Was He Faithful?
He was the first at
just about everything: the first husband, the first father, the first farmer,
the first employer, the first man to walk with God, the first man to walk away
from God, the first man to hide from God. He was the first man to exhibit the qualities
that man possesses when he is not under the control of the God who made him. He
was the first man to reveal our sin nature. And oh, what we can learn about
ourselves by looking at him. His name, of course, was Adam.
We are looking at
Adam's attitudes. In our last study, we asked ourselves: Was Adam Content? As
we looked at his perfect environment and his imperfect response to Satan, we
determined that had Adam been content, gratefully praising God for the garden,
for Eve, and for God Himself, he never would have responded to Satan's
question, "Hath God said?" He would not have gone for the one thing
in the world God told him he couldn't have. As sons of Adam, we respond to life
just as he does and indeed the need of the hour is for men and women to be
content, so that Satan's lies and Satan's questions fall on deaf ears.
We continue to look at
Adam's attitudes, for they are scriptural photographs of the Adam in us. We
will ask ourselves question number two, Was Adam Faithful?
If there is any one thing
the scripture teaches that God desires of His children, it is faithfulness. He
does not measure a man by how many talents he has. As the giver of the talents,
God knows and He alone knows the two talent guys from the ten talent guys. That
is not how God measures a man. Nor does God measure man by his accomplishments.
Neither busyness nor productivity necessarily reflect spirituality. That is not
how God measures a man.
How then, does God
measure a man? How does God measure a woman? We will look at one of God's most
crucial plumb lines. God's measure of a man: Is He Faithful?
The scripture outlines
the whole spectrum of God's desire for our faithfulness. First look at the
odds, Ecclesiastes 7:27 and 28:
"Behold, this have I
found" saith the preacher, "Counting one by one to find the account
which yet my soul seeketh, but I find naught. What man among a thousand have I
Those are the odds, one
in a thousand. But look at what God does with the odds: Isaiah 60:22:
A little one shall
become a thousand and a small one a mighty nation. I the Lord will hasten it in
So the odds are one in
a thousand, but that is all God needs. Now look at the eyes of God: 2
The eyes of the Lord
run to and fro scanning throughout all the earth to show Himself strong on
behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him.
God is scanning,
searching, looking for the few. Then look at the object,
Proverbs 20:6 Most
men will proclaim everyone his own goodness, but a faithful man, who can find
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover,
it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.
If that is the object,
what is the objective?
2 Timothy 2:1-2 Thou
therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and the things
that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to
faithful men who shall be able in turn to teach others also.
So here is God's message
in a nutshell: There are not many, but a few can change the world. God is
looking for the few. Who are the few? Those whom God finds faithful. For to
those whom He entrusts the stewardship of the Kingdom, he demands faithfulness.
What are the few to do? Find others who are faithful. Pass on to them the
stewardship of the treasures of the Kingdom. What is their goal? It is to find
still more who are faithful. That very simply is what God is looking for:
faithful men and women. That is what He is looking for in you and in me.
That is what God wanted
of Adam. He had not really pressured Adam for productivity. Adam probably had
no time clock to punch, no quota to meet. “Just be faithful Adam, tend, your
garden, do well the little tasks you have been given. Don't worry about
building a hamburger chain with the cattle surplus. Don't worry about starting
your own Disney World with all the extra animals. Just be faithful, Adam”, God
was saying. “The long haul is my responsibility. Tend the garden, Adam. It’s menial,
but vital. Just keep the garden and protect it from outside intruders. Keep
your eyes on the hedges, Adam. It won't be a nuclear invasion that spoils your
paradise, but neglect. A talking snake. You know the snake, Adam, you named
him. A snake that blasphemes God should be driven from your garden Adam. Adam,
don't blame Eve. It is YOUR garden, Adam, and YOUR responsibility to keep out
all intruders. Just be faithful, Adam. Do the details and leave the
greatness to God. Keep your eyes on Eve, Adam. The faithful man teaches and
protects his family. She is YOUR responsibility Adam. If she is being deceived,
be strong, Adam. Drive out the serpent, drive home the point, lead her back to
where God is, Adam. Ask God together about that snake.” Adam never asked God
about that snake. Oh, Adam, all God wanted was for you to be faithful.
Faithfulness: what is
it? Faithfulness = “to demonstrate the fullness of one's faith by remaining in
place.” A faithful man is one whose faith will not permit variance or desertion.
To be faithful is to be like a tree; standing, waiting, serving, one day
bearing fruit, but never moving or transplanting itself. It takes years to
start again. Never quitting; if it quits, it is dead. Never complaining; just
silently staying in place and growing. That's who the faithful man is. He is
the tree planted by rivers of living water.
