Jesus cultivated his disciples to be faithful workers. What the church needs to do is to cultivate faithful workers and keep them for the next generations. A Korean dictionary defines ‘faithfulness’ as ‘sincerity coming from the heart.’ Faithfulness cannot be forced. True faithfulness comes from the heart. When you closely observe the word ‘faithfulness’ in Chinese characters, you will discover an amazing meaning behind the word. Faithfulness in Chinese is ‘Choong-Sung (忠誠).’ The word ‘Choong’ is formed with a combination of the characters that means ‘center’ and ‘heart.’ And the word ‘Sung’ is formed with a combination of the characters that means ‘word’ and ‘accomplishment.’ Therefore, faithfulness in Chinese characters means ‘accomplishing words in the center of the heart.’
The faithful worker of God is the one who accomplishes the Word of God in the center of one’s heart. David was a faithful worker before God. We learn how to be a faithful worker through David. Not all of us are called to be successful, but rather to be faithful before God. The life of David serves as the biblical example of a faithful worker.
First, David was faithful to what was entrusted to him. He worked his best when tending the sheep his father had entrusted him. The Bible tells us that it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). Jesus asked, “And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:12). At times, we do our best over our possession but do poorly on others’ possession. However, God tells us that the one who is more faithful on what was entrusted than what he owns is the greater worker.
Second, David was faithful where he was unseen. When he was tending his father’s sheep, even when no one was looking he gave his best to care for the sheep. It may be easy to be faithful where you are seen. However, it is not easy to be faithful in unseen areas. The amazing truth is that God was watching David when he was tending sheep in the unseen place. The Bible tells us that when God chose David He took him from the sheep pen while he was tending the sheep (Psalm 78:70-71).
Third, David was faithful in little things. In order to save a lamb from lions and bears, he risked his life and fought them. In the parable of the talents, Jesus praised a servant who was faithful with a few things (Matthew 25:23). Jesus entrust more things to the faithful worker who are faithful with little things. Jesus said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).
Fourth, David was faithful at the right time. A faithful worker knows how to discern the timing. Jesus said, “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?” (Matthew 24:45). A faithful worker knows how to be faithful according to the timing. David had a time to serve as a shepherd and a time to serve as a general. He had a time to serve the Israelites as a king. He served God faithfully at right time.
Fifth, David was faithful till the end. It is easy to be faithful once or twice, it is difficult to faithful till the end. In addition, it is definitely not easy to be faithful till you die. In order to save a lamb, David remained faithful enough to risk his life. Jesus said, “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown” (Revelation 2:10). God is looking for the faithful workers who will be faithful till the end. David’s faithfulness is the foreshadowing of the faithful image of the coming Jesus.
Jesus faithfully accomplished the word God gave him to do (John 17:4). Jesus rejoiced in doing the good work privately. Jesus told people not to publicize their good works. Jesus valued the little people and faithfully carried out small things. Jesus treasured God’s timing. Jesus often used an expression, “My time has not yet come.” Jesus accomplished the will of the Father according to the timing of the Father. Jesus was faithful till the end and was faithful to the point of death on the cross.
The book of Hebrews refers Jesus as a “faithful high priest” (Hebrews 2:17). In addition, the Bible says that if “Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant,” (Hebrews 3:5) then “Jesus is faithful over God’s house as a son” (Hebrews 3:6). I hope all of the servants who are being appointed this year will become faithful workers like David and Jesus. I pray that all of us would become the faithful workers that please God.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.