This is our Commitment or Re-Commitment Sunday. In November 2018, God called us as a church to embark on a 3-year “For the Kingdom” Campaign in order to invest in the next generation, expand His work into Nolensville and Nashville, grow the Franklin campus to impact more people for Christ and to build two new Transitional Living Homes for vulnerable children in Moldova. God has done miracles in these first two years, but He is not finished yet. Will you commit, or re-commit, to “Finish Strong” together in these last 12 months? Let’s be like Caleb and live wholeheartedly in our relationship with God. This is our time and opportunity. As God’s Church, and as His followers, let’s be faithful and bold today!
Living By Faith
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” - William Carey
If you look at the news, magazine covers, social media, and most sources of information about what’s going on in our world today, it’s hard not to feel fearful or anxious about today’s circumstances. There are very real threats, difficulties, and challenges that our nation and our world is facing, and many people who aren’t Christ-followers, or even many Christians, have a tendency to turn to fear and doubt.
However, that’s the difference between Christ-followers and non-Christians – Christians can have faith in God that He is working all things according to His perfect plan. In turn, we can be faithful to Him and live by faith, not fear. Caleb, in Joshua 14, is a great example of what faithfulness as a Christ-follower looks like. Rather than going along with the people around him, he chose to trust God and be faithful to Him. He was willing to step up, be strong and courageous, and encourage those around him to trust Jesus.
This faithfulness that Caleb showed and that we, too, should have in our lives comes from us keeping God first. More than anything else, Christ should be at the center of all things. When we keep Him first, it makes faithfulness towards Him that much easier because we know that the decisions we make, the attitudes we have, and the way we live should bring glory to Him. This also leads us to hearts of gratitude because we can recognize that He is before all things and taking care of all things.
What the Bible Says about Being Faithful in Joshua 14
In Joshua 14, we see a conversation between the people of Judah, Joshua, and Caleb. Caleb recalls the situation where, 45 years ago, he went into the Promised Land with a group of several other Israelites and brought back a report in which he said that he trusted that God would give them the land. Caleb had faith in God to bring them victory, even when the other men who came with him brought back a report of fear and doubt in God’s power to give them the land.
In verse 10, Caleb recognizes God’s faithfulness to do as He promised. Just as God said 45 years prior, they now have seen many victories as God’s people, and Caleb was able to go to Joshua and ask for a portion of the land that they had won over. Because of Caleb’s faithfulness, He was able to lead the people into the land, aid with the victory, and see God’s faithfulness to His promises come to fruition. After 45 years, Caleb saw God’s faithfulness so clearly.
Caleb did not receive this land just because he was a leader in the people of Israel. No, Caleb received this land because he invested in what mattered. He trusted God to do what He said He would do. He dedicated His life to serving and trusting God. So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. (Joshua 14:14) He followed God wholeheartedly – with everything he had. Consequently, he was rewarded for his faithfulness.
How can you be faithful to God with everything you have?
Though we may not be sent into an area of land to see if we will be able to conquer the people living there like Caleb was, we may be sent into uncharted territory and have to trust that God will take care of us. If there’s one thing that this year has taught us, it’s that the future is uncertain and out of our control. However, just because we do not know what is coming next does not mean that we should lose heart. Rather, the unknown and uncertain become opportunities for us to grow in our faith in Christ and to see Him be faithful to His promises.
Look at what Hebrews 12:1-3 says in relation to this:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Let’s run with perseverance the race marked out for us, church. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, trusting Him to lead us, protect us, and provide for us. Let’s Finish Strong and not lose heart. Whether it takes 45 minutes or 45 years to see God’s promises be fulfilled, we can trust Him. We can be faithful to Him – because He is faithful to us always.