What is faithfulness? A
faithful spirit has basically three faces. It has an attitude. It has attributes.
It has activity. The attitude of faithfulness is loyalty. The attributes
of faithfulness are to be trustworthy, reliable, and dependable. The activity
of faithfulness is to be steadfast and unmovable. That's what it means to be
faithful. To be loyal, dependable, and steadfast.
Here are the marks of a
1- He is loyal in his
heart to God.
His heart never wavers as to who God is or who has first place in his life.
2- He is loyal to his
friends and to his family. They know HE knows that he would die for them rather than
be disloyal to them.
3- He is faithful to
He never has a bad word for the guy whose check pays his bills, unless it is
said directly to him. The people he works for and the product he works with
always receive a good report. He is faithful to both.
Not only is he loyal,
but the faithful man's loyalty reflects itself in dependability. The faithful
man comes to work every day. Excuses were not made for him. Furthermore, he
comes on time. You can set the clock by him. The faithful man is so reliable
that once he volunteers to do something, you check it off as done. He is so
trustworthy you don't count the money when he goes off duty, you know it is all
there. He takes the menial, unnoticed jobs and turns them into labors of love.
He is dependable.
So, the faithful man's attitude
is loyalty, his attribute is dependability, and his activity is
steadfastness. Paul admonished us in 1 Corinthians 15:58:
Therefore, my beloved
brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord
for as much as you know that your labors are not in vain in the Lord.
Christian trees, not, blown with every wind of doctrine, but steadfast. Not
fleeing and flitting from job to job, from friend to friend, from church to
church, from responsibility to responsibility, always seeking for more glamour.
He stays in place and serves. The faithful man only moves when God says “go”.
What he starts, he finishes. To the faithful man, an unfinished task is a badge
of failure. He is steadfast. These are the marks of faithfulness and they ought
to be portraits of us.
Do you remember the
game I asked you to play with your family? It was called: “What is...” followed
by the character quality. We started with: What is contentment? You play by
taking the character qualities God wants in a man and condensing them in to one
parable sentences that say it all. Here are a few:
What is faithfulness? Faithfulness works
long but never looks at its watch. Faithfulness cleans under the bed where no
one ever sees. What is faithfulness? Faithfulness waits when asked to
and never knows he is waiting. Faithfulness needs no gold watch at the end of
its years. It never considered time as important when there was a task to do.
Faithfulness never undermines the integrity of its authority. It is too busy
Faithfulness has a time
card that looks like a broken record, 7:29, 7:29, 7:29. Always on time.
Faithfulness is a mother of three at three in the morning. Faithfulness is the
absence of petty excuses for not going to work or going on time. Faithfulness
is a dog who would not leave its master's side. Faithfulness is a church
custodian who never misses but is never noticed. It’s the nursery worker who
changes your child's diapers day after day because it pleases God for them to
be faithful. Faithfulness is the shut-in who can never come to church but never
ceases to pray for those who can.
In the spiritual realm,
what is faithfulness? Faithfulness keeps no comparative tabs on God; it
is too busy remaining in place. Faithfulness is more concerned with meeting God
than meeting deadlines. Faithfulness is more concerned with knowing that life
has only one crucial deadline to meet. Faithfulness rises on time to be with
God because He is God and he knows God always keeps His appointments.
Faithfulness studies the Word of God because it IS the Word of God.
Faithfulness would rather be a door keeper in the house of the Lord than to
dwell in the tents of wickedness. Faithfulness does not concentrate on bearing
fruit, it concentrates on remaining in place because its fruit bearing is a
natural by-product of its faithfulness. Faithfulness is a woman, for who but a
woman washes the clothes, changes the diapers, fixes the meals, bandages
bruised elbows, keeps the house, runs the errands, all with 103 degrees fever.
She still smiles patiently when hubby grunts, "I'm hungry, when do we
eat?" Faithfulness is my wife. Faithfulness is the mother or father who
hangs in there through PTA meetings, recitals, school plays, growing pains,
adolescence. We stay in place and wait for rebellion to go full circle. They
may, as the comedian says, "Get no respect." But, then that was never
promised with the job. They are simply faithful.
God's book is full of
pictures of faithfulness. Such names as Moses, David, Abraham, Timothy, Paul
and Jesus were six of the twelve people in scripture who were called faithful.
Can you reckon yourself to be among them?
