The next stop in our tour through the fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness. But what exactly is faithfulness? And why is it important?
When I think of faithfulness, my first thought is the hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” It’s one of my favorites. But that speaks to God’s faithfulness toward us. There’s no way we can be THAT faithful.
The definition of faithfulness helps us understand a little. Faithfulness is from the Greek word pistis, which means,
faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow; “the faith” often refers to the Christian system of belief and lifestyle. The Strongest NIV Exhaustive Concordance.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary breaks faith, or faithfulness, down even further. Vine’s says the word pistis means,
1) a firm conviction producing a full acknowledgement of God’s revelation or truth, 2) a personal surrender to Him, and 3) a conduct inspired by such surrender.
That makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it?
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When we are abiding in God, our faith and faithfulness increase. We are more certain that God is who he says his is and will do what he says he will do. We’re more willing to surrender our wants to his desires. And as we grow closer to God, we desire to imitate him in all we do. His great and perfect faithfulness toward us is the model for our faithfulness toward him.
Are we perfect? Of course not. Can we be faithful without abiding in God? No way! How can we trust and grow to be like someone we do not know?
The book of Acts gives us a great example of what can happen through faithfulness. Look for the word “faith” in the following passage. It comes from the same Greek word as “faithfulness” in Galatians 5:22.
…they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Acts 11:22b-24 NIV
Did you catch that? Barnabas was full of the Holy Spirit and faith. They go hand in hand. The nearer you draw to God, the more faithful you will become, because he will take over your life.
And the result of Barnabas’ faithfulness through Christ? Many people were brought to the Lord.
Ladies, the world sees our faith and faithfulness. May we be the kind of people who’s faith draws others to Jesus. And that can only be done if we draw near to Jesus.
Let’s draw near to the source of our faith and faithfulness.
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