Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Faithfulness


One WFW, I began a Fruit of the Spirit theme. My first post started with the verse, and each week I have been led to post one on each fruit. I have posted on love, joy , peace, patience, kindness and goodness.


This week's fruit is faithfulness.



What exactly does faithfulness mean? The Greek word used to describe faithfulness in Galatians 5:22-23 is pistis, which means, in part, a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God, and the character of one who can be relied on.

Let's tie this together.

Because we have a strong and welcome conviction and belief that Jesus is Christ, and because we are saved by grace, we must let God produce the fruit of faithfulness in our lives. We must be people who can be relied on.



"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." ~ Proverbs 3:3



The Hebrew word for faithfulness in this verse is emeth, which means stability; (figuratively) certainty, truth, trustworthiness -- assured(-ly), establishment, faithful, right, sure, true (-ly, -th), verity."



Our faith should be stable, dependent on God and not circumstance. Often, though, it is. During those times, we need to have the faith of Job. Yes, you read that right. Faith.



I've always heard the expression "he has the patience of Job", but have you ever heard the expression "he has the faith of Job?" Me either. I've never heard that expression, but we should hear it.



Job was an upright and blameless man before God. He was the best of the best. There was no one like him in the East. He was so good that after his sons and daughters partied, he would send and have them purified, and daily he would offer burnt sacrifices on their behalf just in case they had sinned. He would use his cattle "Just In Case".



The Bible tells us that one day Satan went before God after he had been roaming the earth and God was so proud of Job that He mentioned Him by name!



"Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God andshuns evil." ~ Job 1:8



We know the story. Satan just knew that Job would curse God if he lost everything and was afflicted himself. God allowed Satan to do awful things to Job because he knew that even though Job would be hurt for a season, he was strong and grounded in faith. "Blameless and upright".



Job, of course, was crushed, and his 3 friends and wife were of no help at all. His wife, who incidentally had lost her wealth and children, too, told Job just to go on and curse God and die. No doubt she was ready to just go on living and hoping things would get better if he brought it to a quick end. Job's response?



"He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" ~ Job 2:10



His three "friends" accused him of sinning and being wicked, mocking God and just being an evil man. Job knew better, but this had to be discouraging! He had lost all his sons and daugthers - 10 children - animals, his servants, and even his skin had erupted into painful sores from the soles of his feet to the tip of his head.



Here's what I call the "faith of Job". Job lost it all. His friends and wife were of no consolation and he felt abandoned by God, but what did he say?


Here it is:


"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand uponthe earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" ~ Job 19:25-27


Don't you just love it? The faith of Job in God, manifested by what he knew about God and declared to others!

I have faith in God, strong faith, but if I were to ever endure trials like what Job went through, I pray my faithfulness would be the same. Dear Lord, may it be so. Amen.


How can we bear the fruit of the spirit of faithfulness in our daily lives as we trust in God's faithfulness to us?


F - Follow the Holy Spirit's prompting to express our faithfulness to God and others
A - Abide in Christ
I - Intentionally choose to be faithful in the big things as well as the little
T - Take time to study God's Word
H - Hope in God fully
F - Forget fallbacks - when our faith dwindles, confess it and repent and move on
U - Urge others around you to be faithful in all things
L - Lead others to faithfulness in Christ by example
N - Never give up
E - Express God's faithfulness to others through His Word, encouragement, etc.
S - Stay on the go - have active faithfulness in your life
S - Sit at the feet of the Master when you need to refuel - you can't do it all



Father, help me to remain in You so that my faithfulness will be made strong. Let others see You through me and desire to have the faith You so are so abundantly able to give. May Your grace abound in me, so that I will bear the fruit of faithfulness for Your glory. Amen

How will you be faithful to God this week? To others?

It's important to be faithful to God, our spouses, our children, family, friends, the needy and even strangers. For faithfulness really is a fruit we need to produce, but we can only do it by God's grace and always for God's glory.


Please join Amydeanne, the hostess of Word Filled Wednesday. I know you will be as blessed as I am.



32 comments:

hip chick said...

Even though I have read that verse a number of times, I have never really read it before. It is such a good one. Thank you for sharing it.

Schotzy said...

What an amazing post. I am inspired by your wisdom and so appreciate your sharing this morning!

Tammy said...

