Above all, we must be faithful to God

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From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 4 –  The meaning and importance of faithfulness

The most important thing of all is our personal commitment to God Himself. If we can get that right then other duties and relationships will also grow stronger. It is entirely possible to be unfaithful to God, to lie to Him and to let Him down, even if we believe in Him. The Jewish people did it, and so do we, quite regularly:

35They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God their redeemer.
36But they flattered him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.
37Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
they were not true to his covenant.

Psalm 78:35-37 (RSV)

53He led them in safety,
so that they were not afraid;
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountain which his right hand had won.
55He drove out nations before them;
he apportioned them for a possession
and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
56Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God,
and did not observe his testimonies,
57but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers;
they twisted like a deceitful bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
they moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

Psalm 78:53-58 (RSV)

God is therefore on the lookout for blameless people who are genuinely and wholeheartedly faithful to Him. He wants people He can trust, who will not let Him down. To such people He will show favour. However, He will not allow deceitful people to be in His presence:

6I will look with favour on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.
7No man who practices deceit shall dwell in my house;
no man who utters lies shall continue in my presence.

Psalm 101:6-7 (RSV)

Moreover, God will respond to unfaithfulness when He sees it. Those who are unfaithful to God, or unfaithful in the tasks or roles that they are given, will be brought down. In one way or another He will remove them, demote them or replace them:

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.

Psalm 73:27 (ESV)

King Saul of Israel was unfaithful and disobedient. Therefore he was replaced. God is no respecter of persons. Nobody is above being disciplined and nobody is too senior, or too important, to have to be faithful:

For God does not show favoritism.

Romans 2:11 (NIV)

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Acts 10:34 (KJV)

23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

Colossians 3:23-25 (NKJV)

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

1 Peter 1:17 (NIV)
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