It says of Moses
in Numbers 12:7, God said,
“He was faithful in My
It says of David
in 1 Samuel 22:14:
Who is more faithful
It says of Abraham
in Nehemiah 9:8:
Abraham, you found his
It says of Timothy
in 1 Corinthians 4:17:
Timothy, faithful in
It says of Paul
in 1 Timothy 1:12:
God counted me
faithful, putting me in the ministry.
It says of Jesus
in Hebrews 3:2:
Christ Jesus, faithful
to Him who appointed him.
Can you consider
yourself among them? You may say, "No, I'm not a Moses, I'm not a David,
I'm not an Abraham, I'm not a Timothy, I'm not a Paul, and certainly not a
Jesus." Well, how about this list, (the other six). Hananiah, Tychicus,
Epaphras, Onesimus, Silvanus and Antipas. These are the other six people in
scripture who were called by God, faithful.
In Nehemiah 7:2 it says
He was a faithful man
who feared God.
In Ephesians 6:21 it
says of Tychicus:
brother, faithful minister.
Of Epaphras it
says in Colossians 1:7
Our dear fellow
servant, a faithful minister.
Of Onesimus in
Colossians 4:9 it says
Of Silvanus in 1
Peter 5:12 it says
He is a very faithful
Of Antipas in
Revelation 2:13 it says
Here is a faithful
witness, martyred for his faith.
Here we see six men of
stature who changed the world. That proves faithfulness is necessary for
leadership. But the other six were men of no reputation. They were little guys
like us. That shows that God's reward is not for leadership, but for faithfulness;
the quality that makes leadership possible.
God's picture book is
full of faithfulness. Men's names are engraved there and engraved on God's
heart just because they were faithful. You may never be an Abraham but you may
be an Onesimus. Maybe a Paul you are not, but maybe an Antipas you are. Not a
Timothy perhaps, but are you a Tychicus? God did not honor men for their
accomplishments. He honored them for their faithfulness.
Along with the portraits
God grants to us, at least three basic principles are revealed. Perhaps these
are so basic that no church, no business, no family can violate them without
Principle #1 - Only if you are
faithful in little assignments will you be faithful in bigger tasks. It is
a law of God. Luke 16:10:
He that is faithful in
that which is least is faithful also in much. And he that is unjust or
unfaithful in the little assignments will be so in the greater ones.
Do not take a man who
is faithless in a Mickey Mouse job and give him a bigger task thinking the
challenge will motivate him to faithfulness. That may be the world's thinking,
but it is not God's. The man who is unfaithful in the little job, needs to be
moved one step further down the ladder until he proves himself faithful there.
Then and only then can he promoted to greater responsibility.
Principle #2 - In God's kingdom
the more faithful you are the more responsibility you will receive. It's a
law. Responsibility is not a plum to be grasped; it is a reward to be granted
for faithfulness. Matthew 25: 21-23:
His Lord said unto him,
"Well done thou good and faithful servant. Thou has been faithful over a
few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou in to the joy
of the Lord."
Both here and in
heaven, God's key appointments are not to the big guys who can do it all. The
appointments are to men like Moses, the stuttering, stammering Moses, men who
are faithful in what they are given to do. If a man isn't faithful in the
day-to-day grind, God won't make him chairman of the board. Neither should we.
Principle #3 - This principle is
even more devastating than the other two. It is this: if you cannot be
faithful with temporal things, you will not be faithful with spiritual things.
If you treat your earthly possessions presumptuously, your spiritual treasures
won't be appreciated either. If you can't respect your earthly authority, you
won't really respect your spiritual authorities either. Luke 16:11-12:
If therefore you have
not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust true
riches? If you have not been faithful in that which is another man's who shall
give you that which your own?
This leads us to some
crucial truths that church leaders and church followers both should understand.
We as parents should understand these truths as well. Here are crucial truths
dealing with new Christians:
Truth #1 - New Christians
should not be given too much responsibility too soon. The road to
leadership in the church has strewn across its paths the lives of thousands who
were given too much too soon where responsibility was concerned. Paul
admonishes us not to give a man church leadership as a novice lest pride or
discouragement be his conqueror and others fail with him. If you are a young
Christian and you are asked to serve on a Christian board somewhere, refuse.
God wants to train you in the shade. He wants to test you on church workdays.
If you can't be faithful there, no board position has your name on it.
Truth #2 - The test is not
the talent involved, but the faithfulness. Oh how we need to learn that.
How tempting to thrust the young believer into the limelight because of his
natural talent. God will still use his talent, but you may slow down the
spiritual pace of his spiritual growth as pride and acclaim take its toll. Can
he sing? Let him first sing praises to God on the hilltop alone until he can so
walk with God that his song is an expression of his faith. Can he speak? Let
him learn to speak to the man by the side of the road. God will exalt him to
the multitudes in due time.
