Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Importance of Faithfulness

Temple Baptist Church - 11-27-2011

Luke 18:1-8


A. In the preceding chapter, our Lord described the end time and sequence of events leading up to the Second Coming.
The 18th chapter begins with the word “and.” This shows a continuation of the same train of thought. The parable shows forth the persistence of the widow before the unjust judge.

B. Parable (faith) – An earthly story with a heavenly meaning. We see the predicament of her cry – our Lord did not disclose the pressing need of this woman but we do know that the need was great. The need was not necessarily food and raiment but it was the need of vengeance! This poor widow woman had been greatly wronged by someone and the wrong needed to be made right. Vengeance was not a right that she had so she petitioned the Judge.

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Be ye angry and sin not!)

C. The Lord did not disclose the details so that you and I could make application to whatever our need happens to be. Let’s look at the parable:

a. Persons – A widow and an unjust judge.

b. Persistence – she never gave up but petitioned the unjust judge until he gave her the right answer.

c. Prize – she got her petition answered!

D. The application - A wonderful lesson for us is found in these verses. Never give up! We may not see workings of the Judge of all the earth, as the unjust judge of these verses considered—without her knowledge of it—her request, so our wonderful Lord considers and honors our requests. We may or may not see the workings of His hands but, rest assured, He hears and answers our prayers.

E. I quoted this verse last week but want to use it again as this message is just a continuation of last week’s message. I believe that the “moral of the story” is that it shows the power and persuasion of persistence. Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

F. The lesson is faith! Faith is the basis for our faithfulness. We are faithful because it is commanded; because it is right; because it is rewarding! When Christ returns, will He find us with enough faith in Him to keep us faithful? Faithfulness is important.

1. Faithfulness is important to the Lord. Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, 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. (If we are faithful for no other reason, we should be so because it pleases the Lord! This should be our primary motive. Paul said, “For me to live is Christ!” Unfaithful people do not care what the Lord thinks.)

2. Faithfulness is important to the faithful. John 20:19-24 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (20) And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. (21) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (23) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (24) But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. (Just look at what Thomas missed: Jesus, peace, seeing the wounds of our Lord, and receiving the Holy Ghost.)

3. Faithfulness is important to your family. Psalms 78:2-7 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: (3) Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. (4) We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. (5) For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: (6) That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: (7) That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: (We want our families saved and serving but, often, we tell them with our lives, “Do not do what I do, do what I say do!” We cannot expect our families to love God if we do not love God; we cannot expect our families to be faithful if we are not faithful!)

4. Faithfulness is important to your pastor. Philippians 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. (One of the most heartbreaking parts of pastoring is watching the unfaithfulness of God’s people. We have a great church with, for the most part, faithful people and it is an encouragement to this pastor. I work hard to prepare something to feed your souls each time I come to church and it discourages me when God’s people do not come faithfully to hear God’s message. Every service; every message is of the utmost importance to God’s people.)

5. Faithfulness is important to your church. Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (The faithful are provoked unto loves and provoke others. (provoked – motivated or incited) The faithful are exhorted and exhort others. The faithful experience spiritual growth and edify the body. The faithful are blessed.)

6. Faithfulness is important to your missionaries. Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (When tithes and offerings are either not there are come in later, the missionary does without. I take care of missions support for two of our missionary members and see firsthand the ups and down of support each month.)

7. Faithfulness is important to the unsaved. Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (If the unsaved see our unfaithfulness, they will not desire what we have nor will they “glorify” our Father which is in heaven!”

Conclusion: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

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