“Is your faithfulness to God out of duty, or love?”
By: Pastor David W. Dickerson
Faithfulness is becoming more and more an oddity in our local churches. I remember in the 1960-70’s that a young preacher could rent a “store front” to open a church and in a very short time, with the Lord’s help, he would have a local assembly up and running. Faithfulness was and still is an evidence of the believer’s faith and love for the Lord Jesus.
It takes “new blood” (new coverts) to keep a local church encouraged and prospering. Without true faithfulness on behalf of the church membership, new members and often older members become discouraged and often drop out of regular church attendance and involvement.
In thinking about the lack of faithfulness in our local churches, I have concluded that many of our regular members, who faithfully attend God’s House, often do it out of duty rather than love. For instance, the letter to the church at Ephesus reveals the church’s faithfulness doctrinally and practically was intact. However, she had left her “first love”, which is so serious that it can cost a local church her very existence (Revelation 2:4-5).
What is true love?
If a husband brings a wonderful gift home to his dear wife, and she asks her husband, “Why the special gift?” and he responds, “Because it is my duty.” Such an answer would not honor his wife but rather dishonor her. She would be totally disappointed and humiliated. The right answer, “Because I love you more than anyone else in the whole world. You mean everything to me, and without you I would be nothing.”
I heard an old preacher say one time, “Our young people are often missing what true love is. They have been confused by the glamor and lies of our immoral society. It is certainly not depicted in worldly passions and fleshly lusts. True love is better portrayed in an old couple who has lived their whole married life committed to one another. As they walk off into the sun set holding hands in order to steady themselves on their way home, those who see them respond with admiration, “Now, there goes what God calls true love.”
And so, it is with our love relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ. Our faithfulness to God should flow out of our love for Him. Hearts that are full of love give of themselves to the object of their love; “we love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
What motivates your faithfulness?
Dear Brethren, why are you seeking to be faithful to the Lord Jesus and His church? What motivates your faithfulness? If it is that “first love” that motivates you, then no doubt your faithfulness will persevere. Faithfulness, motivated by God’s love, will produce an atmosphere of unity and Christ likeness in our local churches (Eph. 4:1-f). Such an atmosphere of godly love is attractive to both saint and sinner. The late James A. Stewart said, “Atmosphere is everything.” Faithfulness is powerful, but it must be motivated by love, if it is to produce an atmosphere to which others are drawn.
Tags: duty, lack of faithfulness, true love
“Faithfulness is powerful, but it must be motivated by love,Pastor David W. Dickerson
if it is to produce an atmosphere to which others are drawn.”
Categorised in: Peachtree Baptist Pulpit