(Part seven of a series on Galatians 5:22-23)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is…faithfulness…”
Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)
One of God’s great attributes is his faithfulness. Writing in Lamentations 3:22-23, King Solomon tells us, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness” (italics mine throughout).
Yes, unlike we flawed human beings, God is totally dependable and true to his word. When his chosen people, Israel, failed to keep covenant with him and displayed a faithless attitude, God eventually ‘divorced’ them and let them be overtaken by their enemies. Scripture tells us that he was symbolically ‘married’ to them as a nation (Jeremiah 3:8). God never moved from his faithfulness toward his people (his ‘bride’), and he gave them every opportunity to repent of their wayward ways. As a result of their flagrant unbelief and disobedience, Israel and Judah lost their beautiful inheritance and freedom that God had given them.
Hundreds of years later when Jesus came faithfully preaching the good news of his Father’s kingdom, most people rejected him and his message. As the perfect Revelation of God the Father, Jesus was fully committed to stepping into the shoes of a broken humanity and to paying the ultimate penalty by way of crucifixion, thus making man’s reconciliation with God possible. The writer of the book of Hebrews worded it well when he wrote, “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews12:1-2).
Faithfulness is a virtue that transcends time and culture. From righteous Abel to the Apostle John who wrote The Revelation, the Bible is replete with the names of men and women who were faithful to the calling that God gave them. Often their lives were marked by trial and tragedy, but the one common legacy they left was their faith in, and their faithfulness toward, Almighty God (Hebrews 11).
What kind of legacy will we leave behind us? Will it be a legacy of faithfulness toward God and fellow man? Paul summed it up well when writing to the church at Thessalonica, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Be faithful to God and give him the glory!
Thank you so much, heavenly Father, for being a faithful God. Help us daily to build on the foundation of this noble virtue of faithfulness. This we can achieve through the power of the Holy Spirit in us.
Study by John Magowan
Grace Communion Lisburn
Ballymacbrennan School Hall
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