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The Rewards of Faithfulness

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Faithfulness

If you ever get discouraged at work, at home, in your relationships, with the call of God in your life…
Maybe your job is going rough… maybe you thought God wanted you to do something but’s it’s harder than you thought… maybe you married thinking it would last your entire life, but they left you through death or divorce… maybe you had expectations for your kids and they just didn’t get there…
you need to remember a hero named Mathias. He is mention by Luke in Acts.
Acts 1:20–26 NLT
20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’ 21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus—22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.” 23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.
Judas had to be replaced
Disciples discussing the replacement for Judas. They weren’t just looking for a church leader, but they were looking to replace one of the 12 disciples.
Acts 1:24–25 NLT
24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.”
They are talking about apostleship. They were looking for someone to take Judas place int he ministry and apostleship.
Acts 1:21–22 NLT
21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus—22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”
The replacement had to have been there the WHOLE TIME.
They had to be with Jesus and the disciples the whole time from John’s Baptism.
They saw… the dove come from heaven… Jesus heal sick people.... feed thousands… raise the dead… walk on water… spend time with his father in prayer… Jesus be faithful.... trial… crucifixion… resurrection.
Only two filled these qualifications: Mathias and Justis.
So they prayed and asked God to show them which one and then they cast lots....
Acts 1:23–26 NLT
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.
The winner became a disciple and replaces Judas.
Mathias was chosen.
We don’t know anything about these guys except that they were faithful. They has to be there from the beginning to the end. They had to have witnessed everything Jesus did… they were there. The cast the lots and Mathias won.

