The Lord is perfectly faithful. These verses are God speaking to his people. We can identify with the principles. Be faithful and we’ll receive a crown of life.
Isaiah 56:Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.4 For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.8 The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
You all here are the ones that keep the church going. If everybody was only a Sunday morning Christian or a couple of times a month attender, we’d have no church. Many are not here due to their health. You all do your best to be here Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. If you’re out from time to time I know you’ll be back. You’re faithful. That doesn’t go unnoticed by the Lord. Those who can’t come depend on us to keep it going.
In these latter days, the devil makes it difficult to be faithful and serve the Lord. You’d think that the longer you serve the Lord the easier it would get. By being faithful we grow and get stronger. The devil doesn’t let up because God is counting on us. Do you ever feel that even though you’re faithful that you don’t experience things the way you used to? The devil tries to get us down. These days require patience. The church of Philadelphia experienced great suffering. The Lord told them to be faithful and he’d give them a crown of life.
In the realm of true Christianity faithfulness is lacking. It’s at a critical point for most churches. It’s a telling sign of the times. Let’s make sure we don’t find ourselves helping fulfill the sign. The book of Hebrews reminds us about it by stating: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. As we see the day coming, hang in there and be faithful every day, not just at service times. For my own sake I need to be faithful tomorrow. We need the blessing of each of us being faithful.
The outcasts mentioned in this scripture were made fun of. If you are doing your best to be faithful, just hang in there. These children of strangers and eunuchs were being put down. We get no respect from the world anymore. Many family members don’t respect our stand. Don’t let it get you down. God still blesses his children.
Faithfulness is really a required duty for us. God is faithful to us and desires the same from us. It’s not as much about the habitual duty of prayer, Bible reading, and going to church for duty’s sake. We should do it because we want to do it. Pray because we want to talk to God. Read the Bible because we want to. God wants to do for us and loves to see it from us. Family is family when those involved want to be a family. I’m thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s been good to work and visit together over the years. Let’s never lose the want to when it comes to things of God.
Every day we must use our judgment. We’re faced with choices. Verse 1 tells us to keep judgment. It means to do the right thing while justice means to be true to God and each other. We can’t masquerade with God, but there is a lot of that going on in the church. We are not to be someone or something else outside of church that we’re not inside. Verse 2 shows us that we’re blessed when we are faithful. When we take to heart what Jesus does for us we don’t see this as a have-to thing. If we’re genuinely saved we’ll want to be true to God. We’ll want to be sold out to the Lord. I’m thankful to have a church to call home and a sense of belonging. We have a place here. It does require a separation. We live in this world but are not of it. We have the Lord, the church, and each other in our hearts. Our time is God’s time. We are to be Christians wherever we are.
I’m glad for the fellowship of believers. It’s worth it. We can get down when numbers are down, but the Lord is still the same. He’s faithful. Not only do we have a place, we have a name. You may be talked about because you choose to be faithful, but that fades from view when we realize that God has given us a name and it’s everlasting. It’s a better name that shall not be cut off. The more faithful we are, the more we are joined with the Lord. It takes space away from the devil—there won’t be as much room for him to squeeze into our lives.
God accepted the gifts of these people. If I give myself to the Lord, he’ll accept me. When we’re faithful and not out of habit, the Lord gathers us up. He lifts us up. It’s like being on a conference call with heaven. We don’t need bright lights and banging music. If we’re faithful every day of the week, it shows when we come to the house of the Lord. People will know it. For this to be a house of prayer, it depends on our faithfulness.
I thank God for what he does for us. Let’s rest on that mountain today and when Sunday rolls around, maybe we’ll get on the mountain again.