Fizzle Out! Have you ever heard that expression? What picture comes to your mind? One of the definitions for fizzle is A failure or aborted effort. We used to call firecrackers that fizzled out, duds. When I think of this term, I think of people who claimed to be excited about something or make great statements of commitment—This is awesome! I’m all in!—only to later fizzle out. They turned out to be a dud!
I’ve seen many a person claim their faithfulness and commitment to many things only to soon “fizzle out.” I’ve seen people fizzle out of their marriages, fizzle out of the good intentions of their parenting efforts, fizzle out of their plans to trim down or get in shape, fizzle out of their commitments to things that they said, God had told them to do. Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV) says, “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?” God says many people will proclaim all the great and wonderful things they can or are going to do. I always wonder who will still be there doing what they started out to do in the end.
I have always had great admiration for people who are faithful and stick to and finish what they start out to do. This country was founded by faithful pioneers who had a great vision of things that could be. They were intensely faithful to that vision. Pioneers and people faithful to a cause usually make innumerable unseen sacrifices of their own time and resources for the future good of others. We are blessed to be living in a land that was pioneered by the faithful at the cost of tremendous sacrifice so that we may experience the prosperity and freedom that we have today.
At church, I find myself surrounded by faithful people. I’ll give you one example although I could literally give you hundreds. Years ago I saw a tremendous lack of parenting skills in parents with young children. This was before the television show Super Nanny came along as a great gift from God for parents. I felt that most parents did not realize that if they would put forth the hard but wonderful work of consistent hands-on teaching, instructing, reproving, and discipline with their children in these powerfully formative early years of their children’s lives, the rest of their growing years with their children will be a cake walk compared to those children that were given minimum parenting. Parents that don’t set boundaries enforced with follow-through and discipline, end up with children that run wild. God had put it on my heart to help many of these young parents so that they could avoid all the pitfalls and heartaches that so many parents face later on when their children turn to teenagers.
I started a class called Parenting Young Children that Renee and I taught for a number of years. Parents loved it and the fruit of what we taught was immediate in the lives of these families. My responsibilities at our church of 10,000 people are enormous and never-ending. I started our Small Group Ministry over 30 years ago and we have a great diversity of groups. It has always been important to continue to add groups to meet the needs of our church. Years ago while I was teaching Parenting Young Children, a couple came along that told me they God had put it on their heart to help me in any way I needed. I was grateful and glad to have their help. They were and are wonderful people. I never just turn something over to someone. I spent time working with and mentoring this couple letting them learn what we were teaching and eventually giving them the opportunity to teach what we had taught. They did a delightful job and in many ways, brought a new dimension of creativity and fun to the group that helped it to continue and greatly prosper. Because of these people, the vision and importance of the group continued to expand. They eventually took the helm freeing me to start something new. These people ran this group for over 20 years and blessed countless people who have glowingly shared a multitude of powerful testimonies from the help they have received in this group.
People like this are the definition of faithful. They are often working quietly and diligently behind the scenes without glory or fanfare. These kinds of people aren’t driven by the pat on the back. They are driven by an inward vision and passion to a cause. People like this build things now for the good of others later. Few people understand the sacrifices the faithful make of their personal and family time to help others. They have the same demands on their lives that everyone else has and yet, they selflessly sacrifice enormous amounts of their personal time and resources for the well-being of others. People like this are the gold and precious stones of the earth. They are the salt that brings mankind its flavor. They are God’s living and breathing blessings manifest in this earth to make our lives better.
I am surrounded by people like this at our church—people who have been faithfully serving others out of their heart and unto the Lord for 15, 20, and even 30 years. They consider it a part of their destiny and God-given purpose. What they do is hugely significant in God’s wonderful scheme of things.
The faithful are a huge part of what makes my life rich. They don’t know what fizzle out means. They live a life of faithfulness.
I hope you notice the faithful that touch you and your family’s lives. Let me warn you, they are often almost invisible. They go about being a blessing without drawing any attention to themselves. You’d have to take time to think about who they are! If you do, the greatest payback you could ever give them is to create a moment to let them know that you’ve noticed and are so thankful for how they have blessed your life. It will bless them immensely and energize them even more. And while you are looking to see who these people are in your life, stop and ask yourself—Are you are faithful or a fizzler? Let them encourage and inspire you!
Colossians 1:2 (NLT) “We are writing to God’s holy people… who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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