Thank you for sharing the Word & your encouraging post...


http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/mominmi

Debra said...

What a beautiful illustration of that verse! Thank you for sharing it with us this morning!

Blessings to you, my sister!

Kristi said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and your talent with all of us. Blessings to you!

Jill said...

AMEN! Remaining faithful with you at His feet!

Blessings today!
Jill

Lana G! said...

"A strong and welcome conviction" I like that!

Great illustration.

Susan said...

Wow Laurie Ann,

This was just incredible!! Great teaching on Faith, I really enjoyed this.

I liked when you said:

"Our faith should be stable, dependent on God and not circumstance."

Amen and Amen...

Blessings to you this WFW!!

Deanna said...

I love this verse. It reminds me of when I was little and would hear it. My only concept of a table was the one I had at school. I couldn't figure out how my heart had one of those spiral tablets on it OR how I was going to write on it. Ha!

ellen b said...

Faithfulness is such a great attribute. So thankful that God is so faithful. Blessings!!

Joyfull said...

Fantastic post, I enjoyed reading and reflecting on faith and faithfulness. This is such an important fruit for us to bear in our lives. Thanks for sharing.

AnooCre8ion said...

What a beautiful post! Great insight and wisdom.

Bless you.
Vickie

MyJourneyBack said...

Oh Laurie Ann,
I loved this post. What an amazing illustration.
I use Amy's posts on Wed. because I am doing a food pantry.
We put a devo. or WFW illustration in the sacks each week. May I use yours?
I know this would be a great devo. for the disadvantaged kids and thier families.
Blessings,
Sherry

Amydeanne said...

love the FAITHFULNESS!!!

Michele Williams said...

I love the acrostic for Faithfulness! Thank you so much for sharing.

Stacy said...

Laurie Ann-
What a gift your insights and words are from God's Word. To have the faith of Job in all trials and circumstances and to stand firm in God, our Father...not wavering from the Truth set before us. May God do all the work in my heart to bear forth the fruit of His Spirit to everyone and always. May you have a blessed day in the Lord.

Dawn said...

Beautiful WFW :)

Jen said...

Great WFW post! Thank you for sharing.

Melanie said...

I really like this verse you chose for today, Laurie Ann!

Happy WFW!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I'm writing that on the tablet of my heart!
Holykisses Laurie!
Lea
<*)))><

I can't find your number...thats why I haven't text'd you!
email me!
I have bible study tonight but will do it after that, if you send it.

Kat said...

I love the Faithfulness acronym, I am writing that one down for sure! Great post!

PS Thank you for the excellent verse to help with my anxiety. I will put it down with my favorite verses. It is very reassuring. I will be praying for your Father and strength for you during this tough time. I hope he is doing better now.

Augurs said...

This is beautiful. I was just reading about Job! :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Blessings,
Michele

Groovewoman said...

BEAUTIFUL!

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann,
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." ~ Proverbs 3:3

Wonderful verse and lesson on faithfulness! You never fail...must be very faithful! I, too, pray that I will have the faith and faithfulness of Job & others if need be in such trials & hardship! Sometimes I feel like my life is like Job's, til I'm reminded all he endured. Thank you for showing me how I can bear faithfulness through each letter...Perfect prayer! Once more I am blessed! I never thought of Job as an example of faithfulness! Thank you for using his life! Hope you had a chance to enjoy WFW!!! And once more, my thanks for adding me to your Autumn Friendship Award group...I'm honored...right back at'cha!!!
You deserve my words!

Nancie said...

Thank you for sharing these with us, Laurie Ann. Very enlightening! Truly our faith should be stable, dependent on God and not circumstance. May God help us!

crittyjoy said...

God has used this verse with me several times this week...I always look forward to your post as I learn so much... Thank you for sharing your heart every week...it is such a blessing :o)

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

This is great. Much needed today!

Thanks for providing something I needed very much today!

Blessings!
Cheryl

Mariposa said...

You made me cry...

Your verse resonates mine...and thank you for sharing!

~~Devita~~ said...

Very nice!

have a blessed day!

Lisa said...

Great verse and illustration! Faithfulness is so important in a believer's life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today.

Marilyn - A Mixed Bouquet said...

Great verse and photo! Such an amazing post. Thanks also for visiting my blog.

alihsee said...

What a great reminder. Thank you & happy WFW (belated tho it may be!)