Central Christian Church Message Podcast

Faithfulness | The Credentialed Life | Pastor Kate Nazari

July 21, 2021 Central Christian Church of Arizona
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
Faithfulness | The Credentialed Life | Pastor Kate Nazari
Show Notes Transcript
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Well, Hey, central, it is great to be with you. Like Caleb said, my name is Kate and I am from the queen Creek campus. So special shout out to queen Creek this morning, but I'm so excited to be with all of you. As Caleb also mentioned, I do have a magical one eyed cat magical. Special word to use her. Uh, her full name is actually princess Cleopatra.

[00:00:23] Madai Hanson. The first, um, kind of was an impulsive decision, 11 days into living in Arizona to adopt a cat with one eye. And my husband and I have been married for seven months. And I like to say we married my husband because he had to take the cat into our family when we got married. So props to him.

[00:00:45] Uh, but like I said, we've been married. So I am quite the expert at marriage. Uh, if you have any questions, let me know. But one of the things that Brandon and I do a lot is we ask each other, these like hypothetical questions. One of the ones we've asked before is like, okay, if we won the lottery and we had $300 million, how many dogs and cats would you allow me to adopt?

[00:01:06] And his answer is still only one of each Kate stop adopting more animals. And then I've asked him the question because we've been watching a lot of law and order lately. And I asked him a question. I was like, if I accidentally killed someone, would you help me bury the body? And he was like, no. And so that was a question I wish I'd asked before marriage.

[00:01:24] Let me just tell you that. One of the other things that we, a question that we've asked each other, that I promise you guys, we cannot resolve. Um, it's the biggest conflict in our marriage. Um, and just, I'm not sure what's going to happen is what sports teams will, our future non-existent children cheer for someday.

[00:01:44] You could see. Here's the thing. I am a faithful Minnesota sports team, despite the fact that we literally never went. Wow. Okay. Some Minnesota people in here. Love it. Thank you. Um, and my husband is a hardcore Michigan sports team, so, uh, no cheers for that. Uh, but yeah. This is a thing. This is a, this is a thing in our marriage.

[00:02:09] I want our future children just this year for Minnesota sports. He wants our future children is to cheer for the Michigan, all their sports teams and, um, the twins and the tigers are actually playing each other today. And so, um, pray for our family, but Brandon and I. Faithful to our sports teams. And we want our future children to choose, to be faithful to our sports teams that we both love as well.

[00:02:34] But the thing is we can't make that choice for them. I want my children to cheer for the Minnesota twins. Despite the fact they haven't won a play game since 2004. And that's a really long time considering how many times they've been in playoffs, but feats illness is a choice. We all get to choose what we're facing.

[00:02:54] What are you faithful to sports are an easy answer when we're all cheering right now for the sons and seven here. Um, we're, we're faithful to our family. We're faithful to our friends. We're faithful to God. What are you faithful to this summer? We are in a series called the credentialed life, and we're looking at Galatians five, which are the fruit of the spirit.

[00:03:18] So let me read that to you. But the fruit of the spirit is love. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness. Self-control against such things. There is no. Today, if you guessed it, we're going to lean into this word. Faithfulness faithfulness is about loyalty trustworthiness, staying true to one's actions about being dedicated and steadfast faithfulness is about having a strong belief in something, having faith in something it's no wonder then as Christians by faithfulness, as part of the credential.

[00:03:55] We see this idea of faithfulness all over the Bible in Hebrews 11, there's a whole entire passage of men and women who have been faithful to God. They've been faithful to their calling of what God wants for them in their life. And then on the flip side of this, we see in scripture that God is faithful to us.

[00:04:16] It's one of the attributes of who God is, is a, he is loyal. He is trustworthy. And what he says to us, God is faith. To us. Let's look at a few passages here where we see this in the Bible. Second Timothy, two 13. The Bible teaches us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful for, he cannot deny himself second Thessalonians three, three, but the Lord is faithful.

