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BECOME A MEMBER TODAY! JULY'S VERSE: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” — Psalm 103:12

Even to the End

Three Ways Today’s Faithfulness Grows Future Faithfulness

by Glenna Marshall

"FOR THIS GOD IS OUR GOD FOR EVER AND EVER; HE WILL BE OUR GUIDE EVEN TO THE END." — PSALM 48:14

One of the things I love most about the Lord is His faithfulness to equip us for the life he has called us to. When he gives instructions for our obedience and joy, he always provides what we need to obey him. Because it is his very nature to be faithful, he will never abandon us. Like our memory verse this month says, “This God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end” (Psalm 48:14). Of all the people we might emulate in this world, none will be as faithful and wise a guide as the Lord. 

When I was a senior in college, I began attending my fiancé’s church where he served on staff. His church was much smaller than mine, and it didn’t take long to get to know everyone over the next year through Bible studies, Sunday school classes, fellowships, and coffee dates. 

Frantic to learn as much as I could about becoming a godly wife before my wedding, I spent lots of one-on-one time with the older, more mature women of the church. At twenty-two years old, I longed to have the kind of wisdom, patience, and kindness these women expressed to me. They loved Jesus deeply, and his Word poured from their mouths with grace. They lived their faith, serving those outside the church and encouraging those within. I wanted to be the same kind of faithful, Christ-honoring woman in my later years that they were, but as I got to know them, I realized they hadn’t become these women overnight. They’d learned what I was just beginning to see: future faithfulness grows from today’s faithfulness. 

God is Faithful to Grow Our Faithfulness

As Christians, we long to hear the words of Jesus when we see him face to face: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (see Matthew 25:21, ESV). But lifelong faithfulness that carries us from this day until the Day of his return doesn’t grow from nothing. We cannot walk in faithfulness on our own, and we can’t grow into Christians who radiate wisdom and grace apart from the means he’s provided to do so. Because God himself is perfectly faithful, he has not left us to our own devices. 

While we’ll never live perfectly this side of heaven, we can stand firm in faith to Jesus when we build our lives around the things God has given us to that end. In Hebrews 10:19-25, we’re given three exhortations to help us remain faithful to the Lord: prayer, Scripture, and the church. When we obey God’s Word, wholeheartedly applying the means of grace he’s given, we’ll be transformed by his sanctifying work in our hearts as he shapes us to be the kind of faithful, wise saints we long to be. When we grab hold of those three lifelines in Hebrews, we will be characterized as “those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Hebrews 10:39, ESV).  

Faithful to Prayer

The author of Hebrews spends much of the first ten chapters explaining Jesus’ superiority to angels, the prophets, and the Law. In light of how he has given us free access to the Father, we should “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22). The biblical language here leads us to the concept of prayer. For those living under the old covenant, the idea of approaching God boldly in prayer must have been quite a paradigm shift. Because Jesus is our great high priest, we don’t need anyone else to mediate for us. We have free access to the Father in Christ! So, the implication here is that we should pray to the Father because we can. Prayer is also commanded and implied in numerous other New Testament passages (Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19), but rather than view it as drudgery or something we have to do, we should view our ongoing conversation with the Lord as something we get to do! Staying in communion with the Lord daily keeps our hearts humble before him, gives us a way to take our fears and concerns to him, and teaches us to intercede for others. Prayer keeps us connected to God.  

Faithful to the Word

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,” the author of Hebrews continues, “for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23, ESV). One of God’s expressions of faithfulness to us was to give us his Word, our confession of hope. No Christian can live apart from Scripture, for in it God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). To walk in faithfulness to Christ until we see him, we must devote ourselves to regular Bible intake. God’s Word is useful “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” so that we will be “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV). If you want to grow into a faithful, wise, gracious Christian, you will not be able to do it apart from a Scripture-saturated life. Read God’s Word. Pray it. Study it. Memorize it. Think about it. Speak it. Be transformed by it!

Faithful to the Church

You were never meant to live the Christian life in isolation. In fact, the author of Hebrews discourages Christians from neglecting the body of Christ. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). We never graduate from our need for the church. Did you notice the phrase “all the more”? As we wait to be with Christ, we should lean “all the more” on the community of faith. The church is vital to our growth and encouragement, aiding us in perseverance. 

Faithful to the End

I’ve been married twenty years now, and some of those women I got to know when I was engaged are now with the Lord. When I think back on their lives of ordinary, daily faithfulness, it’s easy to see what propelled them forward in their sanctification. They were committed to prayer, the Word, and to the church. They didn’t just fit in those things when they had time; rather, they built their lives around the exhortations in Hebrews 10. And the God they served faithfully kept them to the end. He is pleased to cultivate lifelong growth in his people, and he will do that for you and me as we practice faithfulness today. He is our God for ever and ever. He will finish the good work he has begun in us.

Glenna Marshall

Glenna Marshall is a pastor’s wife and mother of two energetic sons. She is the author of The Promise is His Presence, Everyday Faithfulness, and Memorizing Scripture. She writes regularly on biblical literacy, suffering, and the faithfulness of God. She is a member of Grace Bible Fellowship in Sikeston, Missouri.

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