The Rewards of Faithfulness
One of my favorite passages of scripture is Proverbs 3:3-5:
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. (NIV)
Favor with God is a very, very good thing! A good name in the sight of God and man is a great blessing.
This past week my family went to Disneyland in California. We were there because our church at Horizon had given us a gift after twenty years of serving them as their pastor. The gift was to help us go to the location of our choice on a family trip. More than once my family and I talked about what a great blessing it was to be loved and appreciated by the people we have so much enjoyed serving.
Honestly, it seems a little funny to be given a reward for showing up and doing your best every day. Most people do this, don’t they? But I think the fact that it was twenty years straight in one place was part of the deal. Not many do that these days. The word faithfulness has a resonance of a long span of time. You wouldn’t normally hear the phrase, “She has been really faithful,” if that person had only been working at that place for a few months. When the congregation celebrated us a few Sundays ago, it felt a little awkward to get all the attention, yet I have to admit that it was very nice to hear such kind words and receive the affirmation that they gave us.
The years at Horizon have yielded many souls saved, lives changed, great relationships and miraculous happenings that the Lord has brought about. As I sit and reflect this morning I am grateful to have had the opportunity and so glad that I have hung in there through the ups and downs. There is a reward from the Lord and even favor with people that comes with longevity in service. One of those rewards was seeing Cars Land at Disneyland and that was a blast. But an even bigger deal is seeing the fruit of labor over the long haul.
1 Timothy 1:12 says:
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. (NIV)