Hello and welcome to this week's Practical Living Blog. Today's topic is loyalty. Let's see if and to whom a Christian should be loyal shall we?
One of the biggest displays of loyalty in the Bible occurs in the book of Ruth. "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die," (Ruth 1:16-17A, KJV). Ruth is devoted to her mother-in-law after the death of her husband. Her devotion goes beyond wanting to stay with her, she abandons her people and her religion for her. Another display of loyalty was Elijah and Elisha. When Elijah was about to be called away by God, he and Elisha were travelling. As they came to each town, Elijah tried to get Elisha to stay there. But Elisha refused and followed Elijah all the way to the fiery chariot. See also Proverbs 17:17 and 18:24.
So, how is this devotion supposed to be directed to? Well, certainly God is worthy of our devotion. After all, He was devoted to us first! His devotion to us is unwavering. Our friends also deserve devotion and loyalty. When Jesus told his disciples He was about to die and they would desert him, they all (led by Peter) swore they would not (Matthew 26:33-35). Although they ended up doing exactly what they said they wouldn't, we should stand by our friends when they need us. During Paul's trial, he stood alone at first, except for God. Paul tells of how he has only one brother with him Luke as he asks Timothy to come and bring Mark with him (2 Timothy 4:10-11). Think of how Paul and Jesus suffered having their closest friends turn their backs on them. When times were good they were surronded by friends who pledged their devotion, but when things were bad their friends were nowhere to be found. Paul tells us that what they did was wrong (2 Timothy 4:16). I think if Luke could stand with Paul in prison, we should be able to stand with our Christian brothers and sisters in this world.
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