Faithfulness is a key part of God’s character. Preaching out of the life of Moses, Pastor Bobby Chaw encouraged the church to be faithful just like this hero of faith.
In his sermon over the weekend of Oct 3 and 4, City Harvest Church’s executive pastor Bobby Chaw, preached on faithfulness, a fruit of the Spirit and a key characteristic of Jesus (Gal 5:22-23).
Faithfulness is so important to God that the Bible promises Christians that if they remain faithful till the end, they will share in all that belongs to Christ (Heb 3:14).
To give the church a better idea of what faithfulness is, Pastor Bobby shared how Moses lived his life as the most faithful person in the Old Testament. Numbers 12:6-8 reveals that because of his faithfulness, God spoke to Moses face-to-face, while He spoke to other prophets through visions and dreams.
“What kind of faithfulness did Moses demonstrate that God would single him out and give him such honor?” asked Pastor Bobby. He went on to state three ways Moses was found faithful.
ONE: MOSES STAYED FAITHFUL IN SPITE OF DISAPPOINTMENTS
Moses was chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the land God gave to their ancestors 400 years ago. However, when the Israelites heard negative reports from the 12 spies Moses had sent out, they rejected God’s promise and allowed unbelief to fill their hearts. For the next 40 years, Moses and his people were stuck in the barren desert despite being so close to the Promised Land.
“Have you ever experienced a similar disappointment?” Pastor Bobby asked. It could be taking a step of faith to embark on a new job, or to start a business, only to meet with failure when COVID-19 struck. Or it could be envisioning a happy marriage and family, only to find it impossible to achieve.
Pastor Bobby encouraged the church to respond to disappointment the way Moses did. “His attitude was: ‘Lord, even if I have to wait in the desert and weather through harsh conditions for the next 40 years, I am willing. I will not give up on Your promises. I will not give up on Your word.’” In spite of disappointments, Moses remained faithful to God’s promises.
“The bridge between promises and fulfilment is patience; and remember, patience means long-suffering,” the pastor taught.
Pastor Bobby told the church about Ming Xian, a member of the Chinese congregation. He has been battling cancer for the past seven years and has gone through numerous operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Time and again, just as he thought he had finally overcome the sickness, another problem would arise. However, he has never once given up on God’s promises; instead, he has focused on the blessings of God.
“When disappointment comes, we must be patient and hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering,” encouraged Pastor Bobby. “Because God who has promised is faithful.”
TWO: MOSES STAYED FAITHFUL IN SPITE OF BETRAYALS
All throughout his ministry, Moses was betrayed by people whom he trusted. Once, his older siblings slandered him; another time 250 well-known community leaders among the Israelites came as a group to oppose him.
The pain of betrayal often drives people to shut down and to stop loving others. But Moses remained faithful to God’s command to love.
Betrayal comes in the form of lies, misunderstandings and criticism. But in the face of betrayal, Pastor Bobby urged the church to remain faithful to God’s command to love God wholeheartedly and to love people fervently. For love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Cor 13:7)
Moses pleaded for the children of Israel when they rebelled against God by worshipping the golden calf (Exo 32:11). This is how Jesus loves His people: even on the cross, He was pleading with God to forgive the Roman soldiers who had crucified Him (Lk 23:34).
“Jesus calls us to follow Him, to do the same,” declared Pastor Bobby. “‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.'” (Lk 6:27-28)
THREE: MOSES STAYED FAITHFUL IN SPITE OF FAILURES
Moses was a man with weaknesses, just like any other person. Exodus 2:11-15 records a dark time in Moses’ life when he killed an Egyptian and escaped into the wilderness, hiding as a fugitive for 40 years. In Numbers 20:11, at almost 120 years old, he failed again when he did not follow God’s instruction to speak to the rock. Instead, in his anger, he struck the rock twice with his rod. Because of that, God did not allow him to enter into the Promised Land.
Despite this, Moses did not allow his repeated failures to stop him from being faithful to God. He just kept trying again and again.
The Bible records beautifully the last days of Moses. Deuteronomy 34:5 reads, “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.” Even with his last breath, Moses did not stop obeying the word of the Lord.”
Sharing from his own past, Pastor Bobby told the church about his various failures as a student. When he was doing his Masters in Divinity 11 years ago, he failed one of the subjects and needed to sit for the paper again. But he refused to give up. By the grace of God, he graduated with a Doctorate of Ministry last year.
Galatians 6:9 exhorts, “Let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” Pastor Bobby encouraged the church not to give up on Jesus because the harvest will come when the time is right.
THE LORD IS HIS REWARD
Despite his faithfulness, Moses did not enter the Promised Land. Many would think that it was a shame after all he had been through, but Pastor Bobby pointed out that Moses’ aim was not to own the land in Canaan. Moses came from the priestly tribe of Levi, who were not allocated any land to possess.
Why then did Moses give his life to lead the Israelites into Canaan? Pastor Bobby explained that Moses did it for the more excellent deal: the Lord Himself was his inheritance and possession (Deut 18:1-2). He wanted to follow the presence of God all his life, even if it meant not entering the Promised Land.
Psalms 16:2 describes Moses’ devotion perfectly, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
To Moses, goodness is not defined by his success, or by his popularity; it is in the Presence and the Person of the Lord. “Apart from Him, there is no goodness,” declared Pastor Bobby. “When we have the Lord, we have everything. Even the impossible becomes possible. He who promises is faithful to fulfil it.”
Matthew 17 records a glimpse of Moses’ reward when he appeared with Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration in Israel, where he spoke face to face with Jesus. That is exactly what he had been pursuing all his life.
In Revelation 1:5, Jesus Christ is called the faithful witness, which is the word martys in Greek. “Martyrs” describe those whose entire lives are identified with Christ, even to the point of death. They not only believe in Jesus, but they stand by Jesus, living by His word and imitating Him in speech and deed, even at the risk of being challenged and threatened.
To illustrate his point, Pastor Bobby told the story of Sanctus, a deacon during the Roman rule of Marcus Aurelius in the second century, when Christianity was illegal and believers from the Roman Empire faced the threat of imprisonment, torture, or death. Despite being repeatedly tortured and told to renounce his faith, Sanctus held fast to his confession, “I am a Christian”, to the point of death. His whole identity was found in Jesus. Similarly, God is calling His believers to remain faithful to the very end.
In closing, Pastor Bobby shared from Acts 1:8. Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” To be faithful witnesses, Christians need the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Bobby closed the service by praying for the Holy Spirit to come afresh on the church, to fill every area of the members’ lives.