[00:04:39] First Corinthians one nine. God is faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of his son. Jesus just Christ our Lord. God is faithful. It's who he is. It's also how he calls us to live. So again, let me ask you this question. What are you faithful to? What are you faithful to? We each get to choose what gets our faithful.

[00:05:06] If you have a Bible with you, we're going to be in second Samuel 11 today. And we're going to be looking at this man king David. And we're going to be looking about into the scripture and seeing how he's had to make a choice about faithfulness in his life. If you don't know much about a king, David, let me tell you.

[00:05:21] He is a, throughout a lot of our old Testament. He actually wrote half of the Psalms that we have in the Bible. Um, a famous one is Psalm 23 that he wrote. He also is the same man. Killed Goliath. And he is the only person that we see described as a man after God's own heart. And so when we think of faithfulness, then earlier we saw here, how faithfulness is an attribute of God.

[00:05:45] We would assume to think that king David would be very strong in his faithfulness if he's a man after God's own heart, but we see that David doesn't maybe reflect perfect faithfulness in the way we would expect. Read with me here. Second Samuel chapter 11. I'm going to start in verse one. It says this in the spring at the time when Kings go off to war, David sent Joe AB out with the King's men and the whole Israeli army.

[00:06:15] They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabba, but David remained in Jerusalem. I'm going to stop there at verse one, because it is a key passage to understanding everything that is going to come here in the next few verses. When the Kings went off to. David remained in Jerusalem did not fulfill his responsibilities as king to go to war in the spring.

[00:06:40] He chose to not be faithful and what a king is supposed to. David's attention was not where God wanted it. His focus had gone completely astray. Jesus says this in Luke 16, verse 10, one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest and much faithfulness in one thing allows us to live out faithfulness in others.

[00:07:10] Faithfulness becomes a habit. It's a discipline. In 2019, I decided to run a half marathon. Here's the thing you guys had never, ever done this. Um, and couldn't even run a mile without needing to stop. Um, but I was like half marathon, 13.1 miles. I think I could probably do that one. So I started training for a half marathon in Arizona.

[00:07:39] In July, if you are, we are with our weather right now, running outside is not fun, but I was like, I can do this. So I started running and I would come home from work every day. And instead of like sitting on the couch and, you know, watching Netflix, eating pad Thai, I was like, I'm going to run and I would foam roll and I would stretch.

[00:07:57] And then I'd go for the run. In the evenings and started running really consistently every single day. And I started to build this routine, this rhythm in my life. And I went from being able to not really run a mile to running two miles running four miles. I remember the day that I was able to run 10 miles straight without stopping, and I couldn't.

[00:08:21] On November 23rd, 62 practice runs later. I ran 13.1 miles. Was it pretty? No, this is my face after I had finished running my half marathon. It was not. Yeah, I'm smiling. But I would like to clarify I was smelling because I was done. Uh, I was so proud of this accomplishment and what I did. I finished the race set before.

[00:08:49] And it changed my whole life. Now I'm a runner. I ran three miles this morning. Just kidding. I did not. I ate a donut anyways. Uh, I learned a ton about discipline though, along the way. Running gave me routine. It gave me rhythm. It made my body feel better. It made my life feel better. This routine, this rhythm, this discipline I was having in my life, I slept more consistently and deeper.

[00:09:16] I had more energy. I lost weight. I drank more water. And this one physical choice that I was making of choosing to run. Slowly jog made me emotionally and spiritually healthier too. My friendships improved my walk with God improved. I was more consistent in reading my Bible and praying and discipling my students faithfulness in one area of my life, bled into faithfulness in all other areas, choices, hang out in the same name.

[00:09:51] One good choice made it easier to make other good choices and one bad choice makes it easier to make other bad choices. When all the Kings went to war, David remained in Jerusalem. Let's keep reading here. Verse two second. Samuel 11. One evening, David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace from the roof.

