What gives you the highest sense of happiness? As a parent, I feel such an overwhelming sense of happiness through my children. When I hear that they have behaved in my absence or when I have seen them do as they have been taught. I think many of you can relate to my feelings. In those moments, it seems that life itself has been given to me. No matter the difficulties that I have experienced being a parent, the evidence of my children revealing that they are getting what I have taught them produces life.
I would like for you, those of you who are followers of Christ, to consider this analogy along with the words of the Apostle Paul. The Apostle wrote to the church of Thessalonica: “For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord) (1 Thessalonians 3:8). He simply shares that he is given life when he discovers that his children in the faith have not given up. In other words, he is encouraged when those that he has taught and instructed in the faith have remained faithful.
In these words of Paul, we can find a key to producing happiness of life in others, namely those who have been our spiritual mentors, leaders, pastors, and teachers. The Key–remaining in the faithful practice of what has been taught. Spiritual leaders have spent countless hours praying and pouring into lives. It is exhausting work! Their great reward is your testimony of being faithful in serving the Lord.
Here are three crucial elements for you to remain faithful and give life to those who labor to serve the Lord among you–
- Be teachable–receive what is being taught to you. Receiving is more than just listening; it is listening with a purpose. Whenever I am checking out a YouTube video tutorial, I pay close attention to all the points of instruction. I listen with the purpose of learning how to do… I listen because I have come to the fact that I do not know the answer. I listen with a purpose to discover. Remaining faithful does not happen on accident or by chance. It requires intentionality to being faithful. Start by being teachable, knowing that you do not have all the answers.
- Be strong–a life of faithfulness requires strength. The instructions you have been given through teaching take great effort to put to practice. As you set out for faithfulness, you will have to endure the opposition that comes both from within yourself and that which comes from others. Physical strength takes time to build, as does spiritual strength. Scriptures teach us to be “strong in the Lord and the power of His might” (Eph 6:10). Being strong to live a faithful life is not about your strength, it is about His. Rely on Him and He be all the strength you need.
- Be connected–faithful living does not happen in isolation. The enemy always wants to isolate his prey. One is easy to take down, so the enemy wants to get you alone. Faithful living comes through being connected with other believers who are striving after the same goal as you. Each believer connected to accomplish what they have been taught to do and using the strengths God has given them. Knowing that each person has a different strength helps us to understand the need for each other. Together there is greater strength. Living faithfully is a result of being connected with other believers.
When you are living it out, you give life to those who have poured into you. As a pastor, I know both the joy and the heartache that can be produced. Joy, when one is found faithful and heartache when one leaves the faith. Be found faithful and watch those who have served faithfully continue with great strength.