BELIEVE: week twenty-eight: Faithfulness


“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)

The other day I went to a coffee shop for a meeting. As I was getting a refill, a young lady sitting at a nearby table called out my name. Knowing I didn’t recognize her, she introduced herself as Duane Whitfield’s granddaughter.

The first words out of my mouth were. “Anybody connected with Duane Whitfield is a friend of mine.” Why did I say this? Because Duane Whitfield has established a good name with me and has simply won my favor. Over the last seven years I have known this man, he has consistently been an advocate for me. He has never turned down any of my requests and has actively sought to encourage me and stand up for me. He has been a faithful friend.

I can’t speak for God, but my best guess is that Duane has established a good name with God because he faithfully relies on God’s presence in his life. Through Duane’s goo d name, people like me who have been blessed by him extend favor to his offspring. What a wonderful gift to give your children.

Everyone has a name, but not everyone has established a good name. In God’s strength, shoot for a good name.

“I have established a good name with God and others based on my loyalty to those relationships.”

[Excerpt from Believe: 31-Day Devotional by Randy & Roxanne Frazee, pgs. 59-60.]

Bulldog tenacity...

Today's thought: Bulldog tenacity...

Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

There is an evangelist who loves to hunt and he tells the story about the time he bought two setter pups that were top notch bird dogs. He kept them in the backyard, where he trained them. One morning, an ornery, vicious looking bulldog came shuffling and snorting down the alley. He crawled under the fence and into the back yard where the setters spent their days. It was easy to see he meant business. The evangelist's first impulse was to take his setters and lock them in the basement so they wouldn't tear up that little bulldog. But he decided he would just let the creature learn a lesson that he would never forget. Naturally, they got into a scuffle in the backyard, and those two setters and that bulldog went round and round and round! The little critter finally had enough, so he squeezed under the fence and took off. All the rest of that day he whined and licked his sores. Interestingly, the next day at about the same time, here came that same ornery little bulldog--back under the fence and after those setters. Once again those two bird dogs beat the stuffing out of that little bowlegged animal and would have chewed him up if he hadn’t retreated down the alley. Would you believe, the very next day he was back! Same time, same station, same results. Once again after the bulldog had had all he could take, he crawled back under the fence and found his way home to lick his wounds.

“Well,” the evangelist said, “I had to leave for a revival meeting. I was gone several weeks. And when I came back, I asked my wife what had happened. She said, “Honey, you just won’t believe what’s happened. Every day, at the same time every morning, that little bulldog came back in the backyard and fought with our two setters. He didn’t miss a day! And I want you to know it has come to the point that when our setters simply hear that bulldog snorting down the alley and spot him squeezing under the fence, they immediately start whining, and run down into our basement. That little, old bulldog struts around our backyard now just like he owns the place.” (Charles R. Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity)

Perseverance leads to success. We as Christ followers must have that same kind of bulldog tenacity that perseveres and just keeps coming back. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4) It is those who persevere that come to maturity and lack nothing. That perseverance becomes a blessing for them. James says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

This is the difference between the righteous and the wicked according to the Proverb writer who says in Proverbs 24:16, “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” The righteous get back up. They may lick their wounds for a time but they come back again to fight another day.

So, since we have the great promise of God that we will reap a harvest if we do not give up we persevere; we hold onto our bulldog tenacity and are unshakable and undefeatable. We are overcomers in Christ and we hold the victory assuredly in our hand. “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:4-5)

PRAYER: Father, God, give us the type of bulldog tenacity that will persevere in doing good and persevere till the end. You promise us if we don't give up, if we persevere, we will reap a harvest, so we don't quit. We get back up gain, lick our wounds, and go back to the fight. With our faith securely in a Jesus Christ we are garunteed victory. We claim that victory today in the name of Jesus, Amen.