Semper Fidelis. It’s the motto of the United States Marine Corps, and its translation from the Latin means “Always Faithful.” The trait of complete faithfulness makes for more than strong Marines, it also characterized the way God deals with us.
Well, as they say, “I’m not as lean, not as mean, but I’m still a Marine”, and I want to welcome you to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, please share it with a friend!
Some titles come and go, others remain. The ones that come with the greatest price hold the most value. In many a nation’s armed forces, the title of soldier or sailor is given upon arrival at basic training. In the United States Marines you’re a “recruit” until the day you graduate. Then and only then is the title of “Marine” awarded, and it’s yours for life. And with it comes a standard to be upheld – Semper Fidelis.
Today’s verse says HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU OR FORSAKE YOU.
However even the faithfulness of any elite military force pales in comparison to the faithfulness of God. God has demonstrated His faithfulness from time immemorial. He has said, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Now you don’t have to worry that He’ll slam dunk the people who find themselves in generation 1,001. What He is saying in that verse is that His faithfulness will never fail. It goes on and on and on; generation after generations beyond what you can count.
That’s good news for the ones who determine to seek Him. He never changes, His love never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. In fact, they are new every morning!
Since He never changes, that means that He’s always going to be found the same way. When we come to the place where we understand and believe that God exists and decide to seek Him, we WILL find Him because He is faithful. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then He places His Spirit within us, empowering us and giving us the very gifts we need. Need for what, you may ask? For us to live lives of unending faithfulness, too. There is an amazing aspect to God’s faithfulness when compared with ours. When we are faithless and fall into sin, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny himself. He forgives when we ask, and continues to renew His mercies every morning.
It is God who enables us to remain faithful. His power fills our faithfulness, too. Today’s promise that HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU OR FORSAKE YOU comes in the midst of King David giving his son Solomon the massive task of taking over the rulership of the nation of Israel and building the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. It wasn’t in some private conversation that David gave his son the responsibility for this huge undertaking. No, King David had summoned all the leaders of Israel to Jerusalem: the leaders of the tribes, the leaders of the divisions in the king’s service, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the king’s property, along with the court officials and every mighty man of valor. Solomon was given the greatest responsibility of his life in the midst of an enormous group of people who had dedicated their lives to being faithful in their service to the king. Now Solomon was being charged with taking his place in their ranks.
They would watch. They would assist with the resources under their control and the experience they had gained. They would encourage Solomon to be faithful. He would know that inside the palace or out, the eyes of those who had demonstrated their own faithfulness would always be upon him. We too are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, faithful servants of God from across the ages who serve the same purpose. So let’s get rid of everything that holds us back and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. Never taking our eyes off Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Semper Fidelis – Always faithful.
Be faithful. Faithful to seek God, faithful to serve Him when you’ve found Him. Be faithful always. Daniel was faithful when it was inconvenient. His three friends were faithful when it was dangerous.
King David encouraged his son with these words. ““Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
God never said faithfulness would be easy. Look at the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to see what His faithfulness cost Him. He never said faithfulness would be easy. God said faithfulness would be worth it.
HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU OR FORSAKE YOU