From Faith to Faithfulness

Apr 05th 2014

In the spring of 1975, I finally received that little piece of paper all teens crave, my learner’s permit. (Yes they grow drivers young in South Dakota.) With a learner’s permit I wasn’t permitted to drive alone after dark. One evening, there was a talent show at school and I wanted to go, but my folks didn’t want to drive me. So they let me drive with clear instructions to come home immediately after the event. No driving uptown. Now uptown in my town was nothing more than three blocks. But there was a pool hall/bar on the last block, to which all my friends were going. So I went. On my way home I rolled through the lone stop sign and was pulled over by a police officer who upon viewing my license decided to escort me out back home…with lights flashing.

He walked me to the door and asked to talk with my father. I don’t remember their conversation, all I remember is my father looking at me and saying the words, “I guess we just can’t trust you any more can we Dan?”

I’m not sure how those words would play in your mind, but my father’s trust was of great value to me at the time. So those words brought a certain sense of devastated sleeplessness. What a terrible thing it is for a son to hear His father say, “I guess I can’t trust you.”

How do we paint the picture of someone who lives their one and only life in an uncommon way? What leads to greatness in God’s Kingdom? What is it that will lead to living an heroic life? In our society, in the Christian conversation, there is far more dialogue about faith than there is about faithfulness. Over and over again the question is asked, “Can God be trusted?” Over and over again we have encouraged and even sometimes pleaded with people to trust in God. We have written books to persuade people that God can be trusted.

Did you ever wonder if God might occasionally get tired of having his trustworthiness doubted?

Did you ever wonder if he has the same question for us?  Sometimes people are asked, “If you had just one question, and could ask God anything, what would you ask? What if God could ask us one question? I wonder if He might ask, “Can I trust you?”  

Last weekend at Calvary we gave away $25,000! That would be close to an average weekend offering for us. So rather than taking an offering, we gave an offering. One of thoughts that you might have had if you were with us… “Wow that’s kind of risky. You don’t have much control over how that money is used once it walks out the door.” But isn’t that what God does every day?

Every day He gives us resources to use as we choose; 1440 minutes to use as we choose; opportunities to use as we choose; talents to use as we choose; money to use as we choose. It’s kind of risky. Every day we can choose to live our lives with open hands and open hearts — that’s called generosity — or we can choose to live with closed fists.  That’s called something else.

Last weekend, I shared Jesus parable of the talents, (Matthew 25:14-30) and then near the end of the message (

      1. listen here
) we gave everyone an envelope which contained $10, $20, or $50. Very simple instructions were given with the money.

  • Use it to bless someone outside of yourself or your family.
  • Don’t give it back to Calvary.
  • Give it (use it) by May 5.
  • Share Your Story with us.

Already the stories are being written. One family pooled their money and went and bought the ingredients to make their neighbors (a bunch of college students) a meal. One family pooled their resources and gave it to a woman who works with the homeless in our community, so that she could take them out to dinner at the Olive Garden. One of my favorites, a woman who had a bit of an altercation at a McDonald’s drive-thru paid for the meal of the man who was angry with her (because she beat him to the window :) Now that’s what you call a happy meal!

Two thoughts coming from this assignment.

1. Even if  you weren’t with us that weekend, you can still join us. Just take a $10, $20 or $50 from your wallet. Bless the money with a prayer saying, “God this is your money, please give me an opportunity to bless someone.” And then do it!

2. It is not drudgery to be generous. It is a joy that God has blessed us to be a blessing. That’s really the point of Jesus’ story.