WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 21, 2021
TOPIC: BE FAITHFUL
BY T. O. BANSO
“And if you are not faithful with other people’s money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?” (Luke 16:12 New Living Translation).
God is faithful, and His children should be faithful. We should be faithful to Him and be faithful to fellow human beings. Although 2 Timothy 2:13 says if we are unfaithful, God remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself, this, however, is not a licence for us to be unfaithful to Him.
Being a faithful Christian means that we have faith in Him; we are loyal to Him. It also means we are trustful and trustworthy and we have a “consistent Christian character.” Unfortunately, there are Christians who are neither faithful to God nor to their fellow human beings. They are not reliable, or dependable; they lack character. This should not be so.
Genuine salvation should bring changes into the lives of believers. People should see proofs of salvation in them, manifesting in a changed character. John the Baptist said, “Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say, ‘We’re safe — we’re the descendants of Abraham.’ That proves nothing. God can change these stones here into children of Abraham” (Luke 3:7-8 New Living Translation).
A child of God should be faithful to God first before seeking to be faithful to fellow human beings. If he is not faithful to God, he can’t be truly faithful to man. Faithfulness to man must never make one unfaithful to God. Those who are faithful to God do better at being faithful to fellow humans. Hebrews 3:2 says of Jesus Christ and Moses, “For he [Jesus Christ] was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully and was entrusted with God’s entire house” (New Living Translation).
Christians should be faithful as Jesus and Moses were. And we should be faithful as the other Bible characters, including Abraham. Nehemiah 9:8 says God found Abraham’s heart faithful before Him. Galatians 3:9 calls him faithful or believing Abraham. Faithfulness is one of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). This should be evident in the life of a Christian.
In Ephesians 1:1, the apostle Paul calls the Christians (saints) in Ephesus faithful followers of Christ Jesus. Also, in Colossians 1:2, he refers to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse. Paul equally describes Epaphras as a dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ (Colossians 1:7). Similarly, he calls Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, and Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother (Colossians 4:7, 9). Also, Paul describes Timothy as his beloved son and faithful in the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:17). Please, take note of the word faithful in Paul’s descriptions of these believers.
Can people describe you as a faithful believer? Do you have faith in God? Are you committed and loyal to Him? Are you trustful and trustworthy? Can others depend on you? Do you have a consistent Christian character? Paul said of himself that Jesus Christ counted him faithful, putting him into the ministry, and he was thankful to Him for this (1 Timothy 1:12).
Be faithful to God and fellow human beings. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says a steward must be found faithful. Also, those who must be entrusted with teaching others must be faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2). As Daniel was faithful in the discharge of the responsibilities of his office and no fault was found in him, so must Christians serve whether in their ecclesiastical duties or in their businesses or other callings (Daniel 6:4). We serve God when we serve men.
If you’re a minister of the gospel, be a faithful minister. Be faithful to God; be faithful to your calling. Faithfully serve the people. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:7a, “We have faithfully preached the truth” (New Living Translation). Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2 New Living Translation).
Be a true minister of God who does not peddle or sell the Word of God. Don’t preach the gospel to make money. Paul says, “You see, we are not like those hucksters — and there are many of them — who preach just to make money. We preach God’s message with sincerity and with Christ’s authority. And we know that the God who sent us is watching us” (2 Corinthians 2:17 New Living Translation). Money should not be your motivation for going into the ministry or preaching the Word. It should be souls, not gold.
If you’re an employee, serve faithfully. “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Ephesians 6:7 New Living Translation). Be a blessing to your employer, not a burden. “Lazy people are a pain to their employer. They are like smoke in the eyes or vinegar that sets the teeth on edge” (Proverbs 10:26 New Living Translation).
If you’re an employer, be faithful to your staff. Give them what is due to them. The labourer is worthy of his wages (Luke10:7; 1 Timothy 5:18; Deuteronomy 24:14-15; 25:4).
God wants you to be faithful, especially in little things. “He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and he that is unrighteous in a very little is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10 American Standard Version). Little things do matter to God. If you’re unfaithful in little things, you’ll be unfaithful in the big things.
That little success, money, power, responsibilities, platform, etc. you have is a test. Your faithfulness will determine whether you’re qualified for more or much. In Matthew 24:45-51, Jesus says, “Who is a faithful, sensible servant, to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his household and feeding his family? If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I assure you, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and begins oppressing the other servants, partying, and getting drunk well, the master will return unannounced and unexpected. He will tear the servant apart and banish him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (New Living Translation).
In Matthew 25:20-23, the two servants who traded with the five and two talents that their master gave them before he travelled to a far country, earned five and two talents. Upon his return, he commended and rewarded them for being faithful over a few things.
Conversely, the master ordered that the wicked, lazy, and unprofitable servant who was not faithful with his one talent be cast into the outer darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30). That was his punishment for not trading with his talent. He hid it in the ground and insulted his master that he was a hard man, who was reaping where he had not sown, and gathering where he had not scattered seed (verses 24-25).
You’ll find a similar emphasis on faithfulness in little things in Luke 19:11-27 in the parable of the minas. Whereas the servants who each traded with the minas they were given and earned more minas were promoted, the mina earlier given to the unfaithful servant who did not trade with it was collected from him and given to the servant who earned ten minas. Be faithful.
In addition, God requires that we must be faithful in what belongs to others. “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:12 New King James Version). If you fail God’s test in what belongs to others, you deny yourself of receiving your own from God. That’s why many people have not been promoted in life.
Are you mismanaging what belongs to others? Are you wasting the money in your care because it’s not your own? The New Living Translation renders Luke 16:12: “And if you are not faithful with other people’s money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?” You may think you’re punishing others but you’re punishing yourself more. Be faithful.
Be faithful to those you have relationships with. Don’t betray others. Psalm 55:20-21 says, “As for this friend of mine, he betrayed me; he broke his promises. His words are as smooth as cream, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!” (New Living Translation). Let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No” be “No” (James 5:12).
Another important aspect of faithfulness is in marriage. Be faithful to your wife or husband. Don’t be disloyal (Malachi 2:15-16). Keep your marriage vows. Control your body and live in holiness and honour (1Thessalonians 4:4). “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4 New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.”
Pay attention to the warning in Proverbs 5:15-17: “Drink water from your own well — share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Don’t share it with strangers” (New Living Translation). Avoid marital unfaithfulness, which erodes trust, causes conflicts, and may lead to separation or eventual divorce. More importantly, it will take one to hell if someone doesn’t repent and forsake it.
God, your Father, is faithful. Be faithful to Him and other human beings. But remember that faithfulness to man must never make one unfaithful to God.
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: Father, I repent of my past unfaithfulness especially to You; forgive me, Father. Holy Spirit, I receive Your help to be faithful to God and those I have relationships with. Help me Lord to be faithful in little things. I shall not be unfaithful in my marriage, calling, and anything you commit into my hand in Jesus’ name. You will find me faithful.
(For over 400 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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