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What's the Difference? - Faithfulness

Sarah Jones

Feb 27, 2022

Bottom Line

Faithfulness is about following God one step at a time.

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Message Notes

Prayer for Ukraine

Lord, we pray for the people of Ukraine during this difficult and fearful time. While the events may be physically distant from our circumstances, move our hearts to be in solidarity. Protect the children, the innocent, and the vulnerable. Give wisdom and strength to global leaders. Humble the proud and power hungry. Lord, we long for peace in Ukraine and so many other places that are experiencing violence, conflict, and war. Lord, in your mercy.

Sermon Notes

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Deuteronomy 7:9
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:3-6

Jesus perfectly embodies faithfulness.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our faithfulness.

What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar.
Romans 3:3-4
Cycle of Sin in Judges

“The unfaithfulness of God’s people over the centuries, and the remarkable contrasting faithfulness of God to his people in spite of their failures, is one of the clearest and most constant threads running through both the Bible and church history.”
- Christopher J.H. Wright, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness

Our faithfulness is not dependent on our circumstances.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

“The psalmist’s and the Christian’s waiting and watching—that is, hoping—is based on the conviction that God is actively involved in his creation and vigorously at work in redemption. Hoping does not mean doing nothing….It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying. And hoping is not dreaming….It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do.”
- Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
Lamentations 3:22-24
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
Luke 16:10

Our faithfulness brings God glory.

“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
John 17:4
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-25

Bottom Line

Faithfulness is about following God one step at a time.

Action Steps

  • Think back to a difficult season when it may have felt like God was distant. Now that you have some space from that situation, identify where and how God was at work even when you couldn’t see it at the time and thank him for his faithfulness. 
  • Ask God to show you an area of your life where you can “do the next right thing” as a faithful response. If you’re not sure what that is, ask God to show you what the next next step of could be.