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Week 5 Lesson: Faithful (Committed)

A Precious Word from God

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 2:13 (NET)

“You have my word on it” or “Let’s shake on it” used to be words that meant commitment and trust. When people agreed to a deal, a handshake or a promise sealed it. Today, even signing a legal contract doesn’t seem to bind the parties, who often look for ways to get around their promises.

A Precious Word from God

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 2:13 (NET)

“You have my word on it” or “Let’s shake on it” used to be words that meant commitment and trust. When people agreed to a deal, a handshake or a promise sealed it. Today, even signing a legal contract doesn’t seem to bind the parties, who often look for ways to get around their promises.

Faithfulness means being trustworthy, trustful, sure, and true.4 We may say we’ll do something and then change our minds and not follow through. But God is always true to his word to us; he is committed to do exactly what he has promised.

Day One Study

Today we will look at God’s faithfulness, knowing that we are to be like him.

1. What do these verses say about God and faithfulness?

    a. 1 Cor. 1:9

    b. 1 Cor. 10:13

    c. 1 Thess. 5:23-24

    d. 2 Thess. 3:3

    e. 2 Tim. 2:13 (our memory verse)

2. Sharing question: Which verse in the previous question was most meaningful to you? Why?

Diamonds in the Word: Look up Old Testament references to God’s faithfulness. Memorize your favorite verse.

3. What do you learn about Jesus’ faithfulness in Heb. 3:1-6?

4. Read Heb. 11:17-19. How did Abraham’s belief in God’s faithfulness affect his actions?

5. Sharing question: Consider a situation with which you are dealing right now in your life. If you truly believed that God is faithful to his word and his promises, how would that affect your attitude or your actions? Write down your thoughts and be prepared to share them with your group. Consider making this your weekly prayer request, asking for enough faith to act on God’s faithfulness to you in the situation.

6. Responding to God: Pray your prayer request for yourself; begin with praising God for his faithfulness. You may want to pray back the verse in #1 that was most meaningful to you. Write down your prayer.

Day Two Study

This week’s example of faithfulness is Jonathan, who was a prince, the oldest son of Saul, the first King of Israel. Today we begin his story.

Read 1 Sam. 13:1-14, (The first biblical reference to Jonathan is in v. 2.)

7. Summarize the situation Saul and Jonathan faced and what happened. Write it as a newspaper story, highlighting the important points and maybe including quotes from first-hand witnesses. What most important point should be the headline in your estimation? To understand what happened, read 1 Sam. 10:8, realizing that several years have passed since this statement.

8. How do you understand the problem with what Saul did?

9. What would have been the ramifications to Jonathan from his father’s foolish sin?

Diamonds in the Word: Read 1 Sam. 15:1-23, and consider Saul’s sin here and God’s response. What do you find similar?

10. Sharing question: How would you have felt toward your father, toward Samuel, and toward God at this point if you had been Jonathan? Why? Have you ever borne the brunt of the sin of another person, perhaps a parent or grandparent? What was it, and how did you feel toward those involved?

11. Responding to God: Our families of origin greatly impact us, either for good or for bad. Spend time thanking God for the good that you gained from them or praying for those who hurt you, as Jesus told us to do. Claim the promise of Rom. 8:28-30 and believe it.

Day Three Study

After God rejected Saul as king and his family as heirs of the throne, he sent Samuel to anoint David to be the next king in 1 Sam. 16:1-13. If you have time, you may want to read this part of the story as well.

Read 1 Sam. 18:1-4 as we finally get to the crux of the story that reveals Jonathan’s faithfulness.

12. What happened between Jonathan and David?

The action of giving David his robe and fighting gear indicate that Jonathan made a covenant with David. These gifts were merely symbols of the pact between the two of them involving promises of peace and protection. They indicate that the parties are becoming “blood brothers” as many cultures called them, sealing the pact with blood.

 

Diamonds in the Word: Read about covenants and their symbols in your Bible resources. Note anything that applies to this story.