Truth #3 - Test the new
believer first with temporal responsibility. When I first became a
Christian, my first job was to park cars in a church parking lot. I will never
forget it. Sunday morning and Sunday night, I parked cars. In the summer the
temperature was over one hundred and in the winter the temperature dropped
below freezing, but every Sunday, week after week, we had to be there.
Sometimes we froze. Sometimes we sweated. We got honked at, fussed at, and
confused. I learned more about service in that job than in any other job I have
had in the church since. Do you want to be a spiritual leader someday? Show up
at your church's work day or work night and help clean up, or build things or
pick up bricks or sweep up after those who do. Show up this week and next week
and next week and next week. God will teach you to be faithful.
Truth #4 - Grant additional
responsibility only proportionate to their faithfulness. How well did they
do in the parking lot? How well did they do cleaning the building? How did they
do serving food? Fifty-percent work record? Disloyal spirit? Pass over that
name even for an usher or committee chairman or a group leader. First they
are to be faithful where they are. That is what the scripture teaches. Then
they are to be faithfully in the Word. These are the two criteria for
With every character
quality we must look to its application in the home. What can we learn about
teaching faithfulness to our children? Here are a few suggestions.
Suggestion 1- Learn to
reward faithfulness rather than accomplishment. Let your children be
rewarded for the time they prepared and worked, not for who gets the highest
grade. A "B student" who worked and worked and worked to get that
"B" needs far more encouragement than the "A student" who
did nothing and got the "B". Time and faithfulness are key elements
for reward. If your son works out for the football team and works out and works
out and runs and runs and practices and practices and doesn't make the team, he
deserves your applause for his faithfulness. Your child may be playing the
piano, but it is not their talent compared to someone else's, but are they
faithful in their practicing? Teach them by rewarding faithfulness.
Suggestion 2- Teach
faithfulness through nature. The scripture says, "Consider the ant,
thou sluggard." Here is a way to learn about diligence through the ants.
You can learn about faithfulness from a tree. A tree that has roots that go
down deep. A tree takes time to grow. A tree stands under the rain and the
heat. A tree that eventually gives fruit and shade all because it stayed in
place faithfully. You can teach faithfulness through a dog. You can read them
stories and show them stories on television about animals and instead of
glorifying the animal, glorify the quality of faithfulness that we can have as
people as we see the habits of animals.
Suggestion 3- Begin
with the details of life and grant greater responsibility proportionate to
Give gradual freedom relative to thoroughness and consistency. “Because you
cleaned your room so well when I asked you to, I am going to give you the
responsibility for doing this or doing that or watching over this because I so
appreciate the faithfulness of your spirit.”
Suggestion 4- Look for
faithfulness in the living legends of the Word. Find this quality in
We can never deal with
a subject such as this without making personal application. Personal
application requires inventory. Here are ten questions that will help you make
application in your own life. Grade yourself from 1 - 10 on each question. The
perfect score is 100. The person who gets 100 is faithful (but may need to work
1- Are you faithful in
spending time alone with God? Is it every day, or is it every other day, or
is it now and then or is it seldom? Every day is a grade of 10. Are you
faithful in spending time alone with God?
2- Are you faithful in
the details of your house or job? In other words, if you are a woman at home, do
you clean under the bed regularly or behind things that are not seen? Is the
world open to your closets, etc.? Men, does your desk stay neat, does your
basket stay empty, does your list stay checked off? Do you stay faithful and current
in the details of your job?
3- Are you faithful to
Do you give more than you take? Do you invite more than you are invited? Do you
love whether you are loved or not? Are you faithful to your friends?
4- Are you faithful to
the people you serve under? Do you bad-mouth your employer or his product? Wives, do
you talk about your husband to your friends in a disrespectful way? Do you
speak only kindness about your parents? Young people, how do you speak about
your parents or your teachers? How faithful are you to the people under whom
5- Are you faithfully
Can they set the clock by you, or are you consistent only in your tardiness?
Are you selfish when you are on time, running over others and leaving a mess
behind you for others to clean up so you can be on time? Are you faithful where
time is concerned?
6- Do you finish what
How is your track record for household fix-it projects? I got a minus 4 on this
one. How about sewing projects, or church projects? Or the book of remembrance
you were going to start six years ago? Do we finish what we start?
7- Are you faithful to
protect your family spiritually? Do you feed and keep your own garden? Do you
see that spiritual intruders are not allowed? Do you exhort your family when
the enemy comes around?
8- Are you faithfully
in the Word, day after day after day, studying, memorizing, meditating, even when
there is no one to report to or no class to teach?
