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Juicy Fruit Sermon Series // Part 7

Fruit of the Spirit // Faithfulness

Text: Galatians 5:22 NLT
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.."

1. We’ve come a long way in our study of the Fruit.

Faithfulness is something we don’t hear much about nowadays.

We promise to be faithful in our marriage vows, but…

2. To be faithful means to be reliable, trustworthy, dependable, consistent. It’s a rare quality.

Proverbs 20:6 asks, “Who can find a faithful man?”

Businesses long for faithful employees. Workers want their employers to be faithful. Husbands and wives long for faithfulness from each other. And churches long for faithful volunteers.

A. You know, I think the first reason why we should be faithful is because God is faithful.

Psalm 33:4 says, “The Lord is faithful in all He does.”

This fruit of faithfulness develops us to be more like God. And when we aren’t dependable and trustworthy, and reliable and consistent, it creates all kinds of issues.

Proverbs 25:19 says, “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble.”

B. Another reason to be faithful is God rewards faithfulness.

In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, Jesus says that one day God is going to judge us. But this judgement isn’t about our talents or our ability or our good intentions. God is going to judge us and reward us according to our faithfulness.

Really, I think we all deep down know we should be faithful. Let’s spend our time looking at how. I’m going to be as practical as I possibly can be. The Spirit of God working in us will empower us to develop this fruit of faithfulness. Here’s our part of the deal – work on these areas.

1. Keep your promises.

A. Proverbs 25:14 says, “Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.” Do you know people like that? They make promises but never keep them.

B. Be careful about the promises you make. Have you ever told someone that you’d call them back later and then didn’t? I’ll pray for you… I’ll take care of that…

Keep your promises.

C. Parents – ever promise your kids something to get them out of your hair? They don’t forget.

D. Proverbs 20:25 says, “It’s a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.”

E. Do you know that the number one problem in parent-child relationships is resentment? And the number one cause of resentment is broken promises.

F. Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, “It is better not to vow than make a vow and not fulfill it.”

2. Honor your marriage.

A. In weddings, I lead a couple in the exchange of vows and rings to seal that vow. The promise is to be faithful “till death us do part.”

B. And to keep that vow, you have to work at it and fight for it. And all you have to do is let something else take priority over it.

C. I Corinthians 13 is the Love Chapter, and if we learn anything from it, we learn that if you walk in love, you can be trusted.

3. Use your talents.

A. God has invested much in each one of us. And He wants and expects a return on that investment.

B. I Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

C. See, here’s why this is so important. If you don’t use your gifts, then someone is cheated and goes without.

Children aren’t taught. Students aren’t mentored. People aren’t welcomed. There’s no music. No singing. No churches started. No hungry fed.

D. If you want to be more faithful, use your talents.

E. If you’ve been slighted or hurt or offended or felt unappreciated – not needed, and so you don’t get involved – I plead with you. Life’s too short. Jesus is coming. Time is of the essence. Too much is at stake.

Let’s get busy. Let’s have it! Let’s go get what’s ours. Let’s make a difference!

You want me to get practical? You want me to really simplify this? Then here you go.

To develop faithfulness,

4. Stand by your friends.

A. Develop personal loyalty. I need to work on this. I am around so many people – I’m kind of in the people business you know. And with so many, it is difficult to cultivate loyalty to a few.

B. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

C. Look, here’s the bottom line. We need each other. I need you to be faithful and you need me to be faithful. In here, with each other, we are safe. And out there we need to know we’ve got each other’s back.

It’s all part of being faithful.

Still want practical?

5. Manage your money.

A. If you want to develop the fruit of faithfulness, you must learn to manage your money. God has given you resources, and how you handle money is a test of your faithfulness to Him.

B. Jesus says in Luke 16:11, “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”

C. Amazing! God says that if I’m not faithful with my material possessions, He will not trust me with spiritual resources.

D. So you need to ask yourself, “Am I faithful in tithing to the Lord? Do I pay my bills on time? When I compare my giving with my spending and my spending with my savings, is my life really in balance?” Here’s a truth, the way you handle your finances determines to a large extent what God can do in your life.