[00:10:15] He saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful and Davidson someone to find out about her. The man said she is Bathsheba, the daughter of Epilim and the wife of Uriah, the Hittite. Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and he slept with her. Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanliness.

[00:10:32] Then she went back home, the woman conceived and sent word to David saying, I am praying. I imagine if I were David in that situation, my stomach would drop when he received word that Bathsheba was pregnant until this point, his unfaithfulness was not known, but with Bathsheba being pregnant, there would be no way to hide the fact that he had sinned.

[00:10:55] People would be suspicious because best Sheba came from an influential family, but she was father was a helium. And one of the things we know about. Is that he was one of David's mighty men. These were fearless soldiers. These were men that were well-known in the community. They were faithful soldiers that were credited with many heroic battles.

[00:11:16] So her dad was one of David's mighty men. And so was her husband, your RIAA. And then her grandfather was one of David's chief counselors, but her husband was away at war or David was supposed to. We see a few instances here. Uh, just even in these few verses where Dave, David could have chosen to be faithful, but instead he chose unfaithfulness and David would have already been married at this point, actually to a few different women.

[00:11:45] And so he had already broken the laws in the book of Moses by being married to more than one person. And so he was already struggling with sexual purity. David saw a beautiful room, woman bathing from his room. And he had to make a choice. You see, when I've read this passage before I always kind of like read it and thinking best Sheba was the one on the roof, but scripture teaches us.

[00:12:08] David was the one on the roof, looking down from his palace into best Chivas home. He could have chosen to avert his eyes and walked back into his house. He had a choice. Secondly, when David found out that Beth Sheba was married and not only like married to someone who doesn't know married to one of his, like 30 mighty men, that David would have known very well.

[00:12:32] He had a choice there of what he chose to do. There was no doubt for David about who this woman was when he sent messengers to get her. He knew this beautiful woman was someone's wife, someone's daughter, someone. He was not supposed to touch. But David chose to send for her after learning who she was, David chose to sleep with her David chose to send her home after doing so.

[00:12:59] David had a choice in the midst of making a decision to be faithful to God faithful in his role as a king faithful in his role. As a husband, David had a choice and all of them. Unfaithfulness though in one area of David's life bled into unfaithfulness in all other areas. I want us to pause though for a moment and think about the story through the lens of Beth Sheba, her husband's away at war she's bathing and had purified herself from her monthly on cleanliness in David is at the palace, which would have been again on top of this hill, looking down into all these other homes.

[00:13:38] Some commentaries, some research I did on this passage said like Beth Sheba was trying to entice David in this situation, you see, she wasn't supposed to be bathing during that time of the day. Women typically bay that a different time of the day. And she was trying to entice David. Therefore, David shouldn't be at fault when read this passage it's as Beth Chivas fault because she was, she was the one trying to seduce stable David and make him stumble.

[00:14:01] But I can't help. But think when I'm reading this passage, How was Beth Shibaz supposed to know David would be on the roof of his house during the evening, looking down into her house. But the Bible doesn't tell us enough here to assume how, how Bathsheba felt if she willingly went with David, if there was a part of her that felt like she didn't have a choice, we don't know.

[00:14:29] We do know David's the king. Her husband is not home to protect her. There's a power imbalance here. You see, I wish we had more Beth Sheeva's perspective to know she willingly chose to be unfaithful to her husband, or she felt like she had no choice in that matter because the king had already chosen.

[00:14:50] The story goes on and David tries to cover up. Beth Sheba is pregnant by actually bringing her husband Uriah home from war. And then David tries to send your RIAA to his own house, to go sleep with best Sheba. But that doesn't work because your riot refuses to go home with his wife at home, because he knows that the other soldiers are at war.

[00:15:11] So he sleeps outside the palace. So then David has to come up with a new plan. So he sends your riots to the front lines. Where your Riah is killed. Second, Samuel 1126 says when the wife of Uriah heard that your Riah, her husband was dead. She lamented over her husband, PEs, Sheba, mourned, her husband Uriah.

