A Life of Faithfulness
The Great Adventure Week 3
Watch this Video first… Sempi Fi.
It was Sunday morning, October 23, 1983, 29 years ago. 1600 Marines were deployed to Lebanon to serve as neutral peace keepers. At 6:22 a.m. in the morning, a 5 ton truck loaded up with more than 12,000 lbs of TNT, broke through the perimeter of the base and collided with one of the barracks where hundreds of marines were still sleeping.
The truck exploded in what became one of the bloodiest days in Marine history outside of Iwo Jima. 241 soldiers lost their lives, including 220 marines.
A couple of days following the attack, Marine Commandant Paul X Kelly, visited the wounded in Frankfurt Germany. Among the survivors was a Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, severely wounded in the attack. They said he looked more like a machine than a man because of all the tubes and wires that were tethering him to the life support equipment.
As the Commandant approached Nashton, he motioned for a piece of paper and a pen. On it he rode a short note for the Commandant. When the Commandant looked and read the note it read simply, “Sempi Fi”
Sempi Fidalis… Always Faithful.
What am example of faithfulness. Especially in light of our conversation about what it means to be a GOOD FRIEND.
If a GOOD FRIEND is faithful, certainly the faithful friendships that Marines form with each other are friendships worthy of our respect.
But it’s more than friendships, isn’t it? The video said it was a commitment to the Corp. Not only are Marines faithful to each other, but they are faithful to the Corp – to the end. Once a Marine, always a Marine.
I wander if the same can be said of the church?
Would the motto: Sempi Fidalis; Always Faithful, fit who we are as believers?
In the darkest times of our lives…
When nothing seems to make sense…
When what you love most is stripped away with little to no explanation…
From the mountain top highs filled with joy and celebrations…
To the deepest valleys of loss and despair…
At the end of our lives, when we close our eyes to this world and open them to see our Savior standing in front of us, will we hear the worlds from Matthew 25:21; “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have be faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s Happiness!”
What does it look like to live faithfully?
The act of being faithful is very similar to what it means to be loyal. Being faithful is demonstrating a steady allegiance to one who you have put your faith in. Your faith is your confidence & trust in a person or thing.
The book of Hebrews is a book of practical theology. It’s kinda’ like an explanation of what we believe and why we believe it. And in the 11th chapter of Hebrews we find the definition that we are most familiar with.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.”
Abraham was a man of faith! His life is the expression of faithfulness!
Hebrews goes on to remind us of some of Abraham’s faithfulness.
Abraham, when called to go to a place that he would inherit, he obeyed and went even though he didn’t know where he was going.
He live in tents, in the land as a foreigner.
Abraham, became a father in his old age, and not only that, but from him come descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the sea shore.
I think the part of Abraham’s adventure that shows his faithfulness the most is the promise of a son. Of all that God does in Abraham’s life, the birth of Isaac has got to be the greatest blessing.
So let’s take a look at the faithfulness of Abraham. And we begin right back in Genesis 12.
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Everything about this promise screams, offspring. God is promising to do something amazing with Abraham. Abraham has been chosen by God. From Abraham’s family, God is going to build a nation, a people, and their going to be his people.
The problem is, Abraham doesn’t have any offspring. No children. You know when you read the Bible, sometimes there’s those little comments made, and your like, “Okay, not sure how that fits at this point, but thank you…”
Well, if the bible says it, it’s there for a reason. And in Genesis, 11:30, we’re given this little tid-bit of information. “Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.” At the time you might read this and not think too much about it. But line it up next to the promise that God give to Abram and suddenly we see that this problem is a big problem.
At this point in history, children were a significant part of life. Most people groups were made up of tribes, or family units where the father ruled like a chief or king. The bigger the family the bigger the tribe. If you couldn’t produce children, how would you grow your tribe. In fact, if a woman was unable to bear children, she could be rightfully divorced. But here God says,
I will make you a nation
Abraham you will be a people group
I will bless you
Children were a blessing, Abraham you will have children
And Abram’s response was, Okay. Abram put his faith in God. Now what is faith?
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Based on what Abram knew, it might have been easier to say to God, ‘No thank you, I’m good here. Oh and by the way, my wife is unable to have kids, so this Nation business, I don’t see it happening.’
But instead, he demonstrates his faithfulness.