Gospel Message & Recording
In our American culture, we are acculturated to want the best, to be the best, and to have the most. This type of thinking does not reflect the teachings of the Church or the Bible. On the contrary, God wants us to be faithful with what He has given us; and the circumstances that he has placed us in. Here, we must clearly define what it means to be “faithful.”
Being faithful means to live responsibly and with a content heart in whatever situation or circumstance that God has placed us in. For example, we might have wanted a better job but the Lord placed us into an entry-level position. Or, we might be stuck in the same job for a while with no promotion in sight. Whatever the circumstances, God is watching to see if we will perform our duties in our job with due diligence and with the utmost care. This also means that while we are in the job we are not complaining or grudgingly completing our tasks. This is only one example, but it can be applied to all areas of life.
Think for a moment the house and car that God has given to us. First, are we thankful to God for giving us a car and home? Or, are we looking at what other people have and wishing we had it, making ourselves jealous? Our thankfulness and contentment toward what God has given us is evidence of our faithfulness. Even our treatment of what God has given us shows God how faithful we are. Considering our time constraints, even then, do we keep our homes and cars clean? Or, is it left shabby and untidy. For example, an apartment is how most couples start out after marriage. It might not be a place that we own; nevertheless, we are to respect it and take care of it as though we did own it. In this, God sees our faithfulness and opens the door of blessings.
Personally speaking, after God made me a Priest in 2011, and my subsequent appointment as assistant vicar at St. Thomas, Unruh, He was seeing if I would be faithful to the ministry He had given me. In other words, God was looking to see if I would stay loyal to the Vicar, Fr. Kuriakose, if I would take my ministry serious, do everything with excellence and if I would always seek peace. By the Grace of God, even though I am weak, I was faithful. For this reason, I truly believe I received the privilege to pioneer the founding of St. Luke Orthodox Mission. Where has God placed you? Are you doing everything with excellence? Are you being faithful? If so, in due time, God will exalt you.
As a parish, God is watching to see if we will be faithful to our calling, that is, our core values and mission statement. Unlike many others parishes, we didn’t start due to political strife or in defiance of a bishop. We started with prayer, fasting, and planning, with a purpose to witness the Gospel to everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity. God is looking to see if we will be faithful to our values and mission. Further, He is looking to see if we will keep a positive attitude, when the membership list isn’t increasing, or when trials come our way (in various forms). Here, regarding this circumstance, being faithful is not giving up. When we don’t give up, walk away, or get discouraged, God will see that we were faithful during the tough times. Then, God will provide the increase.
Wherever you are. In whatever position or circumstance God has placed you, be faithful. Even if that place is a place of struggle. Remember, in due time God will reward you and open the door of blessings in your life.
Small Group Discussion Questions
- Provide examples and discuss circumstances and/or situations that you were placed in that God was testing you to see if you would remain faithful. Discuss.
Identify the major obstacles that come in the way of being faithful?
We will soon approach the six-month anniversary of St. Luke’s. Do you feel we, as a parish has been faithful to our calling? Do you feel discouraged at times? If so, why? How can we stay positive and block out the feeling of discouragement?