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“[Because of] the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies
never end.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
 I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.”
Arthur Winston was a model of faithfulness. He was known
for his energy, punctuality, and longevity. His co-workers referred
to him as "Mr. Reliable."
Winston worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and
its predecessor agencies for 76 years, missing only one day of work in
that time to attend his wife's funeral in 1988. Recently, less than
a month after retiring on his 100th birthday, Winston died in his sleep
at home. Family members said Winston left behind a great legacy.
Deputy Chief executive officer of the MTA, John Catoe praised Winston's
record of service saying, “Arthur Winston's life of service will stand
as an unparalleled example of dedication to principles, commitment to excellence,
and pride in the American work ethic.” (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
Mr. Winston was a faithful worker, someone his company could count
on. Today we focus on the faithfulness of God. He is not faithful
for just 76 years, He is eternally faithful.
The Psalmist lauded the faithfulness of God in several passages.
In Psalms 36:5 he describes God’s faithfulness as being higher than the
heavens, he says, “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.” (NLT) And in Psalms
89:1-2 he declares that God’s faithfulness will endure as long as the heavens.
It says, “I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever! Young and old
will hear of your faithfulness.  Your unfailing love will last forever.
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.” (NLT)
The Psalmist says it is good to proclaim His faithfulness. Psalms
92:2 says, “It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening,” (NLT) Psalms 40:10 says,
“I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have
talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in
the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.” (NLT)
And Psalms 89:5 shows the angels praising God for His faithfulness, it
says, “All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord; myriads of angels
will praise you for your faithfulness.” (NLT)
According to Psalms 89:8 there is no one faithful like God, it
says, “O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as
you, O Lord? You are entirely faithful.” (NLT) And Psalms 100:5 teaches
that his faithfulness is everlasting. It says, “For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to
each generation.” (NLT)
Because He is faithful, He answers our prayers. Psalms 143:1
says, “Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my plea! Answer me because you
are faithful and righteous.” (NLT) God doesn’t always answer our
prayers “yes,” but he always answers them—He is faithful.
Because He is faithful, He protects us. Psalms 91:4 says,
“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” (NLT) And 2 Thessalonians
3:3 says, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect
you from the evil one.” (NASB95) Satan will not have ultimate victory
in our lives, because God is faithful.
Because He is faithful, He forgives our sins. 1 John 1:9
says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (NASB95)
God is faithful, even when it doesn’t look like He will come through.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring
it to pass.” (NASB95) Sometimes we wonder if God will complete what He’s
started, because we usually view the world through the eyes of the leading
man and woman and think of God as playing a supporting role. He isn't!
It isn't about us, it is about God! He does not exist to make our life
easier. We exist to serve and worship Him. He will complete His work
in us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean He will do everything for us that
we want Him to do. Philippians 1:6 says “For I am confident of this
very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until
the day of Christ Jesus.” (NASB77)
God is faithful, even when we aren’t. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If
we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (NASB95)
Let me close out our message today by telling you two stories, one from
the Old Testament, the other from the New.
I'm not sure how the word got to Hosea. Perhaps he overheard a
whisper as he walked by the townspeople, or maybe it was as a result of
a tireless search. But Hosea heard that there was going to be an auction.
A prostitute auction, and he heard Gomer was up for sale.
He gathered what little resources he had and went to the auction.
Naked, Gomer stood before the crowd that gathered to bid on prostitutes
as a farmer would bid on a pig. "How much do I hear for this one?" The
auctioneer said? Amid the snide comments and lewd remarks, the local prophet,
Hosea, spoke up. "I'll give you 15 pieces of silver." The crowd quieted.
"Is that his wife?" Someone whispered. "Is she the one that married the
"Yes, I've got 15 pieces of silver, and a homer and a half of
barley." What had he done? He'd bid everything he had. Shouldn't he have
started low and moved up? What if someone outbid him? He'd be humiliated.
"I've got a bid for 15 pieces of silver and a homer and a half
of barley. Do I hear any more?" The auctioneer asked. "Going once. Going
twice. Sold! To the man with the silver and the barley."
Hosea makes his way through the crowd, pays the price and walks
toward Gomer. He places his robe around his bride, and says, "Come on Gomer,
we're going home."
Finally, after hitting rock bottom, the son, "came to his senses."
He did just as he said he would. He got up out of the "slimy pit" and took
the first step toward home. One step followed another until he could see
the old homestead.
But before he could see his father, his father saw him and began
to run to him. The dad threw his arms around the son and kissed him. The
boy began his speech-"I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I
am no longer worthy to be called your son." But before he could finish,
the father interrupted and called for his servants. Look at my son, he
doesn't have proper clothes. Get him a robe, and some sandals, and put
a family ring on his finger! My dead son is now alive, let's celebrate!
Finally he’s home.
God is faithful, even when we’re not. He’s the prophet that
buys back the prostitute wife; He’s the father that welcomes home the prodigal
son. He’s faithful, even when we’re not.