Today we would like to speak about the importance of being faithful. First, let’s define faithful. Faithful means to be constant, loyal, or to maintain allegiance. We could also say faithful means to show a strong sense of duty, reliability, or steadfast adherence.
Being faithful to a friend, a job, or a cause are all good things. This means if you are faithful to your job, you will show up ready to work every day and do your best. I believe young people, this is part of our light God wants to shine in this world, that whenever we are given a job to do, we do our best. But more than this, God wants us to be faithful to the cause of Christ. Faithfulness to God, his word, and his people is one of the most important characteristics that the Holy Spirit builds in Christians.
Jesus taught this principle in what we call the parable of the talents found in Matthew, chapter 25, verses14-30. The parable of the talents comes right after the parable of the virgins, which stressed alert preparation for Christ’s coming, while the parable of the talents emphasizes the need for faithful service during Jesus absence.
When Jesus told this parable, he chose a familiar incident to teach a spiritual truth. In Biblical times it was common practice for local leaders to journey to Rome, entrusting their subordinates with specific duties and responsibilities to carry out while they were gone.
In this parable, a very important man planned to take a journey. Just before he left, he called together his favored servants. He gave five talents to one servant, to another, he gave two talents, and to the third, he gave one talent. Now the talents were a unit of coinage, probably silver of very high value. It was the largest weight among the Hebrews, being used for metals. Some scriptures say that a single talent was equal to approximately 100 lbs. In any case, a talent to a common laborer in Biblical times was roughly equivalent to 6000 Days wages. Or sixteen and one-half years of work. This man really trusted these servants, and he gave them something of great value to work with. Each man was given responsibility according to his abilities. This means if they each were faithful to put to work what their master gave them, they could also each show an increase.
The first servant, to who he gave five talents, went immediately to work. He invested his money wisely and watched over it carefully. He might have started a business and worked hard, watching his money grow. I am sure he did his homework on each investment, and the money began to increase.
The second servant did likewise; he invested his money and worked faithfully to increase what his master gave him to work with. The third servant, however, was unwilling to work. He was unwilling to invest what his master gave him. So he took the money, dug a hole, and buried it in the ground.
Time passed by. Then one day, the master returned from his trip. He called his servants together for an accounting of how they used what he had given them. The first servant proudly presented his master with the five original talents, plus five more. Then the master exclaimed, well done! Because thou hast been faithful in this matter, I will make thee a ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. The second servant proudly presented his master with the two original talents, plus two more. The master exclaimed, well done, thy good and faithful servant! Because thou has been faithful in this matter, I will make thee a ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
Now I am sure the third servant wasn’t excited to see that his master had returned. Let’s read the scriptures that show what the servant said to his master.
“24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.”
How do you think the master responded to this servant? In the parable, Jesus tells us the master’s response was immediate. He said, thou wicked and slothful servant, you should have at least put my money on deposit with the bankers so it could have drawn interest. The master was not at all happy with the servant. So the master removed the one talent from this servant and gave it to him that had ten. Then the master ordered the servant given one talent to be cast into outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Maybe you are wondering what application this parable has for us today. What does it mean for us in today’s world? God gives each of us the resources we need to serve him. I believe the person who diligently invests his time and talents to serve God will be rewarded. If we are Christians, I believe God demands this. He wants to see a profit from what He gives to us. God gives us this great gift of Salvation, and He wants us to put it to work so we can gain a profit for Him and His kingdom. God rewards faithfulness, and He wants us to be faithful to Him. If you are not bearing fruit for God and his Kingdom, you cannot expect to be treated the same as those who are faithful. Our time, abilities, and money are not ours; we are just caretakers of this for God. How faithful are you to God?
Now, I want you to visualize a chart in your head. Something like a multiple-choice test. I’ll ask the first question.
- How faithful are you to pray?: 1) Always 2) Sometimes 3) Seldom, 4) Never
Each of us knows where we stand in our faithfulness to pray.
- How faithful are we to tell others about Christ? 1) Always 2) Sometimes 3) Seldom, 4) Never
- How faithful are we in our good Christian behavior while playing sports? 1) Always 2) Sometimes 3) Seldom, 4) Never
I don’t know about where you live, but here I’ve seen young people get really worked up while playing their sports. God calls us to be faithful and to be a light for Him no matter what we are doing.
- How faithful are we at telling God thanks? 1) Always 2) Sometimes 3) Seldom, 4) Never
- How faithful are we at telling others thank you? 1) Always 2) Sometimes 3) Seldom, 4) Never
- How faithful are we at going to church? 1) Always 2) Sometimes 3) Seldom, 4) Never
God is calling us to be faithful in each and everything we do. Remember the definition of faithful. It means constant, loyal, maintaining allegiance.
- How faithful are you at caring about others above yourself? 1) Always 2) Sometimes 3) Seldom, 4) Never
God has given us Salvation, and he does not want us to go into our yard and bury it. God wants us to put our Salvation to work in our lives, so it grows and affects others. So how faithful are you at praying, telling others about Christ, in your Christian behavior in sports, and how about your Christian behavior at school? How faithful are you attending church or caring about your parents? God is calling each of us to be faithful with what He gave to us. God wants a profit, so draw close to God, be faithful to Him, and God will provide you with a profit that benefits others.
Take the Test and Check Your Faithfulness
Below you will find an image of the chart spoke about in the lesson. The chart is noted with a list of things we as Christians should be faithful to do. To take the test, read the question and ask yourself if the master returned right now, would I be counted among the faithful? Once you finish, review your answers and see where you stand on the faithful test.
Multiple Choice Test – How Faithful are You?
|I am faithful:||Always||Sometimes||Seldom||Never|
|To read and study my Bible.|
|To talk or pray to God.|
|To tell others about Christ.|
|In my Christian behavior at school|
|In my Christian behavior at home|
|In my Christian behavior in sports|
|To be regular in church.|
|To care for others above myself.|
|To give thanks to God.|
|To say thank you to others.|
|To Encourage others.|
|To use my time wisely.|
|To use my money wisely.|
|In caring for my parents|
|To rejoice in church.|
The following scriptures in the Bible show us the importance of being faithful to the things mentioned in the chart above.
2 Timothy 2:15
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17
“Pray without ceasing.”
We are dependent on God for every good thing. Without Him, we can do nothing, and we should feel that dependence at all times. If we do, we will always be in the spirit of prayer; and those who feel this spirit will, as frequently as possible, be found in the exercise of prayer.
“21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This was Paul’s testimony. Can you tell others about the plan of Salvation and help lead them to Christ?
“25 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.
Are you faithful in your church attendance, and do you go willingly?”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“In everything, give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Do you remember to say thank you or give thanks in everything?
“12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
There is a degree of affectionate respect we owe to our parents. We need to speak kindly to our parents and speak kindly about them when we are with others.
“1 Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2 Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.”
God wants us to faithfully praise Him for the good things He does in our lives. He wants us to give Him our best praise and to rejoice amid His people. How did you do on the faithful test?