Key Verse

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
— 2 Timothy 4:7

Someone Faithful

2 Corinthians 4:8-18; 11:24-28; 2 Timothy 4:6-8



The class looked for good examples.

Well, here we are, thought Summer. I wonder how many of the other kids came up with examples?

Last Sunday Erik Mason, their eighth-grade Sunday school teacher, had thrown out a challenge to everyone in the class. Their lesson subject was the Apostle Paul, and they were each to think of an example of someone who was faithful in service to Christ, and be prepared to support their selection with specific details. Summer had thought off and on all week about who her choice would be.

Monday night she had helped prepare and serve refreshments for the youth get-together. Later in the week she had twice helped in the home of a new family in the church whose little girl was very ill. Between these things and the regular schedule of services and practices, she really had no time until yesterday to get her thoughts together and make a decision.

When she told Mrs. Adolphsen, a kind elderly lady, about the person she had finally chosen, Mrs. Adolphsen helped Summer with a few of the details.

“ . . . so Paul wrote to Timothy and told him, ‘I have kept the faith,’” Teacher Erik was saying. “There were other people who kept the faith before Paul’s time and there have been many since. Now, how many of you came up with an example of a person faithful in Christ’s service? Four? That’s a good start. Let’s hear the descriptions and then see if we can guess who each person is.”

“I’ll go first,” said Ryan. “I chose a man who loved to pray. He was very faithful in doing so. In fact he was so faithful that he was punished for praying to God instead of the king. He . . .”

“Oh, I know, Daniel! It’s Daniel!” cried Summer.

“Good for you, Summer,” said Teacher Erik. “How about you take the next turn?”

“This is a lady who none of us knows, but we’ve heard a lot about her. She was a preacher many years ago. At first she didn’t have a church building to meet in, just a blacksmith shop. Some rowdy people were always giving her a bad time. While the meetings were going on, the windows were broken with rocks, and eggs were thrown in. Also vegetables! She was even cut on her forehead when someone tossed a glass bottle through a window. Most people would have quit and said, ‘Forget preaching to people like that!’ But she was faithful and soon the church grew. The church she started now has branch churches in many different cities and in other countries. Some special words that might help you to know who she is are: ‘Jesus, The Light of the World.’”

Josie raised her hand and spoke at the same time. “That’s the lady who started our own Apostolic Faith Church, Florence Crawford!”

“Good,” said Teacher Erik. “Okay, Josie, do you have an example? No? Well, who’s next? Go ahead, Gunner.”

“My dad and I were talking about this man last week. He isn’t a person from the Bible but he had a lot to do with it. If he hadn’t been faithful in his work of translating the Bible we might be reading a different version today. There is a famous verse from the Bible that changed this man’s life, ‘The just shall live by faith.’”

“Martin Luther!” Paige said.

“Right! You’re next,” said Teacher Erik.

“Well, at first, when I thought about Paul’s being faithful even through persecution, I tried to think of someone who was having persecution now. When I couldn’t, I figured we don’t suffer persecution like he did. So, how do we prove we’re faithful? Well, I have a good one! I hope you’ll agree with me. This is a person you all know. A person who is always there when you need someone. You can always count on her to pray for you. If you need to get something done she’ll help you or even do it all for you. She’s a friend to everyone, young and old. She has a small job that most people would say ‘No thanks’ to, but you couldn’t get her to give it up. She takes care of old Mrs. Adolphsen on Saturday mornings—that means no weekend trips. And she does it with love! Mrs. Adolphsen told me she’s never met a more faithful young person.”

By now the whole class knew that she was talking about Summer.

While Summer blushed, Teacher Erik said, “It looks like we’re about out of class time but you did a great job coming up with examples of faithful people. Let’s remember all the examples we’ve talked about—and especially the last one because that’s where we are today. In our country this may not be a time of persecution such as those in other times have known. Still, if we are faithful in our work for Jesus we can say with Paul, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.’”