God Rewards Faithfulness

Luke 16:10 NLT
10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
When we are faithful in small things, God will reward that. It’s a principle he has put in place. work… relationships… spiritual life…
Luke 19:17 NLT
17 “ ‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’
God will always reward faithfulness.
Back to replacing Judas.
The qualifications to replace Judas were not based on talent, knowledge, or ability. The qualifications were faithfulness, loyalty, and consistent.
Faithfulness, Loyalty, Consistency
They had to be there from the beginning. They had to be there. It wasn’t about how he spoke… sang… it was about faithfulness and loyalty. It was about being faithful to what Jesus taught.
John 8:31 NLT
31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.
Mathias and Justis were faithful. We don’t read about any sermon they ever preached.... or miracle they performed… or anything that they did. God chose Mathias on the basis of Mathias’ faithfulness.
How can we develop faithfulness?
We will go into more detail next week.
1. Spend time in the Word of God
We need to read it / study it / memorize it / meditate on it
2. Spend time in Prayer.
3. Get involved in your church.
God ordained the Church. We are a body, a family, an army… no where does it say we are the Lone Ranger. Use your talents, time and treasure for the Lord.
4. Share what God is doing in your life.
5. Give consistently to the Lords work.
God doesn’t choose on the basis of looks, talent, ability, but on faithfulness.
God may call you to do things that no one else may notice, but God will not over look that. He will reward you. You might not rub shoulders with famous people in this life, but one day everything will be equal.
You might be able to out do me in many things, but you will not out do me in faithfulness. Determine to be faithful.
Mathias and Justis were both there from the beginning. They were there through the good times and the bad times. They were there when many left Jesus...
Sometimes we go through Valleys.
Sometimes you can just feel the presence of God. Boy that feels good. You feel it… you know he is there. Other times, it feels like Jesus has left the building. Jesus seems to be gone. We know he is still here, it just feels like he is missing.
Stay faithful in the good times and the empty times. Stay faithful in BS, Prayer, Witnessing, Worshipping.
There are too many Green House Christians
They bloom in a protected environment. As long as there is no rain or wind, they are fine. But when the storms come, they don’t do so well. They excel in the presence of God. But they don’t do well when the tough times come. They believe that even with the bad report, God is in control. You must learn that we have to be faithful even when we don’t feel the presence of God. God never leaves us even when it feels like it.
God is looking for people who will be with him no matter what.
When I am faithful through the ins and outs, He always rewards my faithfulness.
You may feel like quitting… don’t quit. You can’t quit. Don’t draw back.
Double up on your dedication… give more of your life than you have ever given to the Lord. Get into the Word. Get into fellowship. Be there. Because on day the trumpet will sound.
Jesus is coming back
Revelation 22:12 NLT
12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.
Stay faithful. Many of you began way back down the road… you have been faithful. God will over look talent or the lack of talent to reward faithfulness.
God always rewards faithfulness.
The highest position i the NT church was apostleship and all they guy did was to “be there.” I may not have done much, but I have been faithful.
The devil will try to make you feel like a failure. Don’t let the devil make you feel like a failure. He will try to make you feel like a loser, but You just tell him that he could not even be faithful when he was in the presence of God and you’ve have been faithful and you haven’t even seen him, but one day I will see him. The devil nor anyone else will run me off. Don’t give up.
Proverbs 24:10 NLT
10 If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.
Stay strong in difficult times. Stay strong in the WOG. Put on the whole armor of God.
Read the WOG. You may read something today that doesn’t mean anything to you, but tomorrow you may need it. Then the HS will bring that scripture back to your mind.
Mathias greatest moment. He had been there for every sermon, every miracle. He was an eye witness. Faithfulness gives you glimpses of intimacy.
If someone says they don’t believe that Jesus lived… that he was killed… that he rose… that Lazarus was really dead… Mathias - I was there.
A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
If you were there and you saw it, no one can convince you otherwise. When you ave experienced something, no one can argue that it didn’t happen.
ILL - kid on the youth trip?
Thats what good about old people. They have faith. They have been there and they don’t freak out. They have seen it get close and know that God is faithful. They have seen kids not do what they are supposed to. They have seen the bank account get low. But they know they have never seen the righteous forsaken. They understand 1 CO 10:13.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
They know God will see them through. They also know… that Jesus said...
John 14:3 NLT
3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
I believe in heaven and that through death or rapture, I will face God. But I don’t have to face God for my sins because the blood of Jesus has covered my sins from the womb to the tomb.
Bema Seat - Judgement Seat of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10 NLT
10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
I will have to face God, but it will be for my rewards at the Bema judgement seat. Romans would bring their competitors to the Bema and give them medals or rewards. My salvation is settled. I am working for my rewards from Christ.
Why are rewards important?
Rewards show the reality of sonship (Gal 4:7)
Galatians 4:7 NLT
7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Rewards show the justice of God. (Heb 6:10)
Hebrews 6:10 NLT
10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.
Rewards will fulfill the law of sowing and reaping. (Gal 6:7-9)
Galatians 6:7–9 NLT
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Rewards show our labor was not in vain. (1 CO 15:58)
1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
How we live right now matters.
Personal purity and holiness matters. It matters because we will one day stand in front of Jesus. It matters because the light of God will examine our works. It matters when you serve God… in your church. It’s the only thing that goes with you.
When the Bible talks about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of needle than a rich man to enter into heaven, he is not saying rich people will not go to heaven. You just can’t take your stuff with you. ILL- car driving through a door. The car won’t go through, but you can get out and walk through. Only what we have done for the Lord will make it through. That’s why it’s important to give joyfully, to serve joyfully.
Tis one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. (Paul Radke)
Revelation 21:14 NLT
14 The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Picture this… the Angels are working on the eternal city. They are setting the foundation stones… Peter, John, Matthew… and they get to the 12th foundation. What name should we put? Mathias. Who? Mathias. Why? because he was faithful. I can identify with that. I may not have preached like Peter. I may not have been on TV. I may not have written books like Matthew, but I have been faithful. God always rewards faithfulness.
So when the devil tries to make you feel like a loser… maybe you can’t speak well, but you are faithful… maybe you don’t have a lot to give, but you are faithful with what you have… maybe you don’t sing, but your are faithful… maybe you don’t always feel like you are where you want to be, but you are faithful.... maybe you are not where you want to be at work, but you are faithful.
All of you who don’t feel like you are worthy of anything in the KOG, thank him that he rewards faithfulness. It’s more important than success. Faithfulness is our ultimate goal. I believe that when we obey God he will make us successful, but the goal is for us to be faithful.
Ask God to make you faithful like he did Mathias.
I want you to hear… well done good and faithful servant.
Salvation Altar Call.
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