“Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2 NLT)
While travelling with my daughter across some of the western states, we stopped at Yellowstone National Park. I’d heard of “Old Faithful,” but had only seen pictures, so I was looking forward to seeing what all the fuss was about. They had scheduled times when it would erupt, so we gathered with many others at the appointed time.
I’m not going to lie to you, for me it was anticlimactic. Watching water spew into the air isn’t all that exciting to me, but then it dawned on me – it’s not only what it does, it’s what it is, and the predictability of when it does it’s spewing that’s impressive. I wonder if that’s how the Lord views us sometimes?
My life is pretty anticlimactic. Not many people would drive very far to see me, and I’m fine with that. But there is Someone I’d give anything to see one day. His name is Jesus. But as I understand Scripture, one of the requirements to be finally and forever ushered into His eternal presence is faithfulness. What is faithfulness and why is it so important?
Being faithful speaks to consistency and dependability, just like Old Faithful. In the context of the Christian Faith, it speaks to consistently following and reflecting the character of Christ, depending upon the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and equip us to do the work that results in eternal life, not only for us, but for those with whom we consistently share Jesus.
Faith and belief are derived from the same Greek root word, so, in some respects, are two sides of the same coin. A person can be very faithful to wrong beliefs, and it will render no eternal benefit. For example, I can faithfully carry out the duties and responsibilities of my given profession, earning promotions and gaining recognition, but if my only concern in the end is a paycheck and the accolades of others, from an eternal standpoint, it’s a waste of time and effort.
Unless and until Jesus is magnified in and through our faithfulness, we’ve missed the point. Faithfulness is so vital because it illustrates the character of Christ; it points to His faithfulness to us as His followers; it demonstrates to others that we’re trustworthy and reliable, just like Jesus.
Our faithfulness, as Jesus followers, must be centered in and focused upon His promises. We’re not faithful simply for the sake of being faithful, there’s purpose and meaning in our faithfulness because it paints a picture of what our faithfulness is leading to. The underlying foundation upon which our life of faith is based is our confidence in the truthfulness of not only who Jesus is, but on what He said and did to fulfill the requirements of God’s law that we are helpless and hopeless to fulfill ourselves.
Faithfulness shouts dependence upon our trustworthy Father in heaven with whom we can only have access through faith in Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” Our faithfulness should confirm our love for and trust in Jesus’ completed work on Calvary, in our place and to pay the penalty of our sin.
Perhaps the most important implications of our faithfulness are they link us to Life (Jesus), root us in His promises, and equip us to carry on His work until He comes again. Our living has purpose and meaning because everything we are or ever hope to be is anchored in hope in our living Savior. A life lived apart from faithfulness to Jesus is a wasted life because it misses the point of why we’re taking up space on this planet.
Blessings, Ed 😊