[00:15:34] There was love there for him. After her morning ends. She joins David and his house as his wife and bears him. See, I wish we had more of that Sheila story. Like I said, because I was talking through this passage recently with a friend that had experienced a lot of loss in her life. And we just empathize with Beth Sheba and the situation, how hard it must've been for her to try and be faithful when her whole world was being torn upside down to try to trust God in the midst of not knowing what was.

[00:16:07] She was experiencing the loss of her husband and I was married to a king. And how much say how much of a voice, how much of a choice did she have then? All of this? Because a lot of us can relate to that. Faithfulness is hard. Faithfulness is hard because sometimes the bad things that happen in our life don't happen.

[00:16:31] Because of our own choices because of our own sins, because of our own mistakes, sometimes a bad things in our, in our lives happen because of other people's choices or just because of the circumstances that we are in hard things happen sometimes in our life for what doesn't seem like there's a reason in the midst of it.

[00:16:51] We're supposed to be faithful. We're just supposed to have trust in God and pray when we experienced loss and grief. When things don't go the way we expect when our dreams and our beliefs about the future are suddenly changed. We're just supposed to trust God and pray. In the past year, I walked alongside a lot of friends and family members experiencing loss and grief people that lost loved ones in their life.

[00:17:22] People going through divorce. I had friends that lost their jobs, friends that struggled with medical conditions, friends that saw friendships with other people ending painful, discouraging defeating situations. The begs to ask the question, how do we stay faithful when it's hard? Because we have faith.

[00:17:49] Faithfulness is a choice. And so is our faith. Our faith in God allows for us to demonstrate our faithfulness to him. Faithfulness is that you've response of faith. Faithfulness is that muscle that we flex when we choose to have faith, when we choose to trust, when we choose to have hope in what we have placed our faith in, but that doesn't make it easy.

[00:18:13] But it makes it up to us. It makes it up to our free, well, why do we choose faithfulness? Because faithfulness is a response of faith, but what do we do when others are not faithful to us? What do we do when others are not faithful to us? The person who's most victimized in this story is your Riah. He's one of the mighty men again of David.

[00:18:40] He's a fearless soldier. He's feasible, not going back to sleep with his wife. He's faithful returning to the war where he taken advantage of and he's murdered. His being faithful gets him, killed your Riah is the most faithful person in the story. And yet no one was faithful to him. Sometimes we mistake faithfulness to God or our family, our friends, or our job as this reward system.

[00:19:06] If I am faithful, then good things happen. But that's not the promise for why we're called to be faithful. We're not faithful to make our lives easier though. I do believe in many ways it does. We're called to choose faithfulness because that's what's best allows for us to love God and love others. Well, it's what allows for us to fulfill God's commission.

[00:19:31] It's what allows for us to reflect Jesus back to people, reflect who Jesus is inside of us. That's why faithfulness is always a choice. So what do we do when we don't choose faithfulness? When we miss the mark on this, when we don't choose faithfulness, let's pick up back in David's story. Nathan, the prophet has just confronted David about his sin and David realizes that he's not been faithful to God.

[00:20:02] Please read with me in second, Samuel 12 verse 15. After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that your Riaz wife had born to David and he became ill. David pleaded with God, for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused.

[00:20:22] He would not eat any food. On the seventh day, the child died and David's attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead for. They thought while the child was still living, he wouldn't listen to us. When we spoke to him, how can we now tell him the child is dead. He may do something desperate.

[00:20:37] David notices, attendance, or whispering among themselves. And he realized the child was dead. Is the child dead? He asked, yes, they were applied. He's dead. Then David got up from the ground after he had washed put on lotions, changed his clothes. He went into the house. And worshiped. David is repentant of his sin.

[00:20:59] He owns his choice. He's not blaming he pleads for God to change the consequences of his sin, but that doesn't happen. And when it doesn't go the way David wants, he's still worships God. He accepts that there's a consequence for his unfaithfulness and diva models for us, how to come back. Faithfulness doesn't mean that ever making a mistake puts on what faithfulness is.

