Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?
Dog’s are known as man’s best friend because they exemplify a tight, loyal relationship. The owner looks out for the dog, and in return, the owner is hopeful their friend is loyal to them. God looks out for us in the same way, and in return, hopes we will be loyal to Him.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creations, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
There is nothing that can separate us from our Heavenly Father. But, where do we stand? Mark 8:34-35 says that we are to be loyal to Christ:
Then Jesus called the crowd to himself along with his disciples and told them, ‘If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continuously, because whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it.'”
Our Creator died and gave us the gift of eternal life. He’s been loyal to us since the beginning of our existence, so why do we struggle with being loyal to Him? What could be better than doing His heavenly work?
Jefferson Bethke once said:
People would get upset and have this righteous argument whenever I would bring up those passages when Jesus asks for everything. How come He is the only one we get mad at that asks that? We are perfectly fine with everything else in our lives asking everything from us and asking to sacrifice for.”
True loyalty in Christ is hard to find because it requires action. Proverbs 20:6 declares:
Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable.”
In the Bible, there are many examples of loyal followers of Christ: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Esther, etc. They were thrown into circumstances, weighed options, and forced to decide where their loyalties lay. They were imperfect just like us.
You might be familiar with the story of Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that all nations and people fall down and worship the image of gold. These men did not serve or worship the gods, King, or the image of gold. Deciding not to follow through with the King’s request, they faced the possibility of being thrown into the blazing furnace. However, they had faith that their God would deliver them:
But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
They were tied up and thrown into a furnace that was seven times hotter than usual. However, there were four people in the fire instead of three, and out of disbelief, King Nebuchadnezzar saw that all of them were unbound and unharmed. The fourth person is revealed in Daniel chapter 3.
God is reliable. He always follows through. Revelation 2:25-26 proclaims our reward if we are loyal to Him:
Nevertheless, what you have, hold fast until I come. He who overcomes, and he who keeps my deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations.”
In Vespers this past week, we sang “Cornerstone” by Hillsong Worship and were made aware of our weaknesses but that we are “made strong through the Savior’s love.” When you listen to the ending, it is a reminder of the day Christ returns, how He will return, and how our sins will be wiped away. This song is a declaration of our loyalty to God.
Remember, “He is Lord, Lord of all”.