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Faithful Unto Death

(Matthew 14:1-12)

Lesson 6 -- first quarter 2010
January 10, 2010

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2010

Introductory questions to chew

If God sent me to confront someone about sin, what would stop me?

Am I still faithful to my various vows and solemn promises?

Should I try to free myself from any rash promises I may have made?

Where does Jesus fit in my sorrow, turmoil, distress, and/or confusion?

The definition of faithfulness

Of the billions of people in the roster of all human history, all have been called by God. But of all those called ones, only few have been chosen to number among the redeemed. Do you belong to both groups, or just to one? Praise God, I belong to both and I hope you do also! However, I want me and you to belong to an even more exclusive group yet: the faithful. I want us to be among the fewer who are "called, and chosen, and faithful" (Revelation 17:14).

What, then, is faithfulness? I'm sure "living for God" would suffice as a working definition. In addition to that, though, consider these verse fragments (along with their contexts) and listen to what God would say to you:

"Faithful...keepeth covenant" (Deuteronomy 7:9).

"Faithful...shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind" (1 Samuel 2:35).

"Faithful...refresheth the soul of his masters" (Proverbs 25:13).

"Faithful...whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing" (Matthew 24:45,46).

God requires of His stewards that they be found faithful. Therefore, faithfulness must be one of the goals and driving forces in my life.

The measure of faithfulness

Setting the standard for faithfulness falls within the sole providence of God Himself and alone. As the unchallenged definer and rewarder of faithfulness, only God can establish the standard. And praise Him, He has graciously and mercifully made that measure known to us!

In the Scriptures we not only find the revelation of God Himself, we find the revelation of the standard of faithfulness. Ultimately, there is no difference between these two revelations, for the very essence of faithfulness is godliness. No wonder one of the names and adjectives for God is Faithful!

Do you want to be faithful? Then you must know the standard and the Standard. In the standard you will find the goal, and in the Standard you will find the grace to strive for and achieve that goal.

The reward for faithfulness

If it were up to me, I would say something "noble" like, "Faithfulness is its own reward. To have known God is reward sufficient. I need no further reward and prize than these." But the reward isn't up to me, and the Rewarder has said: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew 25:21). So, my friend, let us be faithful unto death; a crown awaits us (Revelation 2:10)!

This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Study, click here: Facing Temptation.

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