9- Are you faithful in
Are your thoughts as holy as others think you are?
10- Are you faithful
with your possessions? Do you spend wisely? Do you save wisely? Do you give
generously? Is money a means to an end or an end within itself?
Grade yourself on all
of these questions from 1 - 10. Add up your scores. You don't have to tell
anyone what your score is. God will know and you will know. Here is what it
100% – 80% means you are a faithful man or a faithful
80% – 60% means you are developing a faithful
60%- 40% means you are starting to be faithful.
40%-20% means you have a long way to go.
20%-0% means you are an unfaithful man or
The scripture says in
Confidence in an
unfaithful man is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint.
Faithfulness. How faithful are you? The key to your
faithfulness and my faithfulness is an understanding of the faithfulness of
God. As always, the character qualities that we lack, we can find by looking at
the character of God and as we behold Him, by appropriating His character and
beginning to walk in His image.
In our last study, we
talked about contentment. To become content you look at the fact that God is
spirit. You look at the fact that God is sovereign and you begin to become
This lesson is about
how to become faithful. If you want to become a faithful man or a faithful
woman, you look at the faithfulness of God. Here a few scriptures you can
memorize and meditate on relative to the faithfulness of God:
Genesis 21:1The Lord
visited Sarah as He had said and the Lord did unto Sarah just as He had spoken.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know
therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant
and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand
Joshua 23:14 You know
in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing hath failed of all
the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All are come to
pass unto you and not one thing has failed thereof.
1 Kings 8:56 Blessed be
the Lord that has given rest to Israel according to all that He had promised.
There hath not failed ONE WORD of all His good promise that He promised by the
hand of Moses.
Psalm 36:5 Thy mercy oh
Lord is in the heavens and thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds.
Psalm 89:33 My
lovingkindness I will not take from thee nor suffer My faithfulness to fail. My
covenant I will not break, I will not alter the thing that has gone out of My
Psalm 119:89 Forever oh
Lord thy word is settled in heaven, Thy faithfulness is unto all generations.
Jeremiah 33:20 If you
can break My covenant of the day and My covenant of the night that there should
be no day or night in their season, then, thou may also break My covenant with
David My servant.
Has night never
followed day? Has spring never followed winter? Has ever there been a time when
the sunrise has not followed the darkness? No. Will there ever be such a time?
Never. Why? Because of the faithfulness of God. That is the quality He wants in
you and that is the quality He wants in me. That kind of dependability. That
kind of steadfastness.
Lamentations 3:23 Great
is thy faithfulness.
1 Corinthians 1:9 God
is faithful by whom you were called.
1 Corinthians 10:13 God
is faithful, He will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
Faithful is He who calleth you. He will also do it.
1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore
let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their
souls to Him in well doing as unto a faithful Creator.
1 John 1:9 If we
confess our sins He is faithful.
Revelation 19:11 And I
saw heaven open and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called
Faithful and True.
Revelation 22:6 And He
said unto me, "These sayings are faithful and true."
God is faithful. God's
Word is faithful. And when we are truly walking in His Spirit, we will be
Just imagine for a
Just try to visualize
That you come across
And you look into His
And as He takes you in
Your heart swells from
Until He asks five
"How faithful have
Could you imagine just
Our surface, weak
As we begin to justify
Why faith was not
"Oh, Lord, I sang
for You so well
Hundreds heard my
And softly yet we hear
"How faithful were
"Lord, I preached
My words were wrought
And softly yet, we hear
"Could not you
watch one hour?"
"Oh, Lord, my
giving was so great
I labored for the poor.
I worked and worked to
gain more wealth
That I could give the
Then, the Lord said
But His silence could
Then as His voice so
My heart began to melt.
"My child, I do
not measure you
By all the things
Nor do I yet reward a
For battles he has
"I ask of all men
And this I ask of you
I ask, but were you
In what you had to
"Were you faithful
on your knees
Day after day after day
Not how flowery were
But how faithfully did
"Were you faithful
on the job?
Did you remain in
Did you labor ‘midst
Knowing I would give
"Were you faithful
with your family,
They were assignment
Were you as faithful to
them, my child,
As I am to My
"Were you faithful
in little things?
Things no one else
The endless task, the
Where no glory came to
faithfully in the Word,
Line upon line upon
For no one unfaithful
to My Word
Can be a disciple of
"Be faithful, my
child, be faithful
That's what I want you
Remaining in place for
"Faithful in all
the details in life
Faithful again and
again and again
To all that brings
praise to My Name."
"Be faithful, my
child, be faithful
In the things that seem
Be faithful, my child,
and one day