O come all ye faithful...and not so faithful, too!

There is a saying that was popular in the early days of the Church.  Paul called it a "trustworthy saying" in a letter to Timothy:

If we died with him, we will also live with him;

If we endure, we will also reign with him

If we disown him, he will disown us;

If we are faithless, he will remain faithful,

For He cannot disown himself.  (2 Tim 2:11-13, NIV)

Have you ever come to Christmas, caught yourself singing, "O Come All Ye Faithful," and wondered:  "Who's that?  Who can say they have been totally faithful to Christ?"  If we were honest, could anyone say they were entirely faithful in their walk with God?  I would want to add, "Compared to what?" because "faithful" would have to be a relative thing.  We all fail him from time to time.  We all struggle with faith.  We all prove to be unfaithful partners with God.

In other words, if our security with God depended on our faithfulness to him, I'm afraid we would all be in bad shape; but the good news is:  Our security with God depends on his faithfulness to us.  "Phew!"

Jesus chided his disciples for having a "little faith," but he did not kick them off the team for it.  He called his followers an "unbelieving generation," but he did not abandon them.  And in spite of the saying above about disowning those who disown him, Jesus apparently made an exception to that rule for Peter, who on three occasions disowned having any part of Christ.  He later forgave Peter and accepted him back.

As we come to the end of another year, I'm sure we can all recall times when we struggled with faith, had a hard time finding it, or perhaps found ourselves unfaithful to God.  Some may be in such a place right now.  This is a time to worship God for his faithfulness to us.  We may have let go of him, but he will never let go of us, because we are his, and he cannot disown what belongs to him.

So for us, faith is a relative thing.  We all struggle with our own demons.  Maybe for you, "faithful" means you're ready to get yourself back in the fold.  Can't think of a better time to do it.  This is the Gospel.  This is Good News.

"O come all ye faithful..." and not so faithful, too!

*** from "Purpose-Driven Life website (c) 2008 - December 4, 2006


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