The Rewards of Faithfulness: A pondering by Holly Woodbridge
1 Peter 4 Being Faithful to God
4 Christ suffered here on earth. Now you must be ready to suffer as he did, because suffering shows that you have stopped sinning. 2 It means you have turned from your own desires and want to obey God for the rest of your life. 3 You have already lived long enough like people who don’t know God. You were immoral and followed your evil desires. You went around drinking and partying and carrying on. In fact, you even worshiped disgusting idols. 4 Now your former friends wonder why you have stopped running around with them, and they curse you for it…
7 Everything will soon come to an end. So be serious and be sensible enough to pray. 8 Most important of all, you must sincerely love each other, because love wipes away many sins. 9 Welcome people into your home and don’t grumble about it.
Glenda was an addict. She lived a lesbian lifestyle. She did what she wanted. She spent what she wanted. But it wasn’t working. She was angry at the world. And she had come to a place in her life where she just wanted to end it all.
Jean Carson was an alcoholic. She had spent time as an army nurse. She had seen things and done things that pushed her to a place of utter despair. Her marriage and family were falling apart.
Louise Clifford was a petite pastor’s wife with a great big God. She knew no fear. She had met Jesus when she was five years old and had decided she would love Him with her whole heart and share His story with the world.
So she did.
Glenda’s neighbor attended Louise’s church and told Louise about her. Louise knocked on her door.
Jean’s sister, Judy, attended Louise’s church and asked for prayer for Jean. Louise introduced herself.
And then she introduced them to Jesus.
Louise walked these women through tremors, set-backs and the difficulties of recovery. She didn’t know how to give up. So they didn’t.
Jean became a pillar of the local church. Her humility and generosity was a light to many. Glenda had to move in with her brother and sister- in-law because of a terminal illness and she lit up that little basement apartment with the love of God.
There are many more lives touched along the way.
That little pastor’s wife became known as their tree, but she knew she was just a branch.
Louise, that’s my mom, turns 95 today. She has lived a life of faithfulness and fruitfulness all because of a decision she made when she was five years old.
She chose to be faithful to her faithful God. There is nothing more precious to her than her relationship with Jesus.
Take a moment today and search your own heart. Do a faithfulness check-up.
First Peter 4 continues in verse 10: 10 Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well. 11 If you have the gift of speaking, preach God’s message. If you have the gift of helping others, do it with the strength that God supplies. Everything should be done in a way that will bring honor to God because of Jesus Christ, who is glorious and powerful forever. Amen.