Fidelity a road back to Paradise
What if there was a supermarket that didn't sell bread and milk but only gifts of the Holy Spirit... as much as you needed... peace, love, patience, joy, etc. If I had a supermarket like that Bill Gates would come to me for a loan!
Today I would like to focus on a "forgotten fruit," Fidelity. It can be called a virtue or a gift. It makes us dependable and strong. When I have it I keep my promises and it means that your "Yes" is "Yes" and your "No" is "No!" When you say you will be some where at 7 p.m. people know you will be there at 7 p.m. and it has with it the attitude within you that says "Why should anybody wait for me?"
Fidelity is twofold
1. I never lose faith in God... I am filled with faith in Him and I never lose it.
2. Nobody is ever given a reason to lose faith in me. [Psa 145:13]
I am a good and faithful servant [Matt 25:21] Jesus promises if we have the fruit of the Holy Spirit that God himself will say that about us.
Maybe the fruits of the Spirit are more important than the gifts of the Spirit. God's focus, just maybe, is on what He wants us to do instead of the tools He gives us to do them with. When I start looking, and being, more like God in the way I think and act... (in the way I am) the more God fills me with His Spirit. As a young boy in the Catholic church I learned that God made us in His image and likeness. We are the image of God on earth and He put his character and qualities inside of us.
Lets look at how faithful God
is... he is perfectly
faithful... look at his promises
Matt 28:20 is a guarantee: He will be with us, even to the end of time. He is with us every day that we live until the end of time. Think about that promise the next time somebody tells you that "Nobody loves me." Look at Psalms 118, 119, and 136. Thirty five times God tells us in these scriptures that he loves us. No obstacles of ours can stand between us and God's love. "Potato chip promises" don't last through the third week in Lent but God's promises are everlasting.
The Bible is full of God's promises. Acts talks about the filling of the Holy Spirit... numerous places promise the coming of a savior. How did God fulfill this promise? He sent His only son. How faithful was the son to the mission he was given? To a death on the cross. How can we question the faithfulness of God? Even when we are in a boat in the middle of a storm... we can count on Jesus to pull us through. If we are fearful in the midst of these situations we don't "really" know Jesus. Jesus says it is important to know I am faithful. Time after time he repeats it... "Truly, truly I say unto you..." You don't get this quality of God by flexing your own muscles. You get it by saying "come Jesus into my heart and fill me with your Holy Spirit"
II Macabes 7:1-41 gives the story of a heroic woman who was faithful. She had seven sons and they were arrested along with their mother. The invaders tried to force them to eat pork and defile themselves and then slowly chopped each son to pieces because each refused to give in to their demands. Then when they came to her youngest son the King said to the mother save your last son, but she said to her son, be worthy of your six bothers and be faithful. The boy then said to the King, "What are you waiting for... I will not obey the King, I will put my faith in the Lord." The mother died seven times before she was finally killed. Now that is fidelity. How often do we follow through on our promises?
Mother Teresa was once offered a monthly gift of $10,000 by the Knights of Columbus but she said "Thank you, but no thank you, because if I accept your promised gift I may be tempted to trust in your check and not in the the Lord." Now that is fidelity!
Pray that the fruit of fidelity be poured out on those who call themselves Christians. To be poured out and drenched upon them. If this happened there would not be a valley of tears.
If a person has a spouse that is faithful in all respects... they would not divorce him or her... they would put up with the other imperfect things in order to keep that person.
Pray that this one virtue would fill our churches... not that church members would spend one hour [out of the 168 hours] a week in church. In many churches some parishioners can't even give the Lord a full hour. They come late to the service and leave right after communion is served.
Pray for the fidelity of our leaders and that they would be faithful, not to being reelected. If this were to happen there would be a change in our nation. President Bush is doing well because he is looking reliable. He will do things others might not because he seems to be working from principal. (And no, I am not on his campaign staff!!!)
God wants our reliability and our fidelity. He says he wants us to be perfect. Here is a quiz for you to take, to help you judge how you are doing in the area of fidelity.
1. Can I face times of trials and times of sickness with conformity, saying a quiet prayer of surrender, as I join my sufferings to the cross of Christ -- believing that nothing ever happens that God doesn't use for my own good?
2. Can I wait upon God with patience, confident that he will never show up too late, even thought He never seems to arrive very early?
3. Can I face problems with calmness, believing that I will overcome the temptations I face because I havea strength in Christ that is greater than my weakness... that I will overcome everything in Christ no matter how weak I am?
4. Do people depend upon me and without being given a reason to feel let down?
5. Does anyone ever say to me "you let me down" or "you forgot to do what you promised to do?"
6. As a husband, a father, as a partner, do others thank me for being so prompt, so thoroughly reliable? and
Do you expect Jesus to say... "Well done! Because you have been so faithful in small matters take charge of ten cities?"