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Adam: Was He Faithful


Adam:

Was He Faithful?

 

702-a


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 found?"

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 his time.

So the odds are one in a thousand, but that is all God needs. Now look at the eyes of God: 2 Chronicles 16:9:

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 one?

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 faithful man.

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 his employer. 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.

Steadfast, unmovable, 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 serving.

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 house."

It says of David in 1 Samuel 22:14:

Who is more faithful than David?

It says of Abraham in Nehemiah 9:8:

Abraham, you found his heart faithful.

It says of Timothy in 1 Corinthians 4:17:

Timothy, faithful in the Lord.

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 of Hananiah:

He was a faithful man who feared God.

In Ephesians 6:21 it says of Tychicus:

Tychicus, beloved 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

Beloved brother, faithful minister.

Of Silvanus in 1 Peter 5:12 it says

He is a very faithful brother.

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 consequences.

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 leadership.

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 their faithfulness. 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 people.

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 on humility).

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 your friends? 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 you serve?

5- Are you faithfully on time? 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 you start? 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 your mind? 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 means:

100% – 80%     means you are a faithful man or a faithful woman.

80% – 60%       means you are developing a faithful spirit.

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 woman.

The scripture says in Proverbs 20:6:

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 content.

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 generations.

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 lips.

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 faithful, too.

Just imagine for a moment

Just try to visualize

That you come across the Master

And you look into His eyes

And as He takes you in His arms

Your heart swells from within

Until He asks five simple words,

"How faithful have you been?"

Could you imagine just like Job

Our surface, weak defense

As we begin to justify

Why faith was not intense

"Oh, Lord, I sang for You so well

Hundreds heard my praise."

And softly yet we hear Him say,

"How faithful were your ways?"

"Lord, I preached to thousands,

My words were wrought with power."

And softly yet, we hear Him say,

"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 more."

Then, the Lord said nothing

But His silence could be felt.

Then as His voice so softly spoke,

My heart began to melt.

"My child, I do not measure you

By all the things you've done

Nor do I yet reward a man

For battles he has won."

"I ask of all men one thing,

And this I ask of you

I ask, but were you faithful

In what you had to do?"

"Were you faithful on your knees

Day after day after day

Not how flowery were your prayers,

But how faithfully did you pray?"

 

"Were you faithful on the job?

Did you remain in place?

Did you labor ‘midst the strife

Knowing I would give more grace?"

"Were you faithful with your family,

They were assignment one.

Were you as faithful to them, my child,

As I am to My Son?"

"Were you faithful in little things?

Things no one else would do?

The endless task, the thankless task

Where no glory came to you?"

"Were you faithfully in the Word,

Line upon line upon line.

For no one unfaithful to My Word

Can be a disciple of Mine."

"Be faithful, my child, be faithful

That's what I want you to be

Loyal, dependable, steadfast,

Remaining in place for me."

"Faithful in all the details in life

Faithful without acclaim

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 so small

Be faithful, my child, and one day


 
 
 
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