Skim 1 Sam. 18:5-30 in light of the next question.

13. What created a rift between Saul and David?


Read 1 Sam. 19:1-6.

14. What was Jonathan’s role in the situation between his father and his friend? How does it relate to their covenant?

Read Mt. 26:26-28.

15. Sharing question: When you become a believer in Jesus, you enter a covenant with him. What does it mean to you to be Jesus’ “blood brother” as you think of the promises that attach to that covenant?

16. Responding to God: Write a prayer or poem of thanks to Jesus for shedding his blood to become your blood brother.

Day Four Study

Read 1 Sam. 20:1-23.

17. Summarize the story.

18. How do you see Jonathan’s faithfulness through his actions?

19. What further promises did the new covenant between Jonathan and David involve (1 Sam. 20:14-16)? What did Jonathan say here that suggests that he knew that David was God’s choice as the new king?

Diamonds in the Word: Read the story of David’s faithfulness to his promises to Jonathan here in 2 Sam. 9:1-12.

20. How does Jonathan epitomize Ps. 15:2-4? (Read the entire psalm to get the context.)

21. Sharing question: Have you ever regretted a promise because fulfilling it was disadvantageous to you? Perhaps it was the promises you made when you entered the marriage covenant or simply a promise to do something for someone. Did you keep it or not? Why?

22. Responding to God: If you were not faithful to your word or promise in the past, is there any way to make amends, not simply through words but also through deeds? What should you do? Talk to God about this and ask for his forgiveness, knowing he wants you to commit to restoration or recompense if possible, asking for forgiveness without excuse. Write down your prayer and your commitment before God, and be faithful to these words.

Day Five Study

Read 1 Sam. 20:24-42.

23. Summarize how Jonathan was faithful to his words to David.

24. What did Saul say to Jonathan to remind him that it was to his advantage that David die (1 Sam. 20:31)?

25. Read these verses and record your insights concerning faithfulness:

    a. Mt. 5:33-37

    b. Ecc. 5:1-6

    c. Prov. 25:19

    d. Gal. 5:22-23

Diamonds in the Word: Use a topical Bible or other topical resource to find other verses on faithfulness.

26. Sharing question: It is very common in our culture to fail to follow through with obligations. We even back out of commitments we have made to the church and to God himself. How counter-culture would believers look if we backed up all of our words? What kind of statement would we make as believers if we worked to the best of our ability because that is what we were hired to do? What if we never lied about sick days? What if we followed through with a commitment even when it became inconvenient or to our disadvantage? Share your thoughts with your group.

27. Sharing question: Is your yes really a yes and your no a no? Do you follow through with what you say you will do? Think of both big promises and off-the-cuff words that you say. Consider your marriage vows or contracts that you have signed—big promises! Have you paid off the debts that you promised to pay or did you choose to go bankrupt without repayment? Have you backed out of commitments to your friends, co-workers, or church? Rate yourself from 1-5 in faithfulness. Share your rating and your reasoning with your group. What one practical step can you take so that you don’t agree to things that you later regret?

28. Responding to God: Confess your unfaithfulness to God; commit to show the world what he is like—faithful to his word and his promises!

Kay H’s Story

Shortly after my first daughter, Emily, was born I realized the need for more volunteers in Children’s Ministry. The truth is, I had always been aware of the ongoing need for volunteers in this area and had even responded once before as a young, single woman. That time God redirected me to High School Ministry in which I served for several years. Though that service was time consuming and very challenging, it also brought great rewards such as lifelong friendships, spiritual growth (mostly for me, but hopefully also for those I served), and a sense of joy and excitement in serving God well.

