Faithfulness characterizes God’s loyalty to his covenant people and becomes a divine requirement pressing upon man the need for a similar loyalty in his relationship with God,” remarks Dr. Gary Burge (Evangelical Dictionary of Theology).
Early in the history of Israel, Moses announces, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” (Deuteronomy 7:9 NRSV). The Psalmist David places his reliance on God’s faithfulness when he prays, “do not, O LORD, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever.”
Faithfulness, however, is also to be found in God’s children in response to his gracious love and actions. “This faithfulness is not required to sustain God’s favor or covenant love; it is simply the only appropriate response open to man” (Ibid). This is illustrated throughout Scripture and the book of Hebrews showcases the names and lives that have lived out their response to God’s faithfulness with reciprocal loyalty.
Essentially it is the influence of the Holy Spirit in the soul that generates and places faithfulness in the center of the Christian experience. Consequently, a relationship is possible between a promise keeping God who pledges his faithfulness to his child that responds to his graciousness with commitment, obedience and devotion (faithfulness).
As stewards and disciples we have before us the Model of whom it is said, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus the apostle and high priest of our confession, was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also ‘was faithful in all God’s house’” (Hebrews 3:1, 2). We can gather courage that if we need to grow in faithfulness, we have one Who is faithful to respond to the plea for this fruit of the Spirit.
This issue of the Dynamic Steward encourages further attention to the attribute of faithfulness in the life of the disciple and steward.
Having attended the Steward Leadership Institute in Denver during the month of September, I have invited three of the excellent and outstanding teaching faculty, leaders in professional stewardship and individuals of strong faith to contribute on the topic of faithfulness.
Therefore, we welcome the noteworthy contributions of David S. Bell, senior partner with Design Group International™, and also a nationally recognized speaker and author, and outstanding seminar facilitator, as well as that of Patrick G. McLaughlin, president and founder of the Timothy Group specializing in major donor programs and also a notable author. It is also with appreciation that we welcome the offering of Dr. Scott Rodin, past president of the Christian Stewardship Association, senior fellow of the Engstrom Institute and respected author.
We are also privileged with the contributions of our Inter-American Division Stewardship Associate Director, Roberto Herrera, and also Dr. John Mathews, director of Planned Giving and Trust Services for the Southwestern Union Conference in the North American Division.
Along side you in His service,