Summary of the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 11 November 2018.
God is Faithful
Our God is a faithful God. There are elements of love and faith in His faithfulness. In the Old Testament the original word for faithful is “Emunah” meaning firmness, stable and steadfast. In the New Testament the original word for faithful is “Pistos” meaning trustworthy, dependable and surety. Today we can be sure of God’s attribute because of His divine quality. Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the LORD is your God, He is God the faithful God which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.”
We may not know our ancestors but the Lord has promised to keep His commandments even to a thousand generations. As humans, we may fail to keep our promises on many occasions. It is normal to forget once in a while but, it is not normal if we keep forgetting our commitments. If we keep breaking our promises, especially in a marriage, it will be difficult for our spouse to trust us again.
In this broken world, people enter into a binding contract to keep the agreement between two parties. This is to prevent one party from breaking the contract. God is faithful to His commitment and His covenant. God wants His character to be imparted in us, so that as believers we can be entrusted with many things. Numbers 23:19 “God is not human that He should lie, not a human being that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil?”
God never forgets, never fails, and never forfeits His words. God is faithful to love us – He loves us while we were sinners. In Romans 5:8 “God proves His love for us while we were sinners Christ died for us.” We are precious in the sight of God and honoured. We have been justified by His blood and we have been saved from God’s wrath through Christ.
The cross is the ultimate proof of God’s unconditional love for us. We need to understand the faithfulness of God through the love of Christ. We need to understand the greatness of His love in order to believe in His faithfulness. We will be changed only when we grasp the width, length, height and the depth of the love of Christ. Knowing the love of Christ, that surpasses all understanding, we will be secure in God’s faithfulness.
The faithfulness of God also means He is faithful with His blessings. Material blessings are finite and vulnerable, highly exposed to the possibility of disappearance or loss. God wants us to value His spiritual blessings, especially the joy of our salvation, more than material blessings. Nothing is more valuable than our eternal salvation, be it danger, peril, sickness, or loss of material wealth or status.
When we trust Jesus as our LORD and Saviour, we trust God with the entirety of our being. Trusting God means to have a firm belief in the ability of God to take care of us. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
God made a covenant to bless Abraham’s descendants. Abraham’s son, Isaac, was supernaturally blessed because of God’s promises to Abraham. Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the LORD blessed him. Genesis 26 – In Gerar, Isaac dug a well and named it Rehoboth, which means open spaces. Isaac’s servants had dug two wells before Rehoboth and the herdsmen of Gerar quarrelled with Isaac’s herdsmen. So when they dug the third well there were no more quarrels. Isaac continued to flourish and enjoyed peace in the land because of God’s divine blessings. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness but is long suffering toward us not willing anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
2 Timothy 2:11-13 “If we are faithless He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself. We are accountable to God for what He has entrusted us with.” Matthew 25 – The Parable of the Talents. We want to be a good servant and progress or multiply with the skills/talents that He has given to us. We are to be accountable with our time. What time is it now? We are in the midnight hour. We are to be responsible with our time to seek Him more. Be faithful in our prayer time, our devotion and keep our Sabbath and come into the House of the Lord. Be faithful with our offerings and stewardship; be faithful in little things, and we will be faithful with much. Whoever is dishonest with little will also be dishonest with much. Be faithful with our walk with God, with the resources and treasures that He has given us to manage during this journey of faith.
The Crown of Life is bestowed upon the faithful believers who persevere under trials, even to the point of death. Blessed are those who remain faithful in Christ Jesus, for when we have stood the test, we will receive the Crown of Life.