Fruits of the Holy Spirit – Faithfulness

91/365 days of blogging

Pt. 7 The Fruit of the Spirit is “Faithfulness”

Introduction: Imagine parents whose children repeatedly rejected them. The children even went so far as to claim their parents had died (when they had not) and then asserted that they were children of another couple! One day the real parents lost their lives rescuing their ungrateful children from a fire. That is a picture of faithfulness. That is the picture of what our God has done for humans. As followers of God, what does He expect of us when it comes to being faithful? Are we called to be firefighters? How do we get to the point where God calls us ( Matthew 25:21) a “good and faithful servant?”

  1.         Wedding Faithfulness
    1. Read Matthew 25:1. We have television shows where twenty women will compete to marry one guy, or twenty men will compete to marry one woman. Do we have ten potential brides? Or, is this a polygamous marriage and we have ten brides?
    2. Read Matthew 25:2-4. How important was it for these attendants to be ready at whatever time the bride came?
    3. Read Matthew 25:5-9. Let’s talk about the “wise” attendants for a while. How can they be wise and fall asleep?
      1. Who was it who woke them up? Someone more faithful than they were?
      2. Did the wise love the foolish “as themselves” (Matthew 22:39) when they refused to split their extra oil with them?
    4. Read Matthew 25:10-12. The wise and selfish attendants go in, and the foolish are shut out because they were working hard to buy more oil. Does this seem fair to you?
    5. Read Matthew 25:13. Jesus suggests the problem is that the foolish did not “keep watch.” What would you say if you were a foolish (but smart) attendant?
      1. Something else is troubling. Why would the groom say that he never knew them? They were just late!
      2. When Jesus says “Keep watch, you don’t know the day or hour,” is He talking about weddings?
    6. Let’s examine this story more deeply to understand what Jesus is trying to teach us. What were the most important factors for a favorable outcome?
      1. What factors have no impact on the outcome of the story?
    7. Our lesson is about being faithful. In light of Jesus’ parable, what do you think it means to be faithful?
      1. What is the oil and where do we get an extra supply?
        1. The traditional answer is that the oil is the Holy Spirit (see Zechariah 4), but how does that fit with the idea of an “extra supply?”
      2. Read John 16:7-15, but specifically focus on John 16:13-15. Based on this, what do you think it means to have an extra supply of the Holy Spirit?
        1. What does this say about whether the wise attendants were selfish?
    8. Why was being asleep not important to the outcome?
    9. Why was being chosen as an attendant, being part of the bridal party, having oil and a lamp irrelevant to the outcome?
  2.      Servant Faithfulness
    1. Read Matthew 25:14-15. On what basis did the master decide to distribute his property?
      1. I have this idea that God can work wonders through anyone. The disciples seemed to be ordinary people. On the other hand, Moses and Paul, seem extraordinary. What does that teach us about faithfulness?
        1. What if you are like me, and you see people around you who are more talented?
    2. Read Matthew 25:16-23. Notice the final score – ten talents for the one guy and only four for the other. One fellow has 100% and one fellow has 40%. Forty percent is a very failing score in my class. Why are they both called “faithful?”
      1. How does this fit into the “extra supply” lesson that we just learned from the story of the wedding attendants?
    3. Read Matthew 25:24-27. If the fellow had put the talent in the bank and collected interest, would he have been commended?
      1. Did this fellow get a break from the master because he only started out with one talent?
      2. What must we do to avoid the fate of this one talent fellow?
    4. Read Matthew 25:28-29. Why give the one talent to the ten talent guy as opposed to the faithful four talent guy?
      1. What does this teach us about the nature of our natural talents?
    5. As you consider these two stories, what picture do you now have about the meaning of faithfulness?
    6. F.        This is a challenge. We need to decide, right now, to partner with the Holy Spirit to seek to more completely understand God’s will? As your understanding of God’s will improves, will you use your natural talents to advance God’s will? If so, look forward to these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant! … Come share your master’s happiness!”

Next week: The Fruit of the Spirit is Gentleness (meekness).

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2 thoughts on “Fruits of the Holy Spirit – Faithfulness

    • Thank you Streim! I must confess, as I said in my very first post…These “fruits of the holy spirit” studies are what we have been studying in our Wednesday night bible studies. I have learned a lot from them and our congregation seems to be enjoying them. I kinda felt bad about just copying them from a file but I felt they were so well written by my husband that they were worthy of sharing.

      Thanks for the encouragement! I will pass it along to him!

      Jeannie

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