[00:21:29] We're going to make mistakes. We're going to screw up. That's part of our inherent sinful nature, and we're going to have consequences for those choices, the true faithfulness, the faithfulness that we demonstrate when we come back to God, after making a mistake after sinning, after choosing not to be faithful, that's what shows our heart.

[00:21:52] That's what shows our character. Faithfulness is always a choice. When we choose, choose what gets our faithfulness, we choose where we place our faithfulness. We choose who we place our faithfulness in. We choose how we respond when we are not faithful. When I was 23, I was working at a church in Minnesota and Minnesota as an associate pastor.

[00:22:16] And. I was in school, getting my master's degree, studying to be a pastor, studying, to do what I felt like God was calling me to do. But I was making a lot of choices in my life that didn't reflect that it's making a lot of really bad and painful choices that I thought were fun in the moment, but I knew were wrong.

[00:22:34] And I remember the weight of all of that just hit me. I went and met with my pastor who was my boss, and I told him what was going on. I confessed my sins. The next day we met with the church leadership. And I remember walking into that meeting, knowing that I was going to be fired, knowing that I deserved to be fired for my choices, knowing that there was going to be a consequence for what I had done and that church chose.

[00:23:04] Not to fire me in that moment. There were consequences. There were things I had to do to grow and become the person that God was calling me to do, but they chose not to fire me. They chose to show me faithfulness. They chose to show me grace and mercy and love in that moment. Our response to our own unfaithfulness though is often.

[00:23:26] We want to hide from it. We want to run from it. We want to, we're scared of it. And shame keeps us from acknowledging our sins. Especially when those sins hurt people. You see when I was 23 and I was struggling in that mess, I lied to friends. I broke trust with friends. So I felt the shame of what I had done.

[00:23:44] You see, I thought now that everyone looked at me and saw me as that person, that I hadn't made those mistakes, they saw me as my worst decisions. And that shame grew me into depression as suicidal ideation. So the point where I was running from God, I felt too messed up too distant from God too broken, too scared to be made whole again, but God met me in that broken.

[00:24:09] Yeah. God met me where I was and say, Kate, you are not too far gone. This mistake. Isn't too much to keep you separated from me. And he welcomed me back in the same way that church had welcomed me back in that church showed me grace because they showed me Jesus. It changed me. It changed my heart. It changed who I was and God's faithfulness to me while I was in the midst of a big mess in my life.

[00:24:33] That was from my own decision. Now allows me to minister and meet people when they're in the middle of their mess, too. God is not trying to distance himself from you because he thinks you're too messed up or because of what's happened in your life because of your choices, maybe choices that someone else made that I've heard.

[00:24:53] Or maybe you're in a situation where it feels like no one had choices at all and there's, the circumstances are hard and they're tough and they're painful and you're experiencing pain and loss and brokenness completely out of your control. God wants to redeem that. God wants to use that and use your story to show what he can do through your faithfulness.

[00:25:19] In Matthew one, we see the genealogy of Jesus and David and Beth Sheba are in that genealogy in perfect, messed up people that made choices don't reflect God. Well, art in that line of Jesus, they figured that faithfulness is less about never making a mistake. The more about what you do when you make that mistakes, you confess your sin to come back to God.

[00:25:49] Do you deal with the consequences, but live in the grace? What if we modeled ourselves? After David, when we are unfaithful, we own our sins, our mistakes, we repent. We strive to live our lives differently. It doesn't mean we won't have consequences. I want to make sure you see that we're going to miss the mark sometimes.

[00:26:08] And that can be so hard because the consequences of what are going to come from how we've made a mistake, keep us scared from coming forward. It discourages us from repenting of our sin. We feel like we can never come back from what we have done. We avoid confession because we think that's now what defines our character.

