TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, March 22, 2019:
The quality of being steadfast, faithful, and constant in devotion.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one or love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Loyalty is an important character trait. Loyalty and faithfulness typify the Christian. As believers we all know that our loyalty to God, our creator, our Savior and our Lord must be our first priority in our life. After being confident that we have complete loyalty to God we need to make sure that we are loyal to our spouses, our children, our parents and even our friends. Satan is constantly at work to weaken our faith and divide our loyalty.
Loyalty is a trait we admire in others and look for in a true friend. We all like to think of ourselves as loyal. Unfortunately, the reality is, we do not see much true loyalty in our world today. It is easy to be loyal if it doesn't demand anything of us. It is when loyalty costs us something that our resolve to be loyal crumbles.
Loyalty is difficult to maintain because it often puts us in a position of having to choose sides for whom or what we want to be loyal to. We must carefully evaluate whom or what we give our loyalty to.
Theodore Roosevelt, the former President of the United States, said in 1919: "There can be no divided allegiance here. We have room for one God, one flag, one language, and for one sole loyalty, and that is to the American people.” That is not evident today. Loyalties have become very fickle and divided.
As children in school we were taught to be loyal to our country and our flag. Our parents taught us to be loyal to them and to our siblings. Most importantly, our parents taught us to be loyal and devoted to our Lord.
In the Old Testament Solomon was known for his God-given wisdom and devotion to God. In spite of his wisdom and his love for God he failed to remain completely loyal to God. In I Kings 11:4 we read that Solomon's loyalty became divided. He allowed pressure from his pagan wives to compromise his devotion to God, "As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God." It was his downfall.
There are many pressures in this world that can cause us to compromise our loyalty to God. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus warned of this danger and compared it to trying to serve two masters. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one or love the other." Loyalty to the Lord our God requires making a choice. If we choose our Lord, He wants our loyalty without compromise.
Loyalty to the Lord may not be easy. Anyone who has lived under repressive governments such as communism knows that devotion to God comes at a heavy cost. Many have paid with their lives because of their faith and loyalty to their Lord.
We receive emails almost daily from Christians living in Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Libya and India whose churches have been burned down and live in fear of being killed. Every day we hear in the news of Christians being persecuted in terrible ways and in many cases killed for one reason only and that is because they are loyal to God and their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In America today we are often mocked for our faith. Even though we may be mocked, we must stay strong and loyal to our faith and God will honor us for it.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I John 1:3.
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Dear Lord, give me strength to stay loyal and faithful to You no matter what others might say or do to mock and ridicule me for my faith. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. We pray for Christians across the world living in fear of persecution for their faith. Keep them safe and bless them for their loyalty to their faith.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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