THE CHALLENGE OF FAITHFULNESS

There are many challenges facing the Christian but none is greater than the challenge to remain faithful to Christ. In reality, this is what Christianity is all about. Jesus summed it up this way: “Be faithful until death, and 1 will give you the crown of life “(Rev. 2:10). Of course, we understand that Jesus addressed this to Christians who were being tortured and killed for their faith. He challenged them to be faithful and not deny Him even if it meant death. The reward of heaven would far outweigh the pain of torture.

 Most Christians today do not face death for their faith, yet the challenge to be faithful is still very real. The Christian's faith is being challenged daily by distractions that take the focus from the priorities of life.

 How can one remain faithful? The Word is full of admonition and encouragement to be faithful. Here are some things that will help to this end:

                      1.     Daily Bible Study. "Your word 1 have hidden in my heart, That 1 might not sin                               against You" (Psalm 119:11). Jesus used the Scripture to overcome the                                                   temptation of Satan and so must we (Matt. 4:1-11).

  2.      Daily Prayer. Jesus both taught and demonstrated the necessity of daily              prayer in remaining faithful (Matt. 6:9-15).

  3.      Encourage One Another. The Hebrew writer warned against the sin of                    unbelief and admonished "exhort one another daily" (Heb. 3:13). Christians                need to help one another to bear the burdens of daily living (Gal. 6: 1-2).

  4.      Add the Christian Graces. Peter admonishes Christians to grow spiritually            badding to their faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness          brotherly kindness and love. By growing in these things, Peter says: "you will be        neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ"                    (2 Peter 1:5- 7). Accordingly, Peter says "for so an entrance will be supplied to            you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus                Christ" (2 Peter 1: 11).
      In other words, to remain faithful we must do our best each day to do God's will. We must never lose sight of the heavenly goal. Paul put it this way: "Brethren, 1 do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14). May we never let the distractions of the world cause us to take our eyes from the cross.
The Hebrew writer admonished: “... let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”(Heb. 12:1-2). Let us ever strive to remain faithful to the Lord. 
                                                                                                                           Dan Flourno