from an encounter with God in worship and Word.
                                                            i.      But, we must be careful, for the Preacher {of Ecclesiastes} goes on to say, ‘Better not to vow than to vow and not pay’ (v. 5). It would appear that he is telling his readers that many vows made to God are unnecessary, but once made, must be kept.
                                                         ii.      We see this tragically depicted in the story of Jephthah and his daughter (Judg. 11:29–40).
1.   Vows to go to make a burnt offering of the first person who walks through the door if God will defeat the Ammorites.
2.   God does and the first person who walks through the door is his daughter. He fulfilled his vow.
                                                      iii.      How many idle promises do we make to God in the heat of the moment or in the charged atmosphere of a particular circumstance? How many have we fulfilled?
                                                       iv.      Jesus taught that it was better to say nothing and then do the will of God than to make an idle promise that would remain unfulfilled (Matt. 21:28–312 sons in vineyard). Peter was quick to say to Jesus: ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you!’ (Matt. 26:35); yet it was not long before his words were rendered meaningless (Matt. 26:69–75).[2]
                                                          v.      We need to take our promises seriously – because God does!
a.   Matthew 19:1-9
                                                            i.      We live in a throw away world – and this includes people’s marriages.
                                                         ii.      EX: Funeral – 35 years at death.
                                                      iii.      Now, people do it for whatever reason: I’m not happy…etc.
1.   A sign of the selfishness of our day.
                                                       iv.      But if God brought you together, then you should not split it.
                                                          v.      Children are often used as the reason why there needs to be a divorce (They deserve a happy mom/dad…) – BUT THEY ARE ALWAYS THE ONES WHO SUFFER THE MOST.
                                                       vi.      We’ve spent years and years trying to remove the stigma away from something that Jesus says should not be divided, and that Moses only gave it because of the hardness of people’s heart.
b.   But it is more than just marriage, what about your kids, job, etc. Can people count on you?
                                                            i.      Christians should be the most trustworthy of all people, yet it is often furthest from the truth.
                                                         ii.      EX: Christian business
a.   Matt 22:34-40
b.   What are your priorities?
c.    If I have to prioritize God, put God into some sort of hierarchical to-do list, then I have missed the whole concept of what it means to walk with God.
                                                            i.      First, God isn’t a priority in life; God is life. He isn’t more important than your family any more than air is more important than your shoes. I don’t prioritize breathing; I breathe so that I live.[3]
d.   When we make God our full focus, when He is our life – then the right things will be our priorities.
e.   Family
f.      Church
g.    Serving others in our community to spread the Gospel.
h.   Too many Christians make work…activities…hobbies…their hobbies…their tradition…their first priority.
i.      Where you spend your time is where your priorities are located.
Can you be counted on to be faithful?

[1] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 46: Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Galatians) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (105). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[2] Winter, J. (2005). Opening up Ecclesiastes (73–74). Leominster: Day One Publications.

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