Hachiko is a name of a dog. Have you heard the story of Japan’s most famous dog? His name was Hachi, an Akita dog who was owned by a university professor in the 1920’s in Tokyo. Every day, Hachi accompanied the professor to Shibuya Station, and in the evenings, the man would come back to find the dog waiting faithfully, a happy expression on his face. This continued for years, until one day, the man died suddenly while away from home.
Loyal Hachi waited for his master to return for ten years, wagging his tail in front of the station every afternoon until he, too, eventually died. Tokyo residents erected a bronze statue in Hachi’s memory, which would forever represent the loyalty of the dog in the minds of citizens, until it had to be melted down during World War II. But it was replaced after the war ended, and is now one of the most famous landmarks in Japan. (Hachi is better known by the name of Hachiko, the koh suffix being used for people or animals that we’re very close to.)
“Never forget somebody who loves you and never forget someone whom you love.”
I would like to talk to you today about being faithful and receiving the rewards of faithfulness. A reward is something given or received in return for what is done or for a service or merit. Faithfulness means being loyal, trustworthy, and conscientious.
While God gives the reward it is those who are faithful who will receive His reward. Jesus said, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according to his work shall be (Rev 22:12).”
Today, I would like to encourage you to be faithful to the Lord. To be faithful means to give our best to the master and to give up the sins that hinders us from receiving our master’s blessings. (I remember a young man [Edmond], 27, an Armenian, who drove up two days ago to church looking for answers to his life. He has been into drugs, bad influences, smoking and worldliness. He said, “I don’t much to do right now because of my situation but I want to find answers and I think and believe God is the answer.” He asked for more Daniel & Revelation lessons to devote his time studying.
This is the time to heed the call of Christ. Come and see. Come and experience. Come and witness that your desire to follow Christ and be faithful to Him will be rewarded. Now is the time to be faithful and to receive the rewards of faithfulness.
In our Christian experience, especially, when times are rough and tough our thoughts would dwell on the negative because we have not received our rewards. We begin to complain and talk. Why is it that there is so much cheating, lying, criticizing, and condemning? Relationships are broken. People gossip about anything. We complain we have not received what we think we deserve. Let me tell you what we really deserve, Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of Christ is life eternal.”
When we begin to compare and say look those evil people seems to get richer, we lose sight of the truth that God is fair. “Evil people will get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last. (Prov 11:18 NLT).” The reward of those who do evil is temporary but the reward of the faithful will be eternal.
Let us expect good things from God and we will indeed receive the good things from Him. To receive is to expect God will give us the desires of our hearts. God is ready to reward our faithfulness with more hope, more joy, and more optimism. Are we opening our hearts and hands to receive them today?
David says in Ps 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.”
Some of you may have lost your job, your home, and your relationships. Some of you may have struggle with your kids at home losing them to bad influences. Some of you would like to throw in the towel and quit. Turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and say, “Lord Jesus I would like you to help me turn things around. Lord, I am opening my heart to you. Lead me Lord to the right path.
God will supernaturally connect you to the right people to rescue you from the wrong crowd the moment you acted in faith.
The Scriptures tells a story of a certain young man. His name was Joseph. His story began in Gen 37. The name Joseph (Heb: Yosef) literally means “The Lord increases/may add.” “Joseph being 17 years old was feeding the flock with his brethren… Gen 37:2” Early on Joseph showed his loyalty to his father. His father asked him to labor daily and Scripture announced that he was “feeding the flock.” God found Joseph to have a superior moral character early on. Joseph was elevated to one of the most trusted young man in the family. His father loved him. He was loyal to his father, he did not participate in gossip or telltale, but he confided the scandalous deeds (evil) of his brothers to Jacob. Faithfulness requires us to be so honest to our heavenly Father that what we say is true.
When we are loyalty to our heavenly father, our reward is immediate. Joseph’s loyalty and integrity was rewarded with a coat of many colors.
Friends, if you are loyal to God the Father, your clothes are special, your food is special and your friends are special.
Scriptures say, “And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in She-chem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I” Gen 37:13. Joseph knew that his brothers do not agree with him but he did not allow their envy to discourage him he was confident that his act of goodwill toward his brothers will be rewarded. He volunteered to bring provisions for his brothers. But his brothers upon seeing him plotted to kill him.
Joseph understands that he has to go through these things, deserving this evil was not his problem; he was responding that his brothers got it wrong. When we are unfairly treated and people will try to destroy us stay faithful and God will rescue us from the wrong crowd.
David says in Ps 23, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
God delivered him by using Reuben. Friends, when we are in the pit of desperation. God will send a Reuben in our lives. God will send people to deliver you from desperation and death. Death is not our destiny. Life eternal is our destiny. The name Reuben (the eldest son of Jacob to Leah) means, “he has seen my misery and he will love me.”
God will bless those people whom we worked with and God will enhance their lives when we are faithful to Him.
Joseph was separated from his father. God brought Joseph to Potiphar’s home in Egypt to fulfill His plan. Know this; you are a blessing to other. Do not allow jealousy to discourage you from blessing others. The reward of faith is when people see the difference you are making in their lives. They see God in what you do.
Gen 39:2-3, “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” Let me ask you as you read this verse to mentally rehearse and change the name of Joseph and replace it with your own name. And say, “And the Lord was with______” Friends, you are on your way to prosperity when you are faithful to the Lord and people become envy of you. In John Bunyan’s book “The Pilgrim’s Progress” envy was the first witness against faithfulness. But Christian stayed faithful and he found deliverance from envy.
God will promote (upgrade) us when we are faithful to Him.
Joseph progressed from the pit to prosperity and now to prison. Gen 39:6-8, “And he (Potiphar) left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not aught he had save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said lie with me. But he refused and said unto his master’s wife, Behold my master wottett not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; there is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against my God?” Joseph stayed loyal to God the Father. He was seduced day by day and he refused to be unfaithful day by day.
When we are faithful God will upgrade us. We are asked not to participate in faultfinding and gossiping to elevate ourselves. Men will harm us but God will use it for our good. Men meant it for harm God will use it to promote us. Stay faithful and you will see the promotion and elevation that comes from God. Jeremiah 29:11,“For I know the plans that I have for you. They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Be reminded today that evil will not hinder us from receiving our rewards.
Joseph progressed from the pit to the prison to a place of service. While in prison, Joseph lived a consistent life of faith. Gen 39:22-23, “And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison, and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.” Joseph prospered even in the prison.
Two former workers of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, were sent to jail for their offenses and one day they have two dreams. God allowed the prison to be a place and opportunity for him to serve. He interpreted the dream for them correctly. The baker was hanged and the butler was freed. After two years the Pharaoh had a dream in which no wise men or magicians can interpret for him and then the butler remembered Joseph who successfully interpreted his dream. The butler recommended Joseph to Pharaoh.
If we stay faithful to God the Father, God will use a “butler” to recommend us to the path of success and security. What’s the point? Be good to the lowly as well as to the mighty. God’s timing will always be exact, effective, and extremely successful. Joseph progressed from the pit, to the prison, to the palace in a position of trust. God used Reuben and Judah to save Joseph from death. God used the Ismaelites and the Midianites to bring Joseph to prosperity. God used Potiphar and allowed his wife to falsely accuse Joseph to prepare him for greatness. God used the butler so that Joseph will be crowned as the most powerful person next to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt.
No cross no crown
The harder the trials the glorious the triumph
The more faithful we are the more rewards we have
God will reward us with a better life when we are faithful to Him.
“All things work together for good to them that love the Lord.” God rewards faithfulness. If things do not go our way, stay in faith, in God’s time we will be rewarded.