Friday, March 24, 2006

you can count on me

“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…” Gal. 5:22

One time I lost a close friend in a tragic accident. It was a tremendous blow to Michelle and me. I had to do a worship service that night. As I was about to address the audience I looked into the crowd, there was my faithful friend Ted. He had heard of Joe’s death. Without hesitation, he caught the first flight to be at my side during my grief. Truly, I did not know how I would speak that night. Ted’s presence gave me courage and inspiration not just to survive the moment, but flourish in it.

One of the greatest things in life is to find a friend you can truly count on. The kind you know will be there. They call. They write. They visit. They know the real you and still love you. When everyone else is walking out, they are walking in. Their love is durable and dependable, with you through thick and through thin. They are difference makers in your heart. When you find a friend like this, treasure them and appreciate them because they are a special gift from God.

“Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is really faithful?” Prov. 20:6

More and more we live in a world with very little trust. It is hard to find someone you know you can really count on. People break agreements, negotiate in bad faith, are disloyal to marriage vows, regularly make commitments they don’t keep, and end friendships that have lasted for years in one day. People often say one thing and do another. Here today and gone tomorrow. Since trust is the foundation for healthy relationships, the state of relations in the world today is tense and fractured. Broken trust rules the day giving way to countless broken hearts.

Yet in the midst of all this, there is a God who is faithful. And He is producing faithful character in those who trust in Him. Faithfulness and truth are the bedrock of God’s character. If He says it He will do it.

Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. Heb. 10:23-25

God can be trusted to keep all of His promises. If I need Him He is there. If I call out to Him in faith He answers. If I ask for help He gives it. He encourages us to build upon the foundation of His dependabilty and develop faithful character as well. Our faithfulness to Him is largely demonstrated by our faithfulness to each other. We do this quite simply by “being there” for each other. We “think of ways to encourage one another” and show love in key moments for each other. We make our gatherings a priority so as to maximize the moments God gives and not take them for granted. He has given us the priveledge to build His Kingdom together and the time of His return draws near.

We want to be found faithful. In order to be faithful to Him, we have to be faithful to each other.

A question: Can your church family count on you? Do you faithfully connect with your brothers and sisters in Christ who need your heart? On weekends, when we gather to celebrate the life of Jesus are you there? When it is time to make your contribution to the cause of Christ can you be counted on? Are you a faithful or neglectful?

For your own benefit as well as others, I want to encourage you to allow God to produce faithful character in you. When God’s life is in us, the body of Christ can count on us. God’s Holy Spirit draws our hearts together. He does not lead us to neglect each other.

It is a little thing to commit to being present in the lives of others, yet it is a big difference that your presence makes. Bless the church with your smile. Encourage her with your words. Comfort us with your touch. Inspire us with your heart. We need you!

Counting on you,

1 comment:

Kate said...

Hi Pastor Chris. This is the first time I've written here. First of all, I wanted to let you know that I keep a blog too. Not as "faithfully" as I should but it definitely says a lot about me. I thought maybe you would like to look at it once and a while. It Also, just revently I put my music on the web. They aren't the best quality but I just wanted you to hear how God has blessed me. I hope to be able to share that gift with our church someday. That site is I hope you'll take a look. By the way, I wanted to give praise to God for a member of you're team that I have never met but who extremely faithful. Donna Delancy (?). She has been praying for me for a long on the prayer team. Just recently shehas started emailing me with words of encouragement regularly. I feel incredibly touched that someone who has never met me cares for me and shows love for me. That's faithfulness to continue to pray for someone and care for them when you don't even know what they look like. What a beautiful vision of God's family and kingdom. If you see her, tell her to hold on to that quality. Its definite character. Thanks.

Katie Shipp