[00:26:27] The returning from our own faithfulness does not mean we have to be defined by the shame of our sin. When we mess up. When we confess, we repent, we cleanse ourselves from it and we modeled David who went back into the house of the Lord and worship. David was a man after God's own heart, an imperfect man, but a man that chose to lean in to the hard parts of feeling in life to show true faithfulness.

[00:26:59] God doesn't want us to feel shame for what has happens happened in her life. He wants us to experience repentance, to turn away from our past, surrender it to God and focus back on him. Charles Spurgeon once said the glory of God's faithfulness. Is that not, is that no sin of ours has ever made him unfaithful.

[00:27:22] The glory of God's faithfulness is that no sin of ours has ever made him unfaithful. God is right there with us in the midst of our brokenness. He's right there with us. And he sees our choices that we've made when we choose to not be faded. But nothing that we've done is going to separate us from God.

[00:27:46] No sin of ours has ever made God unfaithful. So what if we modeled ourselves after God and how we respond to others? Unfaithful. What if we showed faithfulness back to people, when they make mistakes, when they screw up, when they miss the mark in our life. And man, I get this because forgiveness is hard. I don't want to forgive someone when they've hurt me.

[00:28:11] I don't want to, I want to like, hold it against them and I want to stand there and I want to watch the consequences go down. That's not what God is calling us to. That's not, God, God has modeled for us to love people back when they heard us, God is instead saying, I want you to stand there and I want you to flip them back and show them faithfulness in the same way that I have showed you faithfulness every single time that you have made a mistake, every single time that you have messed up.

[00:28:36] I have been there and I have given you grace and love and mercy back. That's what he's calling for us to do to those that have heard. To those that have shown us on faithfulness. And it's hard. I'm not saying this is easy. I'm not saying that we're going to do this perfectly, but I'm saying that's how God is calling for us to live out and model.

[00:28:56] What love looks like in our world today. What would it look like if we modeled ourselves after God and how we respond to other people's unfaithfulness. If we protected people from the shame of their mistakes by not gossiping or condemning them. That's what true faithfulness in a community could look like.

[00:29:17] I don't know where you're at today. I don't know what happened this morning. I don't know what God is doing in your life right now, but I think a lot of us sit in one of these two camps. When it comes to faithfulness, we either need a model ourselves after David repents of our sin, own the consequences of where we've missed the mark and come back into the house of Lord and worship.

[00:29:42] Or we need to model ourselves after God and how he showed people faithfulness in the midst of their own faithfulness. And we need to extend forgiveness and grace and mercy to people. And maybe we don't want to the, we need to model ourselves after God or David and how we're going to live out our faithfulness because faithfulness is hard.

[00:30:05] This isn't an easy calling, not being faithful. In our lives has consequences. However, there are countless opportunities for us to always come back. Even if we've been on faithful, we can always come back to God when we choose faithfulness. It honors God. So well. Someone who's faithful stands out. It shines a light.

[00:30:33] It best represents to the world. What being a Christian is about to faithfulness allows for us to love God wow. And love others well in a beautiful way. And when we build faithfulness into our life, faith almost becomes a habit. It's a discipline. Faithfulness becomes a credential of who you are. Because how great is God's faithfulness in our life.

[00:31:03] And we want to model that we want to choose that faithfulness is a choice. What choice are you going to make today? Will you pray with me? Abba father? We come before you and we thank you that you are faithful. How great is your faithfulness, God that we get to live in, how great is your mercy and your love that we get to receive Lord.

[00:31:31] So I pray for everyone that is a David in this room that needs to come before you repent of their sin, confess their sin, maybe to someone in the room. And father, I pray for protection against shame. And instead I pray for repentance that allows for us to live our lives differently and know you differently and love you differently.

[00:31:54] And father, I pray for anyone in this room that needs to extend faithfulness to those in their lives that have hurt them. They needs to model themselves after how you have loved us. Always Lord and love others. Well, God, you are so good. Your faithfulness is so good. We love you and pray this in your son's name.

[00:32:14] Amen.