Faithfulness

Faithfulness Taught by Example

My father taught me about faithfulness. It wasn’t just the words he spoke or the result of any forceful action on his part. It was, however, a daily lesson.

My father taught me faithfulness by simply being faithful.

Faithful to Family

My father was faithful to my mother. No other woman entered his thoughts or entertained his attention.

The word divorce was never mentioned in our home. In fact, I probably didn’t even know the word until my later years in school. My mother never had to worry about where my father was. He always told her where he was going and usually how long he expected to be away.

Faithful to Employer

My father was faithful to his employer. He never laid out of work no matter how he felt. Unless he was in the hospital or deathly sick at home, he always rose early in the morning, did his chores, gave Mom a special kiss and told us goodbye. He gave his employer ‘an honest day’s work’ whether he received an honest day’s pay or not.

Faithful to Parents

My father was faithful to his parents. He always checked in on them, prepared and shared garden produce, and raised a beef for them each year.

Faithful to Children

My father was faithful to his children. We were secure in his love for us. He did without to provide our needs. There was always food on the table and clothes on our backs.

Money was hard to come by, but if he could afford it, he would do his best to provide what we needed.

As a child, I never had to go to bed hungry or worried that my father would never return home.

Faithfulness Brings Joy

Faithfulness is a Bible word. Paul speaks of faithfulness in Colossians 2:

“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

 

Paul spoke highly of the faithfulness that was displayed by the Colossian brethren. They exhibited a steadfast walk of faith that brought joy to Paul’s heart.

The Colossians’ walk of faith was due to the faithfulness of the One they put their trust in, Jesus Christ.

Following Jesus’ example of how to live a fruitful life laid the foundation for a solid walk that led to an abundance of thanksgiving.

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”  Deuteronomy 7:9

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

The Colossians enjoyed the blessings of a true relationship with their Savior.

It brings joy to my heart to look back and remember my father’s steadfast faithfulness to his family.

His walk of life was a path that I could tread upon with thankfulness, but Christ’s faithfulness to me is the most important example of faithfulness I could ever discover.

©2017 by Peggy Clark

To further your studies in Colossians, check out Ms. Clark's Bible study, So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan.

Colossians 2:6-8 Walking in Christ

Paul’s Exhortation to “Walk in Christ”

Paul exhorts those who have received Christ to walk in Him (Christ Jesus).

This exhortation by Paul presents several ways that walking in Christ is displayed. See if you can find them in the following verses:

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.   Colossians 2:6-8

  • As we are taught

When children are very young, they must learn to walk. That skill is taught and encouraged by the parents and/or other caregivers.

As newborn babes in Christ, we also are taught and encouraged by those in spiritual authority over us.

  • We first must be rooted.

Having our salvation planted firmly in Christ, our doctrines taken directly from the Word of God, and maintaining an ongoing personal relationship with Christ as Lord, we will be built upon a firm foundation.

  • Then we must be built up.

As a tree begins to grow, it must have nutrients, water, and sunlight to continue the process or it will soon wither and die.

The Word of God will strengthen us. It is the water of life that sustains our spiritual growth. Jesus Christ will guide us as we seek His guidance. His Holy Spirit will teach us all things that we need to know in order to walk in a pleasing manner.

  • This process will establish us in the faith.

However, added to that process will be life’s experiences. The situations and trials of life will teach us to lean on Christ and reveal to us that we can trust Christ to be all He has promised.

  • As we abound in thanksgiving

We can then abound in thanksgiving, knowing that Christ has and always will meet our needs. He is our loving Creator who has prepared the way for us to receive salvation by giving His own life as a sacrifice.  His sacrifice paid the debt for our sin. That debt is a debt no mortal man can pay.

  • We must be teachable

A man or woman who is walking in Christ is also teachable.

The more we study God’s Word the more we find ourselves desiring to know more about our Lord. We also find ourselves desiring to please Him in every area of our lives.

The more we study God’s Word and confirm to the image of Christ, the more we recognize the depths of deception and are able to prevent its attack from deceiving us.

