Faithful from St Stephen’s & St Wulstan’s on Vimeo.

28 May 2021

Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He
has written, “It is fairly common for people to ask how they might pray for
me in my ministry, and as far back as I can remember my answer has been
the same: for faithfulness. Sometimes the response is to ask, ‘Faithfulness
in what way?’ to which I tend to reply, ‘In every way!’ Faithfulness to my
wife, my church family, to God’s call, to God’s word, to the gospel…’”

It is a great question to ask another believer, and not only to ministers:
“What can I pray for you?” And it is a great answer to give: “for
faithfulness in every way.” And we might add: for faithfulness in the small
things as well as the big things, in private as well as in public, in what I
say and what I do.

It is essentially what Paul said as he sought to encourage his younger
ministry friend Timothy to remain faithful to Christ, to his gospel and to
the apostle himself. As he looks back towards the end of his life, he is able
to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept
the faith” (2 Timothy 4:8). In other words, “I have been faithful.”

Faithfulness is full-orbed and multi-directional. If I am faithful in one area
but not in another, I am not faithful. There is no such thing as a
‘faithfulness offset’. Thankfully, God himself is utterly faithful, which is
why faithfulness matters. And it means he will forgive us when we ask
him to: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us
our sins…” (1 John 1:9).

The thing each of us needs to ask is, “What has God given me to do?” and
to seek to be faithful in those things. It includes asking for his help to do
those things and for his forgiveness when we fail. It includes believing
what he has given us to believe. It includes doing the things he has given
every believer to do, as well as the particular things he has given me to do.

At funerals it is common to hear one or more tributes to the person who
has died. When we reach the end of our lives, there is no more important
tribute to be heard than this, and no more important person to hear it from
than God himself: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Father, you are fundamentally a faithful God: faithful to your character, to
your promises and to your people. Grant me to be faithful in all the things
you have given me to do. Amen.

Chris Hobbs, Senior Minister