Published November 16, 2010

Paul's Epistle...
"Are You Faithful?"

There's a lot of unfaithfulness in the world today. Spousal unfaithfulness is one of the primary reasons given for divorce. Employee unfaithfulness – in the sense of dereliction of one's duty or, even, in surreptitiously promoting the competition – is a common reason for job termination.

On the other hand, faithfulness is highly prized. Consumers can be faithful to a particular brand of car or laundry detergent. Many retailers have "customer loyalty" programs to promote faithfulness to their goods and services.

It should come as no surprise that one of the rock-solid characteristics of God — celebrated throughout Scripture — is His faithfulness.

In fact, a common theme in recent Southern Gospel songs has been this unwavering faithfulness of God. The Booth Brothers, for example, have a popular song called "Faithful One." That's not a new theme, of course. The classic 1923 hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" is a prime example of that theme in song. And, of course, you can go all the way back to the Psalms to sing about God's faithfulness. (See Ps. 36:5; 37:3; especially 71:22; 89:1-10; etc.)

God's faithfulness to His people is a "given." It's just Who He is. It is part and parcel of the very nature and essence of God as He is revealed to us in Scripture. He is "the faithful God who keeps covenant" (Deut. 7:9). "Great is Your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:23). The Messiah – Jesus Christ – shares His Father's attribute, of course – as seen in Revelation 19:11, where Christ is called "Faithful and True."

But there is another aspect of "faithfulness" that must be considered. While God's "faithfulness score" is 100 percent, what is ours as Christians? How faithful are we to Him? We can't expect all of this "faithfulness" business to be mostly in one direction, can we?

"Faithful," according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted." Hmmm... Does that accurately describe our relationship to Christ? Is our adherence to Christ and His principles "unswerving?" Are we mindful of the source of this relationship – His blood shed on Calvary, by which he voluntarily purchased our salvation (Acts 20:28)?

"Faithfulness," in fact, is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22. Are you bearing this fruit? Are you faithful?

Glenn Dustin tells a story of how, a decade ago when Legacy Five was just beginning, they went to sing in a small church in South Carolina. People came from all over and the church was filled. Overfilled, actually, so the ushers started telling people to leave.

Scott Fowler yelled, "No, no, no, you can't tell people to leave! Tell them we'll do another concert." So that's what they did. They told the overflow crowd to come back in an hour-and-a-half and they'd do another concert.

Well, the first filled-to-the-rafters concert, Glenn says, "was tremendous. People were just going crazy. It was just a great, great concert." But when it came time for the second concert, there were only eight people there – and two of them left. Nevertheless – as you would expect – these guys did their full concert for six people.

Well, you can imagine what the guys thought as they did this concert. The singers and pianist almost outnumbered the crowd. But afterwards, as they were tearing down their sound system, a little boy – perhaps nine years of age – came up to Glenn and said, "I just wanted you to know, tonight, during the concert, I prayed and asked Christ into my life."

In Glenn's words, "It was the best and the worst all in one concert. It was the fewest people we ever sang to, but one of the people asked Christ into their life." Legacy Five was faithful to represent the Lord as He should be represented – with eternally positive results.

As long as we're faithful, even (or especially) when we think we're not doing any good — or feel like we're not accomplishing anything — God will surprise us with something positive like this boy's salvation. And it will be a reminder that as long as we're faithful, God will use our faithfulness as He wishes for His Glory. It's all about Him, anyway – not about us.

Our greatest desire should be to hear the Lord say one day, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

- Paul

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