Season 2, Episode 6
For Friday, September 11, 2015
“Faithful, One Hundred Percent”
HOST: Wade Webster
- To worship God acceptably, we must be faithful one hundred percent. We must wholly follow the Lord in all that we do (Num. 32:10-12). First, we must be faithful in life. We must have pure hearts and holy hands. Second, we must be faithful in attendance. We must not forsake the assembling of the saints. As we get ready to worship this week, our focus will be on faithfulness.
Dr. Seuss wrote some wonderful children’s stories. Even adults can sometimes be entertained and educated by the stories. In Horton Hears A Who,Horton the elephant declares, “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”
I have to admit that this quote made me think. Am I faithful one hundred percent? Are you faithful one hundred percent? If we are not careful, we can settle for something less than one hundred percent faithfulness. We might settle for ninety-nine percent faithfulness; or maybe, even a little less.
Perhaps, you are thinking that one hundred percent faithfulness isn’t necessary. Maybe, you are thinking that one hundred percent faithfulness isn’t even possible. Let me make clear that I am not talking about sinless perfection. Only one man, Jesus Christ, has ever achieved that (Heb. 4:15). The rest of us have sinned (Rom. 3:23). I am not talking about being sinless. I am talking about being faithful (Mt. 25:21).
Faithfulness is both possible and necessary. In the book of Numbers, God makes this truth very clear. We read, “And the LORD’S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying, Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD” (Num. 32:10-12). Please note that God divided the spies into two categories. The first category was made up of the ten spies who did not wholly follow God and the second category was made up of the two spies who did. Those who wholly followed the Lord were allowed to enter the promised land. Those who gave less than one hundred percent faithfulness were denied entrance. Where would you have been numbered? Where would I have been? We each need to examine ourselves and make sure that we have not settled for something less than complete faithfulness (2 Cor. 13:5).
When it comes to our worship, God expects one hundred percent faithfulness. He expects this faithfulness in both life and worship.
First, let’s talk about faithfulness in life. To worship God acceptably, we must be faithful in life. Our hearts must be pure and our hands must be holy. To Timothy, Paul wrote, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Tim. 2:8). The Greek word translated as holy means “undefiled by sin” or “free from wickedness.” The hands in this passage stand for the whole man. They represent all that a man does. The twenty-sixth psalm captures the integrity that is required of those who approach God in worship. We read, “Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth. Gather not my soul with sinners nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity redeem me, and be merciful unto me. My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the Lord” (Psa. 26:1-11).
Second, let’s talk about attendance. To worship God acceptably, we must be faithful in attendance. One of my favorite stories about faithful attendance involves President James A. Garfield. Following his inauguration as President, a member of Garfield’s cabinet requested that President Garfield call a meeting the next morning at 10:00 A.M. to deal with a matter of national concern. President Garfield refused to call the meeting, explaining that the next day was Sunday and he already had an appointment at that time. The frustrated cabinet member insisted that since national interests were involved, the President should break his prior engagement. When the President politely refused to do so, the cabinet member persisted by asking with whom the President had an appointment that was so important that it could not be broken. Garfield answered, “I will be as frank as you are. My appointment is with the Lord to meet Him at His house at 10:30 tomorrow, and I shall be there.”
Although we are not the President, and do not have national affairs calling for our attention, we have the same appointment that he did on the Lord’s Day. Like President Garfield, we must not let anything, no matter how important we may deem it to be, or others may deem it to be, to interfere with the appointment that we have with the Lord at His house on Sunday. The Hebrew writer declared, “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 dayapproaching” (Heb. 10:25).
The day that we obeyed the gospel, we penciled in an appointment with the Lord for every Sunday for the rest of our lives. Without even a close second, this is the most important appointment that we have each week. We must not break it for anything. Like the psalmist, we should look forward to this appointment with great joy. He wrote, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psa. 122:1).
As we get ready to worship this week, let’s make sure that we are one hundred percent faithful. First, let’s make sure that we are faithful in life. Then, let’s make sure that we are faithful in attendance.
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