By definition faithfulness is the quality of being faithful. It is loyalty, fidelity, constancy and devotion among other things. God is faithful to us and we are called to be faithful to God. Spring arrives this month and yet again another season has come. Year in and year out, and season after season we live in the awareness that time is passing. And we all know that the only constant is change. What does faithfulness look like?
Psalm 145:13 says, Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
The proclamation is that God is everlasting, enduring across generations. That the Lord is trustworthy and faithful in all he does. We can trust God. Faithfulness looks like our God. Faithfulness looks like our Lord Jesus who was faithful and obedient in every respect.
Over the 130 years of our existence Pleasant Dale has been faithful. Imperfectly to be sure, yet faithful. The history of the church reveals that we have grown spiritually and numerically. I'm not sure it's possible to have numeric growth without spiritual growth as the sustaining element of healthy and vital church life. Spiritual growth comes from people who want to grow individually in their faith and live in a way that pleases God. This then becomes the desire of the congregation.
Over the years we've responded to growth by enlarging existing space and adding new space. At least 5 times we've stepped out in faith and built buildings and over the years we've added pastoral staff. We added staff just last year and we're currently pondering how to steward the spiritual and numeric growth God is blessing us with in these days.
This month you will begin to hear proposals from our leadership about how we move forward. These proposals deal with transition planning and future ministry staffing. Your leadership folks will be working intentionally with Ministry Architects, Sara and Travis who were with us earlier, in strategic planning and goal setting. Anyone in the congregation is invited to an all day session on Saturday, March 9 as we work on this. I'm constantly reminded that the only constant in life is indeed change, and this is certainly true in this season of our congregation's life.
In all of this we are responding as faithfully as we know how, to God's leading in our midst by the Holy Spirit. We are growing spiritually and we see the numeric growth. We've been here before. What does faithfulness look like? Look around you and it is evident.
1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Because God's kingdom is everlasting, and God's dominion-his sovereignty and control-endures across the generations, we can trust God. And the verse goes on to say as much, the Lord is trustworthy. It also says he is faithful in all he does. If our God wasn't faithful we wouldn't be drawn to him. If God wasn't faithful to forgive our sins when we ask, we'd learn not to ask in the first place.
Faithfulness looks like God caring for his creation which includes all of us. Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of God's faithfulness. He is Immanuel, God with us. The Holy Spirit whom Jesus sent will be with us forever and this is God's faithfulness at work in us. May we be faithful in obedience, patience, and love as we perceive God at work among us.