2001-04-30 - Faithfulness
"… Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10
The call to faithfulness is for every Christian. The call to faithfulness until death is to every Christian. The encouragement here given is also to every Christian. Be faithful, until death, and I (Christ) will give you the crown of life. The call is great and the reward is even greater.
Luke 16:10 reminds us, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much." We are expected to be faithful in even the smallest things. This is no easy task but the call to faithfulness includes all of life.
There is, in all of us, a tendency toward unfaithfulness. When we do fail in faithfulness it is our responsibility to trace the reasons why this has happened. Part of faithfulness is our duty to root out from our lives the springs and sources of our unfaithfulness. So faithfulness does not stand by itself. We must not only be faithful, but we must seek to learn the reasons why we often fail in this duty.
As I have said, being faithful is no easy task. We will be seeking to grow in this area for the rest of our lives. But we must also remember that the rest of our lives is only a short time. Scripture tells us that our lives are only a vapor (James 4:14), or a shadow (1 Chronicles 29:15). In Job 20:8 our lives are compared to a dream. Realizing the shortness of our lives should influence how diligent we are in staying faithful. Even as difficult as the task of faithfulness is, upon realization of the short time we are required to be faithful (until death), we ought to be highly motivated in this duty.
The duty of faithfulness is also all encompassing. We must do whatever it takes to be faithful. Christ gives us a difficult charge in Matthew 16:24-26, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it." Most of us only make small sacrifices, but some of us might be called upon to make greater sacrifices.
In spite of the difficulties involved in being faithful, the Lord Jesus Christ does not leave us without hope. He gives us the greatest motivation to faithfulness. He promises us the crown of life. The reward is great and the sacrifices we are called upon the make, in comparison to the reward, are relatively small.
Faithfulness comes from faith. Our faith in Jesus Christ is the ground upon which our faithfulness to Him is possible. "We walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7) This is the example left to us in the Bible by the early Christians. They did walk by faith and not by sight. Many of them also gave up their lives rather than be unfaithful to their Lord. There are many others who have gone before us who have been faithful unto to death and they also, like those we read about in the Bible, have received the crown of life. Let us follow the example of those who have gone before us. Hebrews 11.
Soli Deo Gloria,