  • We must learn to detect deception in all its forms

We must learn to sift philosophies and opinions through the filter of God’s Word.  The more of God’s Word that we know, the more capable we are to detect the deception of evil when it is presented to us as truth.

God’s Word is truth. A real relationship with Christ is a presentation of truth. A person who walks with Christ is a person who walks in truth.

If you have received Christ as Lord, then I hope you are walking with Him today.  May your conversations with Him be enlightening and enjoyable.

Copyright 2017 by Peggy Clark

 

The Character of Epaphras: “The Servant of Christ”

In The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians we read of a man named Epaphras. This man had traveled by unknown means to the city of Rome from the city of Colosse.

By stating unknown we are recognizing the fact that people in those days either walked or traveled by caravan long distances. However, we do not specifically know why Epaphras came to Rome. He could have come on business, been brought by Roman request, or have come particularly to seek out the apostle Paul for wisdom and direction.

Whatever his reason for coming to the capital of the empire, he did wind up face to face with the apostle during the time of Paul’s confinement.

We learn several things about Epaphras during this particular period as stated in the epistle.

A Saved Man

In Colossians 1:7 and 4:12-13 we learn that Epaphras was a saved man who served Christ.

His position in Colosse and the surrounding cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis was as a minister. Whether that was as the pastor of a church body or as a traveling evangelist or circuit preacher is of little consequence. He was definitely ministering and evangelizing the area.

A Faithful Man

The above verses also tell us that Epaphras was faithful.

Not only was he faithful to Christ, but he was faithful to those to whom he ministered. He spoke highly about the positive traits of the church.

Although by reading the Scriptures we can infer that he also spoke of conditions concerning the church. Those were spoken of only because of Epaphras’ desire for help in ministering and establishing the saints in their personal walk with the Lord.

A Positive Man

His conversation was as any minister’s should be.

He spoke of the love shown by the Colossians toward each other, their faithfulness to Jesus Christ, their reception of the gospel, and the fruit that was being displayed by the church. He also spoke highly of their love of spiritual things (Col. 1:4-8; 2:5). In no way was he negative of the members of the body of Christ where he served.

A Praying Man

We also see that Epaphras was a prayer warrior (Col. 4:12-13).

Scripture tells us that he was “always labouring fervently” in prayers. His prayers were not general; they were specific requests to God.  Those requests manifest to us his desire to see the church “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

His burden is further shown by his great zeal.

It is refreshing to hear a minister speak excitedly about his congregants and the growth that is being experienced by the individual members of the body.

Epaphras’s focus was on what was right about the church.

His concerns focused on what would help the church go further in their walk with Christ. He wasted no time in gleaning from Paul instruction that would help him further his ministry to these people.

A Standing Man

Epaphras is also mentioned in Philemon 23.  Here he is described as being a “fellowprisoner.”

Was he arrested while visiting the city, arrested while ministering in Colosse and then brought forcefully to Rome, or arrested later and brought back to Rome, we do not know. We only know his stand for Christ led to his imprisonment of some sort.

The mention of his name in Paul’s letter to Philemon lets us know that Epaphras remained faithful in spite of difficult circumstances.

Faithfulness is a character trait that each of us should covet especially in these times of uncertainly. Faithfulness, service, zeal, and prayerfulness should be the description of every saint’s character.


Beware of Being Spoiled

Paul tells us to beware of that which would spoil our faith.

In Colossians 2, Paul speaks of several things that can influence our thought processes and lead us astray.

  • Philosophy
  • Vain deceit
  • Traditions of men
  • Rudiments of the world
  • Christ-less mindsets
  • Man-made rituals
  • Worshiping of angels or other beings

Acknowledging that these influences do exist, we should take precautions to guard ourselves from their persuasiveness.

Putting on the armour of God, putting His word in our hearts, girding ourselves with truth, being prepared to answer with Christ’s mindset, and being fully engaged in walking according to Christ’s calling will keep us from being overtaken by the influences that spoil.