Sunday, January 16, 2011

Faithfulness

Snapshots and postcards are usually thought of in context of a vacation but have you ever thought that God sends you postcards and snapshots unexpectedly as you are going through a trial.

Consider this: Many times God is working from the inside of a person to the outside and many times we pray, “Lord, what’s going on? Are you working?” Only God can see the heart of someone else that He is working on; therefore, we pray and seek God, and through His grace He offers to us- the pray-ers, a glimpse of His work in the other person.

You can call it a snapshot, a freeze frame, a postcard from Heaven if you will.  Are you ready to recognize it when you see it? It could be a simple statement. It could be an action.

But you need to ask yourself, what does God want from me? Faithfulness/Obedience. It is what He longs for out of you and hopefully you long to give unto him.

Faithfulness. I and you are called to obedience and faithfulness to the Word of God. You never know who is watching, who is being influenced by what you say or by what you do. And for an unbeliever who may be watching you, or a believer who is struggling with an issue, will watch first your actions and then, if your actions align with your words, then they will listen, believe and be transformed.

Carefully Consider:  
In relation to Parenting: Instead of focusing on raising godly children focus on being a godly parent/a godly person. As you focus on this, being obedient in all things towards God, then you are presenting yourself as a living example for your children and for the unsaved around you and here is the big thing: You don’t have to worry about the results – God judges not on the results but on Your faithfulness, Your obedience. Wow! Where people may look and see the results and say “you are a good parent or you are a bad parent” – God sees the journey and when you are obedient and when you are faithful He says “well done my good and faithful servant”. What better words should we hear in our heart and soul?

In relation to lost Parent: Instead of trying to be the godly child as a model for an unsaved or a prodigal parent – try being obedient and faithful and use your responses to struggles to be a witness to them and let the results be of God. Let God show you a snapshot of His work in them and you continue to concern yourself with being faithful and obedient in and of yourself.

In relation to a Friend: As a friend – it is my job to be faithful to those who are in need of a friend. I have a friend who is a Muslim. I do not judge her based on the actions of other who have acted in the name of the Muslim faith. Instead I love her and share with her what the true God has done in my life. And I continue in faithfulness and obedience to her in prayer and in our friendship as God continues to work in her life.

What is faithfulness? The Dictionary’s definitions faithful as: steadfast in affection or allegiance; "years of faithful service"; faithful employees", any loyal and steadfast following, marked by fidelity to an original; "a close translation", a group of people who adhere to a common faith and habitually attend a given church, not having sexual relations with anyone except your husband or wife

Scriptures for thought:
a)      2 Chronicles 19:9  These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.
Fear is this manner is an act of reverence and respect
b)      Psalm 25:10  The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness to all who keep his covenant and obey his demands. 
The key is to “keep” and to “obey”
c)      Psalm 100:5  For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation
 Look the promise for our children, grandchildren and to each generation!
d)      Galatians 5:22  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
In this we shall become the models for our children, our parents, our siblings, and the unsaved in whom we interact with daily.
e)      Proverbs 16:6  Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil. 
Whose unfailing love? Whose unfailing faithfulness? His, Jesus our Lord. Fearing again means to reverence or respect and then we will want to avoid those people who do evil in the sight of our Lord.

So ask yourself: Are you being faithful in your prayers, in your giving, in your loving, and in your salvation that is provided by the Grace and Suffering of Christ?

This past Sunday night – we sang a hymn that once again took my breath away – the lyrics are below. Take a moment to reside in Him, to breathe in Him, to laugh in Him and to have Him embrace you as you embrace faithfulness to Him.

Take My Life

Holiness, holiness is what I long for  Holiness is what I need  Holiness, holiness is what You want from me 

Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I long for  Faithfulness is what I need  Faithfulness, faithfulness is what You want from me 

(So) Take my heart and form it  Take my mind, transform it  Take my will, conform it  To Yours, to Yours, Oh Lord 
Righteousness, righteousness is what I long for  Righteousness is what I need  Righteousness, righteousness is what you want from me 
(So) Take my heart and form it  Take my mind, transform it  Take my will, conform it  To Yours, to Yours, Oh Lord 

Let Him transform you, Bring back to you the desire for Him, let Him make you righteous; allow Him to conform you into the person He has designed you to be. Look forward to what can be through Him rather than focus on what is right now through you.
When your Faithfulness waivers, when it heads to empty, just remember: God’s faithfulness never waivers and is always full. Be ready, my friend, for the snapshots from Heaven.

Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Wow! What a wonderful God we serve! He is faithful regardless of our level of obedience or faithfulness! He loves you and wants to transform and conform you into His one and only child of Love, child of Grace, the apple of His eye, His beauty and His majesty to flow through you.

Wow.
Romans 12:2  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

I challenge you to pray this prayer for the person/s in your life in whom you want God to touch and then sit back and watch as God reveals His snapshots to you to show you what He is doing in that person’s life

Phil. 2:12,13 Amplified Father, I pray that (insert name of person/s) would work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) his/her own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). Not in his/her own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in him/her [energizing and creating in him/her the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

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