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Sunday December 3rd
Will We Be Found Faithful
Good morning church. I'm Pastor Paris Pasch.
In 2023 the watch word has been FAITHFUL. It comes to us clearly from our Bibles.
1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
I shared with you that in the fall of last year, during my retreat to seek the heart of God for 2023, I felt deeply in my soul a word I believe came from God, that we were to have the word “Faithful” in the background throughout the entire year. Today I would like us to consider if we grew in this very wonderful arena? Did we become increasingly more faithful? Did we begin our faithful journey? Did we impress upon ourselves that being faithful was essential to discipleship and Christianity as a foundational truth? I’ve certainly asked myself; Will I Be Found Faithful?
For many of us, we can understand the value of being found faithful by looking at the marriage commitment. We’ve seen and heard of people who compromised this relationship and then spent many years afterward suffering the consequences of destroyed trust and damaged hearts. I’ve watched sadly as many a marriage eventually divide over this one single aspect of a human union. In fact, God says it is the one valid reason for separation and divorce.
Matthew 19:9 (NIV) I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Some of us also understand the role of being, faithful to parent our children well. This includes those who have been given to our charge as children, grandchildren, step children or mentor children. Again, most of us have also seen the challenge with parents being unfaithful and absent. Homes with kids being abandoned, devalued and even mistreated suffer greatly from unfaithful parents. However in our present culture almost anything that puts your child in a corrective protocol is considered abuse. Consequently we have self-focused parents raising self-focused children, becoming self-focused teenagers, becoming self-focused adults and now running the country. This being true, we must see the powerful effect of being unfaithful to parent our children is devastating to any family and ultimately our nation.
There is also being faithful to your word, faithful to your employee contract, faithful to your family and faithful to care for your body. But actually today, I’m more focused on faithfulness in its rawest, most foundational reality. I want to search out our faithfulness to God. Let me probe a bit.
Do you agree that We are made by God? If so, have we been faithful to our very creator or have we given others the credit for our existence? How tragic to have God’s very own creation giving science, mishap or even human beings the credit for His handiwork. The psalmist got it right.
Psalm 139:14 (NIV) I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Next, do you agree that We live in God’s creation? We are given an amazing place to inhabit, that, though broken, is still extraordinary. Are we careful, caring and amazed by what we witness God has created? I’m not talking about being the Ecco-police, but rather simply being faithful to God’s creation. Acknowledge it, enjoy it, relish in it, be awed by it and steward it well.
Hebrews 1:10 (NIV) He also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
Genesis 1:28 (NIV) God blessed them (Adam and Eve) and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
So are we faithful with what God has made? If you reject the big bang theory (not the TV show), the theory of evolution or the cosmic accident theory and credit God with all that you can see, then you have been found faithful to acknowledge your creator.
Next, do you agree that God is worthy of our praise? Are we faithful to praise Him or do we withhold what is due Him? Are we silent during times of praise and glorifying God. This is not just a Sunday morning thing. We should praise Him anytime of the day we are reminded of His glory.
Psalm 96:4–7 (NIV) For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
I am fully persuaded that I want to be found faithful of giving God all the credit for my life, honor for my accomplishments and glory for all my achievements. If I withhold this expression of praise, or worse yet, if I take the credit, will I be found faithful for having said thank you?
I start every morning declaring that God is glorious and worthy to be praised. If you simply engage our simple Sunday worship , you can be found faithful to praise the Lord.
Next, do you agree that God is our very source of life?
2 Peter 1:3–4 (NIV) His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Did you hear that? God has written His truth down so we can read it, study it and share it with others right from the source. The reality is that God has written very succinctly all that we need for living on this broken planet. The Bible is full of His instructions. Ben’s BIBLE acronym: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. If we are not faithful to investigate His words, actions and desires how will we be found faithful as a steward of His truth?
Am I saying that you won’t get to heaven if you are not found faithful in 2023? That’s really not my call, but I am telling you that God gave us at The Journey Church a very clear mandate for 2023; To grow in becoming more faithful to hear His instructions and obey them. I can read this clearly to you this morning.
Matthew 28:19–20 (NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
One amazing truth is that you actually have the tools to determine if you’ve grown in this arena or if you’ve stood still. You simply need to look at your calendar, your bank ledgers, your time use and your talent use. You can investigate if others around you are seeing in your life transformation from being a mere earth dweller to being a fully committed follower of Christ.
As it concerns if our collective ministry has walked in this revelation as a whole, I’ll take a few minutes to share some examples of the faithful actions of this church family over the last 11 months.
2023 recap of TJC
Baptisms: 15 people got baptized
We have new faces among us because of your willingness to receive the instruction that we will grow primarily when you invite others in 2023. Very, very few people connect to churches they were not invited to visit.
New preachers and teachers on deck in 2023: Jerry, Diane, Maddie, Mike R, along with the old regulars of Myself, Pastor Ben and Mike M
You were faithful all year to contribute time, talent and treasure to the church’s assignment to reach lost people and not simply supply funds toward some financial obligation like a new building or redecorating. So far, even though we don’t take offerings, we’ve even outpaced last year’s contributions by ?? 35K.
Missions impact: The Journey’s average attendance of 120 contributed over 20% of our gross annual income ($68K) to ministering to others through Samaritan’s Purse, OCC (78 boxes), TLC, Hastings Family Service, missionaries to Brazil, MNATC, Rise Up Recovery, Feed My Starving children, Dennis Otto’s AIM ministry, and more.
Pastor Ben and I have endeavored to be found faithful to the revelations of the fact we were made to love, pray and worship, God’s plan for moms and dads, God’s design for sowing and reaping and the wonderful benefits of tithing.
We busted lies of this world and turned to God’s truth as our measuring stick.
New Hire approach to our future with amazing results so far. This is done so our Pastor’s can run longer and more intense.
Jerry’s neighboring teams served multiple families and individuals who need to be rescued from their life challenges.
As a ministry we were faithful to provide our volunteers with the very best tools possible so that their efforts are valued highly and a lessening of their load.
Story of God was a wonderful expression of Christians studying to show themselves approved to God.
Community Groups once again thrived and grew over 2023.
It truly isn’t a contest however; and yet we have our biggest month ever to blow our efforts of last year out of the water. You have been found faithful to love your neighbor. I simply want to remind each of you who love Jesus that faithfulness is all for one purpose. I truly long for each of you to hear these next words from the heart and mouth of God.
Matthew 25:21 (NIV) “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
YOU HAVE BEEN FOUND FAITHFUL
Next week God instructs on being prepared
What are a few areas we need to investigate regarding faithfulness?
How can we measure our faithfulness in marriage and family?
How is faithfulness measured with God?
What is the biblical consequence for being found unfaithful?
The pastor wants you to know how pleased and even proud he is of the reality of the awesome faithfulness of The Journey Church in 2023.