Now, as a new mom, I sensed not only the urgent need for workers in Children’s Ministry, but also the expectation (subtle and otherwise) that I would help to meet that need. Other moms would innocently ask, “Where do you serve in Children’s Ministry?” or “Do you help in the nursery or preschool area?” I felt guilty dropping off and picking up Emily knowing that others were giving their time to care for her and I was doing “nothing.” Finally, I caved in to all the pressure and agreed to work in the nursery. But it didn’t take long for me to figure out that was not the place for me. I dreaded going. I barely managed to get through my shift. I left discouraged and exhausted every time. I began to feel resentful. I talked to my husband about it and he tried to encourage me (but then he actually enjoys serving in Children’s Ministry, so it was difficult for him to relate to how I was feeling). I talked to God about it and basically He said, “What in the world are you doing in Children’s Ministry? Did I ask you to do that?” I realized I had made a mistake—being more concerned about other people’s needs and expectations than God’s. However, I had made a commitment and I knew God expected me to fulfill it. (He swears to his own hurt and does not change Psalm 15:4c.) So I did, to the best of my ability and totally dependent on the Lord. The when it came time to “reenlist,” my husband did and I didn’t, and I was OK with that.

I’d like to say I learned my lesson from that experience, but the truth is that I made the same mistake a few years later when Emily moved to the preschool area. Kevin and I signed up to teach her class on a regular basis. I thought I might enjoy it more. I let myself get talked into it. Then after a few weeks I deeply regretted my decision. Still, I finished out the year as best I could (with greater humility than enthusiasm).

Now, I think I get it. I’ve learned the importance of responding to God’s leading rather than others’ expectations (real or perceived). He’s been gracious in allowing me to serve Him in ways that, while still challenging, are fun and rewarding for me. And now I don’t ever just assume He wants me to do something just because I “can,” since the truth is that I can’t apart from Him. He keeps me from over committing time or energy and He gives me peace and permission to say “no.” Sometimes He even pushes me to say “yes” to things I’d rather not—like occasionally volunteering a few hours in Children’s Ministry.

Growing in Godliness for Moms - Faithful

In the lesson this week, we saw the faithful friendship between Jonathan and David. Jonathan was someone that David could count on. Jonathan demonstrated loyal love to his friend. How does this speak to us as moms?

Have you experienced unfaithfulness from a parent, a friend, or a spouse? How did it feel to know that you could not trust a person to keep his word? How secure did you feel in that relationship?

Our children need to know and experience a relationship with us in which we are faithful. Our love is constant. We keep our word. We are not shifting from day to day based on whims. Our faithfulness gives them security.

I have experienced this type of faithfulness from my husband. He is constant in his unconditional love for me and in keeping his word. I have thanked the Lord for allowing me to know what this kind of faithfulness and unconditional love feels like.

In a similar way, our children can have a foundation of security as we relate to them in faithfulness and unconditional love. The world may accept them conditionally and may not follow through on promises, but we can provide a place where they know that they are loved and accepted.

Even if you have not experienced faithfulness in earthly relationships, you can break the cycle and be the first in your family to be faithful. You can leave a legacy of faithfulness to your children that they would not have otherwise. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful in spite of the disappointments, hurts, and broken promises that you have experienced. Begin by reminding yourself of the faithfulness of God. We can always depend on His faithfulness.

In the turbulent and unstable world in which we live, our children need to know that they can depend on us as moms. It is difficult to break out of the mold of broken commitments and instability that characterizes so many families. However, God wants to demonstrate His love and His faithfulness to our children not only through His word but also through us as moms. Are you willing to let God use you to display His character to your children through your faithfulness?

Lord, we live in such a broken world. Families are torn apart by infidelity. Broken promises, ruined lives, and fractured families are the rule not the exception. Please help us as Christian moms to love our husbands and our children unconditionally and to live out faithfulness in all of our relationships.

Proverbs 20:6

Many people profess their loyalty,

but a faithful person  – who can find?

Action Step: Write a note to each of your children affirming how much you love them and how thankful you are that God created them exactly as He did. Remind them of God’s love for them and let them know that you are always there for them.


4 Strong’s #4103 pistos

Related Topics: Character of God, Character Study, Curriculum, Spiritual Life