Making a promise is easy. After all, making a promise simply requires saying words that we think people around us want to hear. Keeping a promise, however, is a different story. Keeping a promise means living up to the things we say we will do. Keeping a promise requires putting actions to the words we say. In other words, being a promise keeper means living faithfully. Being a promise keeper, or living faithfully, is a call that Scripture takes seriously. Scripture teaches that followers of Christ are called to live faithfully to Him, being known for keeping their promises to Him. After all, He keeps His promises to us.
Would you rather have no one show up at your wedding or no one show up at your funeral?
1. How would you define faithfulness?
2. Why do you think faithfulness in other people is such an important quality to us?
3. Read Ecclesiastes 5:2-6. According to theses verses, how can we take steps to fight against unfaithfulness and breaking promises?
Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.
Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.
When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.
4. When was a time where you broke a promise you made to someone? How did it hurt you or other people?
5. Read 2 Timothy 4:5-8. Knowing what you know about the life of Paul, the author of 2 Timothy, what stands out to you about what he said in these verses?
2 Timothy 4:5-8
But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
6. We said over the weekend that awards get distributed at the finish line. What is promised to those who persevere in their faith?
7. What is one step you can take to persevere in that area where you are ready to give up?
Group leaders, hand every member in your group a notecard or sheet of paper. On that notecard, write down each group member’s name. Next to each person’s name, write down the area of their lives where they are wanting to give up. Commit to praying for each group member throughout the next week for these areas. Pray for perseverance as you and your group fight to persevere in their faith and remain faithful.
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The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.