I don’t know whether you have considered it or not, but the abilities you’ve received from God are not just so you can make a living.
The highest purpose of your talents is to bring influence for the sake of God’s Kingdom. It is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ… and secondarily to make a living and enjoy the benefits from whatever you do.
You and I are the stewards of the things God has brought into our lives, whatever resources they might be. And someday we will give an account. I, for one, want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I have more to say about that in a moment, but first I want to take a look at one of those words—faithful.
What does it really mean to be faithful?
It means you are dependable, trustworthy, and consistent. You stay the course. You keep plodding forward even during those seasons when you seem to get no encouragement and it feels like nothing is going right.
You keep the faith, though severely tried. You keep your word, even when it costs you dearly. You stay faithful in your relationships. Faithful to your marriage partner. Faithful to your family. Faithful to your friends.
You don’t change like the weather. You don’t choose the path of least resistance. You unswervingly keep your post and perform your duties for the Lord, for His Church, and for His people.
You are not moved by your feelings. Not moved by your trials. Not moved by popular opinion. You are faithful. It’s who you are. It’s who Christ made you to be.
Consider these words spoken by the apostle Paul. Jesus appeared to him and told Paul he must go to Jerusalem. On his way to Jerusalem, people in every city along the way are prophesying to Paul that suffering awaits him.
Here’s his response in Acts 20:22-24:
“And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Paul said, “I’m going to Jerusalem. It’s where the Lord is sending me. Even though people all along the way are telling me chains and trouble are waiting for me, I’m not moved by that. I’m going to finish my race. Even if it costs me my life, I’m going to stay faithful to what the Lord has called me to do.”
I think these excerpts from the diary of John Wesley are profound:
- Sunday, A.M., May 5. Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore.
- Sunday, P.M., May 5. Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said, “Get out and stay out.”
- Sunday, A.M., May 12. Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either.
- Sunday, A.M., May 19. Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called a special meeting and said I couldn’t return.
- Sunday, P.M., May 19. Preached on street. Kicked off street.
- Sunday, A.M., May 26. Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as a bull was turned loose during service.
- Sunday, A.M., June 2. Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.
- Sunday, P.M., June 2. Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.
Faithful is the culture of our Kingdom. And as followers of Christ, you and I need to be found faithful.
My prayer for you is that when your day before our Lord comes, you will be found faithful… that you will hear the words from our Lord Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
To encourage you in that quest, we would count it an honor if you request Bayless’ message, “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant.” This enlightening message is available on CD, DVD, and MP3 in our store.