The Road of Faithful Living
Good stewards are said to be those who show up in church the Sunday after Easter. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but there is no exception to “patient endurance” of which John wrote (Revelation 2). The question becomes, how are people brought from that first love of God into a deep and abiding faith?
Just as John wrote “that you have abandoned the love you had at first,” so it is that many who are new to the Christian faith tend to become less enthusiastic as time passes. John’s admonition was “to do the works you did at first.”
There are many road blocks on the road of faithful living. Instead of the threat of being placed in prison which early Christians faced, our road blocks may come in the form of selfishness.
We may delude ourselves into thinking that we will be better stewards if we first pay off all our debt and then give to others. Actually, it happens in the opposite way. We are not likely to get our economic lives straight until we put first things first.
To the church at Smyrna John wrote that he knew of their tribulation and poverty, yet they are rich. True wealth is being faithful unto death. The great temptation of our times is the pursuit of money.
The discipline needed to confront this stumbling block is regular giving from the first fruits. With this moral compass we will be much more likely to use the rest of our resources as God would have us do. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says….”
—Dr. Robert Craig
- What are some of the signs of faithful Christian living today?
- What can the Church do to help new Christians live faithful lives?
- Is it generally harder for a person who can easily pay debts to be a Christian than one who has to struggle? Is it wrong to have wealth? Explain your answer to the group.
- How do we listen to what the Spirit says to our church?
How Do I Act?
- If you are not a tither, test yourself by tithing for three months beginning with your next income check. Write in a journal describing how different you feel because of this experience.
- Along with other church members, pray to hear what the Spirit is saying to your church. Try to determine how we can tell the false messages that many are trying to bring into our churches and our lives. Share with the others what you have heard and discuss what can be done with this insight.
- Think about how God’s accounting is different from business today and our own budgets.
- If you know someone who does not have transportation, ask if you can give them a ride to church functions on a regular basis.