Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
Semper Fidelis is Latin for “always faithful.” It is the motto of the City of Exeter in Devonshire, England, and is a testimony to the city’s loyalty to the British Monarchy. Queen Elizabeth I wrote a letter to The Citizens of Exeter in 1588 suggesting they adapt this motto because of their faithfulness in supporting the British fleet that had defeated the Spanish Armada. It has also been the motto of the United States Marine Corps since 1883, and it is the title of the official March of the Marine Corps composed by John Phillips Sousa in 1888. Christian Disciples are called by the Holy Spirit to be “always faithful,” and Semper Fidelis would be an excellent motto for us to adapt as well.
Just what does this word for “faithfulness” mean? How can we define it? That is very easy for it is the same word as that used for “faith.” Faithfulness is staying true to someone or something, being trustworthy, being someone who can be counted on. A faithful person is one whom can be trusted and depended on. Trustworthiness is the characteristic of the man who is reliable.
God is faithful (Psalm 119:138; 1 Cor 10:13; 2 Thes 3:3). Jesus is often called “faithful” (Rev 1:5; 19:11). He is faithfulness personified. He is totally reliable, trustworthy and steadfast.
Faithfulness, life love, joy, peace and all the other fruit, is something that will be shown outwardly to others. It doesn’t stay inside, it expresses itself visibly in our lives and actions. First of all, we are to be faithful to God. He has been faithful to us so why wouldn’t we be faithful to Him? He should be able to depend on us.
Then, too, we are to be faithful to others. We are to be loyal and dependable to our families and friends, to our church and employers. The Golden Rule still applies – treat others the way you want to be treated. Do so and you will be showing faithfulness to them.
1 Cor. 4:2, “Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man (woman) be found faithful.”
2 Thes. 3:3, “The Lord is faithful, who will establish us and protect us from evil.”
Hebrews 13:5, “I Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
- How dependable are you? If you were God, would you trust yourself with important Kingdom work?
- Do you have a reputation for being a loyal and faithful friend? To whom can you show that faithfulness today?
- Are you as faithful to those who are a drain on you as you are to those who contribute to your ministry? If not, confess that and ask God to help you be faithful to all, not just those from whom you benefit.
- We grow in faithfulness by learning the Word of God (Roman 10:12) because the better we know God the more we will want to serve Him. Spend some time reading the Bible today, not to prepare a message or lesson, but just to listen to God speak to your spirit.
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on May 10, 2009