E. What does it mean to be faithful in your finances?

I Corinthians 16:2 NLT: “On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.”

The verse defines what it means to be a faithful giver. It says 3 things.

First, we should give regularly. It is consistent. It isn’t, “Oh, I feel good today so I’ll tip God well.” Or, “I’ve got a little extra today so I’ll give something.”

Secondly, God says your giving should be planned. You should plan each week what you’ll do. If it isn’t planned it will not be consistent. Remember, God is looking for faithfulness.

Finally, faithful giving is proportional. It is a percentage of your income. The amount you give depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn. That is what tithing is all about.

A tithe means 10%. Giving 10% should be the minimum – it’s the starting point. We give in proportion to what God has given us.

6. Do your best at work.

A. You and I represent all of the Christian faith at work. You and I represent what Christianity is all about. You and I are a reflection of this church. And most importantly, you and I represent Jesus in the world.

B. No wonder Paul wrote in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

C. Students, you represent Jesus in the classroom. Finish well!

D. Christians ought to have the reputation for being the most dependable people at work.

E. After all, you have the favor of God upon you, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit working through you, and the Fruit of the Spirit being developed within you. We are world changers.

The Holy Spirit is at work in us developing faithfulness. Our part in growing in this is:

1. Keeping our promises

2. Honoring our marriage

3. Using our talents

4. Standing by our friends

5. Managing our money

6. Doing our best at work

And now, seventh of all,

7. Commit yourself to church.

A. We grow when we do life together.

B. We are engaged in spiritual warfare. The Bible likens us to soldiers (2 Tim. 2:3). Paul tells us to put on the armor of God.

C. When you became a Christian, you signed up to be part of God’s army.

D. Suppose I go to a recruiting office and say I want to join the army. They say, “Great, sign here on the dotted line.” Then I say, “Well, wait a minute! I want to join the army, but I have one condition. I don’t want to be committed to any specific platoon. I want to be able to float around from platoon to platoon. I’ll be part of the army, but I don’t want to be committed to a specific group of soldiers. If the battle gets a little hot in one area, I’ll move to another area and join another platoon. And if I don’t like one platoon’s leadership, I’ll join another platoon.” Would you like to have someone like that fighting by your side in a foxhole? Of course not! Yet that is how many Christians today relate to God’s army. They float around from church to church with little or no commitment to any specific group of Christians – so while the battle is being fought, they are AWOL.

E. Livestream per week – 500

FB live per week – 500

I love that we have this outlet, but it was never intended as an alternative to church attendance. If at all possible, we should be in church every Sunday.

F. We are on a mission. It is bigger than us. Greater than our ability or talent. Yet, God has called us. And God has equipped us. And God has enabled us. And God says, “Follow me.”

Will you do that today? Will you choose today to be faithful?

Worship Set

Shoulders (On Your Shoulders) 

- Ben Glover, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone, and Tedd T.

Verse 1

When confusion's my companion
And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear I know that You are near
When I'm caught deep in the valley
With chaos for my company
I'll find my comfort here'
Cause I know that You are near

Chorus 1

My help comes from You
You're right here pulling me through
You carry my weakness my sickness my brokenness
All on Your shoulders Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest my rescue
I don't have to see to believe
That You're lifting me
Up on Your shoulders Your shoulders

Verse 2

You mend what once was shattered
And You turn my tears to laughter
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless

Misc 1 (Bridge)

My help is from You
My help is from You

What A Beautiful Name 

- Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood

Verse 1

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

Chorus 1

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Verse 2

You didn't want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

Chorus 2

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Misc 1 (Bridge)

Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

Misc 2 (Bridge)

You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever God You reign
Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

Chorus 3

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Misc 3 (Ending)

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

The Lord's Prayer

- Lowell Mason

Chorus 1

Our Father who art in heav’n
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heav’n

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts
As we forgive our debtors

And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil

For Thine is the kingdom
And the power and the glory
Forever and ever