Saturday I attended two birthday celebrations. One was for a centenarian—that is someone who has lived 100 years; the other was for one who has lived 95 years. Those are major milestones. We were able to rejoice, not only in how long they had lived, but how well they had lived. Over the years they have been examples of faith and faithfulness. At times, when their families are in town, you would see three or four generations worshiping together in church.
As a Christian, faithfulness is a result of our faith. Faith makes us people of the Word. We honor and obey the Word of God. Our faith impacts the way we live. Our faith makes us people of integrity, people of our word. Our faith becomes our north star, that which guides and directs our lives.
There is a profound phrase in the little Old Testament book of Habakkuk, “The righteous will live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4) This phrase is quoted three times in the New Testament. What I found interesting was the way various versions translated this passage. The ESV: The righteous shall live by his faith. The NIV: The righteous person will live by his faithfulness. The NLT: But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. Each are saying basically the same thing. Our faith is demonstrated by our faithfulness, primarily our faithfulness to God.
The words I want to hear from my Lord are, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:33, NIV)
Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.