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The Lord highly regards faithfulness—that is, being trustworthy or reliable.[i] God entrusts things to the faithful. 2 Timothy 2:2 says, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (ESV) Do you consider yourself faithful—or only faithful in an average sort of way? To illustrate this, consider stop signs and speed signs. Do you consider yourself faithful in obeying these signs 100% of the time?
There’s a stop sign on the road near my house. I take that stop sign, unfortunately, as a mild suggestion at times. If a police officer were there, he would call it a rolling stop. In other words, I slow down, but don’t stop. In these things, do you consider yourself between 40-60% faithful? Do you feel like you fit in this category? Would you consider that average? But let’s imagine if a police officer was next to your car or at that stop sign. How faithful would you consider yourself at that point? If I see him, I’m 100% faithful. If I don’t see him, I’m 40-60% faithful. I’m using this as an example because it’s something we all struggle with. The Lord is calling us to faithfulness—that is, to be trustworthy and reliable.
God entrusts and rewards those who are the faithful. We see this illustrated throughout Scripture many times. In the parable of the talents, those who were faithful received a reward. Those who were faithful were given cities for their faithfulness. What we do in a natural way right now affects our eternity. The Lord is looking for faithful people in natural and spiritual areas. When I think of myself as 40-60% faithful, I’m just average. I’m just like everybody else; and yet, is that what the Lord is looking for?
In Luke 16:10-12, three things are listed for us to be faithful in. Verse 10 says, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?(NLT)
The first one, faithful in the little things. We are aware of little things God is saying to us, but are we faithful in responding to those? Little things count, but it takes a long time for them to add up. When I was young, I hated flossing my teeth. I was more on the 10% scale than the 40-60% scale in this area. I hated it. Now I enjoy it because I have gaps in my teeth as a result of not flossing when I was young. I have to floss quickly after I eat because I have to remove the trapped food. This is because there was not faithfulness at a younger point in my life. Little things count and they add up over time.
The second one that is mentioned is faithful in worldly wealth. What you do with your money is a real indicator of faithfulness in your life. The Lord is calling us to faithfulness with money; faithfulness with how we earn our money and faithfulness with how we spend our money. Can you save for the future? Do you have to spend what is in your pocket today? The Lord is calling us to faithfulness with money.
The third thing is being faithful in that which belongs to another. In the truest sense, nothing that we have or that we use is ours. Is there anything that you have right now that you’re going to have 100 years from now? Unless science changes things drastically or unless the Lord starts giving us all much longer lives, 100 years from now nothing that you can hold onto with your hands is going to matter. Are we faithful with what God has given us? In reality, we are simply stewards of everything we have in this life, including our body. Everything He has given us is a gift to be used for a time. We believe that we can control these gifts—even control our own destiny. However, that is not true. It is all in God’s hands in the end, but are we faithful with what He’s given us today—with what is His?
We see in this illustration Jesus gave that there is a progression in each of these three areas. First, he that is faithful little things will be faithful in much. In other words, if we’re faithful in small things, He’s going to give us big things or big opportunities. The second one, he that is faithful with money will be faithful with true riches. What are true riches? They are those things which last through eternity. When the stock market crashes and there is no value in anything, true riches are the things that still count and have value. If we are faithful in financial resources today, we will be faithful in those true riches. The third thing, if you’re faithful in that which is another man’s, then you are more likely to be faithful when it’s your own.
The Lord has called us to faithfulness and it is often with small things that don’t seem important to our spiritual growth. He’s calling us to faithfulness with how we spend our money. I believe we have a little time of reprieve right now to get our lives and finances in order and have savings for the future. How are we going to respond? Are we going to be faithful in that which is least, faithful in our money, but also faithful in that which is another person’s realizing that all of it, everything we have, everything we touch is His? We’re just managing it for Him for a while. Maybe we are managing it at the 40% rate, but His desire is that we are faithful all the time. When we have an awareness that God is with us all the time and ordering our circumstances, it gives us a deep confidence in who He is.
How do we respond to this challenge of being faithful? First, talk to God who is always 100% faithful and ask Him to give you grace and strength to face these needs in your life. Second, dig into God’s word and be strengthened and challenged. Third, take steps to move in the direction of being more trustworthy and reliable. Finally, ask someone for help and advice who is a good example of faithfulness in the areas in which you need to develop. May we grow in our faithfulness in our everyday lives.
A message by Pastor Rob Tucker
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Rob Tucker, PhD, MBA, currently lives and pastors in Michigan, USA. He holds graduate degrees in Education and Business. He has served in full time missions in Asia and Southern Africa. While in Asia, Rob started three companies, one of which grew to be the largest legal Christian publisher in the country. He is the founder and director of Teachall, an organization that runs training programs and develops media. He teaches regularly at several Bible schools and leadership conferences in North and Central America and in several Asian countries. He has been ordained with Zion Fellowship since 1994. Rob and his wife, Val, have been married for 35 years and have two adult daughters.