Summary of the Sermon by Senior Pastor Niko Prajogo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 18 November 2018.
Our Faithfulness To God
Without faithfulness to God there cannot be a Christian growth and finishing well in our race of faith in Christ Jesus. The Bible says that our finishing is more important than our starting Ecc 7:8 while it is a miracle of faith to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour that through Him we are forgiven and saved, it is another thing to commit to adhere to His commandments and to stay faithful to Christ.
A student may have started his study very well until he was getting into trouble with bad companies – with drinks and drugs, with addiction, with parties – and he could not even finish his study.
A couple may have given their wedding vow to each other in a grand wedding party; everybody admired the happy couple – supposedly living happily ever after – only to see that this family crashed down in a few months or years.
A business may have been established and it grows substantially but was mismanaged and went into closure and bankruptcy.
The end of a thing is better than its beginning. It is not about how you start, it is about how you finish.
Called – Chosen – Faithful
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. Rev 17:14, NKJV
We have been called, chosen and God expects us to be faithful until the end for if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. – Heb 3:14, NLT
Enemies of Faithfulness
We need remind our self along the way in our faith journey that perseverance, endurance – faithfulness are absolutely necessary – if we are going to last until the end. Starting is important; – but finishing strong is more important and we need to be aware of enemies of faithfulness.
Job’s story: Failure, Sickness, Pain, Losses
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15)
“IF” Faith vs “THOUGH” faith
• 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” Gen 28:20-22, NIV
• 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Dan 3:16-18, ESV
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God …, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God … 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. 19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God. Deut 8: 10-20, ESV
If the devil cannot stop you, he will try to deceive you: underrating God’s blessings & overrating Mammon
24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life … Mat 6:24-25, ESV
36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? – Mark 8:36-37, NKJV
If things do not work out as we thought it would it is very easy for us to get disappointed with God and we may still believe in Jesus Christ but we don’t believe Him wholeheartedly. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” Mat 17:16 Our unmet desire or expectation may cause us to remain steadfast in the LORD.
How do we remain loyal to Jesus?
• Draw near to Jesus – Loving God is source of faithfulness. He first loves us so we can love Him back.
• Develop a spiritual healthy habit – faithfulness is built up daily
Coming to service, coming to cell group, purposely join a ministry
• Be surrounded with faithful people
• Trusting God’s covenant
If we feel, we are not strong enough, put our trust in the LORD.
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me – 2 Tim 1:12, ESV
11 The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself. 2 Tim 2:11-13
God is faithful – He is faithful to Abraham, He is faithful to David, He is faithful to Peter, He is faithful to Israel, He is faithful to you and me …
How is your faith walk recently? Are you being faithful, growing from strength to strength?
· Are you discouraged with losses? If-faith and Though-faith
· Are you complacent with things that go well?
· Are you distracted with the lure of the world?
disappointed that things don’t go your way?
In our Christian life, we can start well –
loving Jesus, daily devotion, going to church every other day,
… but take heed we need to continually build our foundation that will
last and bring us until the end. Amen