Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Psalms 119:89 – 96 (NIV) Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless.
When I first started out in ministry I pastored very small country churches in South Dakota. To support my family I worked in business, first as a retail store manager and then later as the program director of a radio station. In both of those positions, I was responsible for hiring, managing, and if necessary firing the staff. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it is today, but even back then it was becoming difficult to find responsible people who would work hard.
There was a reason that most of my employees in the retail store were over the age of 35. They were dependable and had a positive work ethic. But at the radio station, the younger staff offered unique challenges. Work was not a priority. I covered shifts on the air far too many times for people who came up with all kinds of excuses for not being able to get to work. Some of them are hilarious now.
- I have a hangover from last night. (This one came at 8:00 a.m. from my night announcer who was on the air last night from 7 to midnight and wasn’t scheduled until 7 tonight)
- We got a lot more snow where I live than you did, and I can’t get out of my driveway. (this from a man who lived 10 miles out of town)
- I woke up with a bad headache today, so I took some aspirin. Unfortunately I grabbed the wrong bottle and they were actually sleeping pills, and I just can’t seem to wake up. (yet he was awake enough to call me with that story)
The interesting thing about all these excuses is that they came from the same guy. Needless to say he was fired. I’m glad he never used the excuse I heard from another employer who had an employee say, I can’t come to work today because I’ll be stalking my previous boss who fired me for not coming to work.
Some people just aren’t faithful. Praise God that He is! Consider again the words of the Psalmist – Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
Imagine what life would be like if every day we had to wonder which of God’s promises would not come true.
Imagine if during your prayer time God’s voice would be heard to say, I’m sorry, but I’ve decided not to answer prayer today.
What if the sun failed to rise and we were stuck in darkness even for one day?
What if our hearts all stopped and started randomly throughout the day?
How terrifying would it be if God withdrew His Holy Spirit from the world and allowed Satan to reign for one day on the earth?
Where would we go for hope if God was not faithful?
As God’s people, we are to be the living testimony of God’s existence by modeling God’s characteristics. We are often challenged in sermons and books to be people of love and compassion like Jesus. We sometimes hear the call to be merciful and to be peacemakers. We occasionally listen as we are prompted to be humble and meek. But how often have we heard that we are to be faithful?
Faithfulness seems to be a dying quality of Christianity. Not for everyone, and hopefully not for you, but in enough quantity that it raises a red flag of warning and admonition.
- What has happened to faithfulness in marriage?
- Where is the faithfulness to God’s purity before marriage?
- Where are the faithful employees that serve their employer with joy as unto the Lord?
- Where are the faithful employers who consider their employees more important than the bottom line?
- Where are the faithful stewards of God’s resources who use their money primarily for His Kingdom and not their own?
Why is faithfulness dying? I believe it’s because we have taken God’s faithfulness for granted. We can only be so faithful as we understand God to be faithful. Faithfulness, like all spiritual virtues, is a product of the Holy Spirit’s fullness in us. Unfaithful people are unfilled people. Filled people are faithful people, because the Holy Spirit cannot deny His nature.
Our lives will reflect all of the character of God when the Holy Spirit is given access to every part of our life. God has promised to give us life – abundant life. And He will do it because He is faithful!