July 2005 Calendar Article
Our Theme for 2005:
Living for Jesus

Living for Jesus with Help from

Faithful Predecessors

—By Stefania Eskridge

I have a saying that hangs from my car rear view mirror that says, “Live For Jesus.” Each time I get in the car, it’s a reminder that I should be trusting and relying on God in regards to everything in my life. We learn early in life to mimic others. As children we learn to walk and talk faster if there are others around that we are trying to model. As we get older, others help us in our growth — teachers, mentors, family members and friends. As we mature in our Christianity, we are encouraged each time we gather with fellow Christians, listen to sermons or attend Bible studies. When we need an extra, extra boost while struggling with an issue, we look to see how someone else handled the same or similar issue. Of course this someone is someone we hold in esteem or someone who has definitely been successful in weathering the storm. We have faith heroes in the Bible we can read about as well.

For me, the best faithful predecessor to look to for encouragement as I strive to live for Jesus is God himself. Who is more faithful than God? He loved the Israelites and kept the oath he swore to their forefathers. He brought them out of slavery under Pharaoh with a mighty hand (Deuteronomy 7:7-9). He loves us the same and has guaranteed us eternal life with him if we choose him and obey. He sacrificed part of his very self to do this and left us a deposit of the Holy Spirit to guarantee this (2 Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 1:14). Included in one of David’s song of praises to God, David sings, “To the faithful you show yourself faithful. . .” (2 Samuel 22:26). This was after God delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul (2 Samuel 22:1). David knew he could count on God – God was faithful to him.

 Three other individuals knew they could count on a faithful God as well. Namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. When challenged by King Nebuchadnezzer to worship his god, they would not, and they responded – “…If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it and he will rescue us from your hand, O king” (Daniel 3:17). And God did. They trusted and relied on a faithful God.

The Bible is full of statements about God’s faithfulness to us. He is committed to us just as much as he wants us to be committed to him. 1 Corinthians 10:13: “And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand under it.” We just have to choose the way out of temptation. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians to live holy. He says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
God cannot be anything but faithful. 2 Timothy 2:13: “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” We can and sometimes do change with the weather or circumstances. God does not. He is the same today as he was yesterday.

How can we become more faithful as we strive to live for Jesus? Romans 10:17: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” So, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). All we have to do is take God at his word — his faithful word — and live for Jesus.

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