WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 20, 2021
TOPIC: BE FAITHFUL TO GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance” (1 Chronicles 10:13 New King James Version).
To be faithful means to be loyal and steadfast. The Holman Bible Dictionary defines the word faithful as “steadfast, dedicated, and worthy of trust.” Faithfulness is an attribute of God, which His children are expected to cultivate. God is faithful.
Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 31:5, 1 Corinthians 1:9, 10:13, 2 Timothy 2:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, and 1 John 1:9 are a few of the scriptures that tell us God is faithful. Christians should be faithful to God and be faithful in their relationships with fellow human beings. 2 Timothy 2:13 says if we are faithless, God remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. However, my focus in this message is on faithfulness to God.
A Christian must be faithful to God. God testified about Moses that he was faithful in all His house (Numbers 12:7) Verses 1, 2, and 5 of Hebrews 3 say the same thing. Jesus was also faithful as a Son over His own house (verse 6). Paul described Timothy as faithful in the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:17). What will God and others say about you?
In Jesus’ parables of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 and the ten minas in Luke 19:11-27, the Bible shows us two kinds of stewards: faithful and unfaithful stewards. The faithful servants were commended and rewarded while the unfaithful were punished.
Jesus says in Luke 16:10-12, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (New King James Version).
Be faithful to God in obedience to Him; be loyal and steadfast. Saul, the first king of Israel, died because he was unfaithful to God. “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance” (1 Chronicles 10:13 New King James Version).
How was Saul unfaithful to God? He disobeyed God by offering to Him an unlawful sacrifice instead of continuing to wait for Samuel, the right person to offer the sacrifice (1 Samuel 13:1-15). As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel, who didn’t come within the seven days he had promised, arrived.
Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you” (1 Samuel 13:13-14 New King James Version).
In addition, Saul was unfaithful to God by failing to completely destroy the Amalekites, as God had commanded him through Samuel (1 Samuel 15:10-35). He initially lied to Samuel that he had obeyed God but later admitted when Samuel confronted him with proof of his disobedience.
The conversation between Saul and Samuel continued with Saul begging Samuel to pardon his sin and return with him to worship the LORD. “But Samuel said to Saul, ‘I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.’ And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. So Samuel said to him, ‘The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent” (1 Samuel 15:26-29 New King James Version).
Saul’s disobedience was not limited to these two incidents. He was also unfaithful to God by consulting the witch of Endor, a medium, for guidance on the war in which he eventually died (1 Samuel 28:3-25). Saul had to disguise to see this witch because he had earlier banned all mediums and psychics from the land of Israel (verses 3, 8).
Saul’s action by consulting a medium was disobedience to the Word of God. Therefore, he was unfaithful to Him. Leviticus 19:31 says, “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God” (New King James Version). Thus, Saul died because of his unfaithfulness to God. You won’t die before your time in Jesus’ name. However, be faithful to God.
Unfaithfulness to God was the reason the Israelites were carried into captivity. “So all Israel was recorded by genealogies, and indeed, they were inscribed in the book of the kings of Israel. But Judah was carried away captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness” (1Chronicles 9:1 (New King James Version). Did you see the word unfaithfulness?
Be faithful to God. Be steadfast in obeying Him and avoid suffering the consequences of disobedience. Samuel told Saul, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23 New King James Version).
Be faithful to God. Do whatever He asked you to do in the Bible and has instructed you to do by the Holy Spirit. Don’t be stubborn or rebellious or wise in your own eyes. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25 New King James Version).
In the Bible, if the Israelites had stayed faithful to God, they would have remained in the land God had given them by covenant. But from generation to generation, they were unfaithful until their enemies eventually took over their land and exiled some of them. “Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God, and did not keep His testimonies, but turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; they were turned aside like a deceitful bow” (Psalm 78:56-57 (New King James Version).
You won’t serve your enemies in Jesus’ name. God is looking for faithful people, people whose heart is loyal to Him. His eyes run to and fro, throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9a). Be one of them.
1 Corinthians 4:2 says it is required in stewards that one should be found faithful. In light of 1 Peter 4:10, which says as each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God, Christians are stewards of God. Therefore, be faithful to God.
The allegiance of an ambassador is first to the sending country. That should be the attitude of each ambassador of Christ, which every Christian is and should be (2 Corinthians 5:20). Christians should be faithful and loyal to Jesus who appointed them. As Hebrews 3:1-2 says that Jesus was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully and was entrusted with God’s entire house, Christians should be faithful to God.
Be faithful to God no matter the challenges of life you’re going through. Don’t forsake or deny Him. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58 New King James Version).
James 1:12 says, “Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him” (Good News Translation).
Also, the apostle Paul says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 New King James Version).
Consider Job. Because of the trials Job was going through, His wife told him to curse God and die. The trials revealed what was inside her. On the other hand, Job showed his true character by rejecting her counsel. He remained faithful to God (Job 2:9-10).
In the end, the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends; He gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10). The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (verse 12). No matter what, be faithful until death (Revelation 2:10). He who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22; 24:13).
Be faithful to God in what He has called you to do. Paul wrote to Timothy to be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill his ministry (2 Timothy 4:5). True success is not about results but faithfulness to God. If true success is about results, the prophet Isaiah would have been a failure by the popular standard today.
When God called him, He told him the people He was sending him to would hear but not understand; they would see but not perceive (Isaiah 6:8-10). Isaiah prophesied to the people who did just as God had said. Isaiah became unpopular as he began to call the people to repentance and warned them about the impending judgment of God.
His ministry lasted about sixty years. Isaiah prophesied under the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and, according to tradition, was executed during the reign of the evil king, Manasseh (Isaiah 1:1). Nevertheless, Isaiah fulfilled his ministry and remains one of the greatest prophets who ever lived.
Similarly, by today’s standards, the prophet Jeremiah’s forty-year ministry to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, its capital, would have been described as a failure. The people he was sent to didn’t listen to him. He was poor, hated, rejected, imprisoned, etc. but God never abandoned him (Jeremiah 11:19-23; 20:10-11; 26:8-9; 36:21-26; Jeremiah 37; 38). Jeremiah, “the weeping prophet”, was not a celebrated prophet but he was faithful to God. He was a success.
God rewards faithfulness. A faithful person will abound with blessings (Proverbs 28:20a). But beyond material blessings, there is an eternal reward for those who are faithful to God until death – the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). Hebrews 10:23 says we should hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Things will not always be easy but remain steadfast. Hold fast your confession (Hebrews 4:14b).
Be faithful to God. May God find you faithful.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be faithful to God no matter the circumstances. Deliver me from unfaithfulness in any form. Make me faithful until death so that I will receive the crown of life. I shall not miss my reward in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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