By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious
In part one we focused on the first three of the proposed seven building blocks with which to build this nation: leadership, inspiration, trustworthiness, faithfulness, dedication, commitment, and good stewardship. Let us now examine the last four.
FAITHFULNESS: This can mean full of faith as an individual, or being a person in whom others may place their faith. For most persons it is a matter of both. Our relationship with God makes all of the difference. Our love for God drives us beyond our selfish limits. We cannot do enough for the One that did so much for us. These are the words of Psalm 119:105-112 NIV:
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, Lord, according to your word. Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. 111 Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.”
When we look at the cross, we see love, forgiveness and suffering. We see One who was so faithful that we have access to God in prayer. How faithful are we? How much do we love God? How close are we to God? How does this influence our character and affect our behaviour? When the Lord comes, if it is in our lifetime, will he find us faithful? What needs to change? Do we need to pray, worship, serve others, and study the Bible more regularly?
DEDICATION: The special bond that encourages us to place great importance on a relationship or a job that makes it a high priority reveals this quality. We may dedicate a book or song to someone indicating the great affection we have. To be dedicated to a nation is to possess a deep love, to speak with obvious pride, to labour for its advancement sacrificially. Jesus displays great emotion in his devotion to Jerusalem:
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognise the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19: 41-44 NIV).
COMMITMENT: To make a commitment is to make a promise. And to keep that promise over the years is a sign of the level of commitment. Sometimes we say yes to a task that we have no intention of completing, or we say no without hesitation because we consider it beneath us or not our job description. Sometimes we are easily distracted and we lose focus. It is the difference between being half-hearted and whole-hearted. God’s laws are the best guidelines. Psalm 119:57-64 NIV declares:
“You are my portion, Lord. I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. 61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law. At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts. The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.”
To what are we committed? Do we make money at the expense of others with no regard for their wellbeing? Do we take care of our own family and have no regard for anyone else? Is building a better Bahamas anywhere on our agenda?
GOOD STEWARDSHIP: This is a lifestyle of care and concern. It may be expressed in engaging in activities to preserve the environment, to handle money well in order to assist others, to enjoy a modest lifestyle, or to manage our time well. It requires balance and discipline toward all obligations. It is reflected in humble gratitude that wants to manage, protect, and develop the blessings that we have entrusted to us as a people. Let us build our future together with faithfulness, dedication, commitment as good stewards, blessing the generations to come.
• Rev Angela Palacious, a motivational speaker and author of several devotional books, is an Anglican priest. She may be contacted at 393-9000 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.