by Pastor Tim Burt
Yesterday, I was talking with a retired man from church. He had taken on a part-time job. His new boss loved him so much, he kept increasing his hours. His boss then asked him why he was different from everyone else he had hired. He told him it was because of his love for Jesus and his desire to be a good Christian and leader no matter what job he did. His boss needed to hire another man. Do you have anyone else like you at your church? He brought in another retired man. His boss needed to hire another man yet and again came to Wally. Wally, do you have any more of you in your church who will come work for us?
As he was telling me this story, he said, We just stand out. The others guys call in sick all the time. They need to be told over and over what to do. They aren’t dependable. We always show up and rarely ever call-in sick. We do what we are asked and more. He loves our faithfulness! And so the boss wants to keep hiring guys from the church. This reminded me of the words in Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV) which says, “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?”
As a young Christian, I came upon the life-changing words in 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) that said, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” These words gripped my heart so strongly, I knew the Lord was speaking to me through them. Was I faithful? As I looked back, I could see that God had strategically placed key people in my past that had modeled faithfulness in their life before me. But these biblical words saying that faithfulness is a requirement of stewardship or being a good manager and leader woke me up and began to immediately work transformation within me. I was thankful that I had seeds of faithfulness deposited in my life along the way.
When I was fourteen years old, I received a job as a stock boy in a small grocery store. The gentleman who hired me, Ozzie, turned out to be like a second dad to me. I just loved him. He put a lot of faith in me. He treated me like an adult. He taught me many wonderful values and business principles. He put unmerited trust in me, giving me responsibility. He had a way of expecting faithfulness out of me. Because he put faith in me, I wanted so bad to be someone he could count on. I became that person. I would do anything for that man. I worked hard eventually managing three small grocery stores for him. He had planted seeds of faithfulness in me.
My own father was one of the hardest working men I had ever known. He was amazingly faithful to his boss and to his profession and became one of the the very best in his field. He modeled this incredible work ethic. He was a father of ten and he was faithful to his job, His wife, and to being a great dad to his children. He continually made sacrifices in his life to be faithful to his boss and to mom and us. As I got older and was able to appreciate the sacrifices that he had made for us, I wanted more and more to become like him. Although my youthful immaturity was filled with selfishness, because my father had planted seeds of what being faithful looked, they took root. Selfishness was painstakingly purged from my life because being faithful was a character quality I wanted to have and be known for.
Ephesians 4:11-16 taught me how spiritual maturity was enhanced –through the faithful commitment of each person in the body of Christ finding ways to serve others in commitment. God gave gifts to the church… Their responsibility is to equip (teach and bring maturity to) God’s people to do His work and build up the church… that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord… As each part (person) does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
The Holy Spirit would constantly challenge me with the value of faithfulness to Him. Proverbs 3:3-4 says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” I would constantly be challenged in church through the Pastor’s words,“If you want to grow in God, then learn to give. Learn to give of your love, your time, your talents and service, and your resources. Let God stretch you. Let God draw out those undiscovered gifts and talents within you through your commitment and service to Him and your church. Over time, the Holy Spirit led me to make commitments to serve others that shaped my heart and added great character and blessing to who I had become.
When I am in church, I am surrounded by faithful men and women that work together for the sake of everyone’s growth and maturity in Christ. But, I was reminded by this retired man again, that in the world around us, these kinds of people are hard to find. Proverbs 20:6 “… But who can find a faithful man?”
I am so very thankful to those people Jesus put in my life to show me the value of faithfulness and how it will promote you as your prove yourself faithful. They helped me become the leader and man of God I’ve become today! There are faithful people around you! You can and should learn from them. They know secrets others don’t. Learn them so you can be called one of the faithful! Proverbs 20:6 “… But who can find a faithful man?”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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