Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Testimony of Faithfulness

Colossians 3: 23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

We can have a huge impact on neighbors and friends by simply being faithful in what God has given us to do, and by being content in where God has us. People will quickly spot peace in our attitudes and joy in our hearts. For those living with an unquenchable thirst, our lives will look like a cool refreshing glass of water. They will begin to think: I want to be content in my life. Why are they different? I want what they have. Our very lifestyle will make them thirsty for the Living Water we can offer them.

When my husband and I were dating, we often took advantage of the many things to do in nearby Washington, D.C. One night he brought me to the Lincoln Memorial, which is impressive during the daylight hours but truly awesome by night. After seeing the statue and writings of Lincoln, we stood on the steps and admired the view of the Washington Monument and Capitol Building reflected in the long rectangular pool below. Steve then took me around the back of the monument and pointed out the dark hillside which was Arlington National Cemetery, located just past the Memorial Bridge. We could see a light flickering on the hill in the distance very clearly. I asked Steve what it was, and he told me it was the eternal flame at President Kennedy’s graveside. The next day we walked through that cemetery and came to the site of the eternal flame. To my surprise, the light we had seen from a mile or so away was just a small gas flame about eight inches high. That small light could be seen from a great distance when it was surrounded by darkness.

We live around people who are living in darkness. God has called us to be light. We must view the drudgery of our daily routines as an opportunity to demonstrate an obedient heart. Our faithful service will be a testimony of a loyal response to a faithful God.

A man named Arthur Stace, resident of Sydney, Australia, was faithful in the day to day grind. After living a corrupt life in the streets as a drunk and a criminal, in 1930 he met Jesus Christ in a church meeting conducted for men who were down and out. On November 14, 1932, he heard a sermon that captured his imagination and passion with a single word: Eternity. The Lord put it on Arthur’s heart to write “Eternity” all over the city of Sydney. Each morning, he would be up before dawn, wandering though the streets. Every 100 yards or so, he would stoop down and write “eternity” in copperplate script with a crayon. Year after year, Arthur wrote his message. He wrote it an estimated half-million times. Years after his death, that word was still an inspiration to the residents of Sydney. On December 31, 1999, at the millennium celebration over Sydney Harbor, the word “Eternity” was spelled out in fireworks on the bridge for the world to see. One little man had a huge impact by remaining faithful at the simple task God had given him to do.

We don’t have to be Billy Graham to be used to inspire others to seek God. Just by being faithful in what God has called us to do, whether it is driving a truck, teaching school, or mothering small children, God can use our determination to serve to glorify him. And you can be sure our faithful obedience to him will be seen and noticed by others living in darkness.

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