Loyalty is the quality of devotion or attachment to somebody or something. It’s both a feeling and an action. Some of us by nature tend to be loyal. Others of us are more skeptical, preferring instead to be mavericks out on our own. Loyalty is being tested everyday in homes and businesses and human relationships across this planet. Who demands your loyalty or has the right to it? Do they receive it from you? How good are you at remaining loyal? Loyalty affects how you approach life—God’s way or the world’s way.
We can’t know all that’s ahead for us, but we can choose to declare, “Jesus, I am YOUR woman.” By that, I am saying, “Jesus, You are my master. I choose to be loyal to You—today and every day.”
I didn’t understand what that meant when I was a young Christian. But, my eyes had been opened to a life that was different than before. So, I made a life choice to seek God’s truth and to discern it from all the junk the world throws at me. I wanted to know Jesus first; everything else needed to match up to Jesus’ truth, or I wanted none of it. I don’t want any other way of approaching life to sneak in and get in the way of my loyalty to Jesus. But, it’s been many years of every day making the choice between two options. Do I really want to be Jesus’ woman completely? Or, do I prefer to be part Jesus’ woman and the rest my own? You have those same two options.
I’ve learned 4 truths about loyalty to Jesus in my walk of faith.
Truth 1. Jesus as Lord deserves our loyalty.
The moment you trust in Jesus Christ as your savior, you get a new life fused together with His and a new identity. You are now said to be in Christ, a Child of God, one of God’s saints, totally accepted and loved by Him. You can never lose this new identity.
You are set free to live a radically different kind of life. And, in that freedom, you have a choice, “Who are you going to serve with your life now?” God or yourself? That choice was ever before Paul as well. In his life and his words, he communicated to Jesus, “I am YOUR man forever.” Years ago, I made that choice, too, when I said to Jesus, “I am YOUR woman forever.” I serve you.
But, how do we do that with all the distractions around us. By that, I don’t mean our families or jobs. Serving them well is serving Jesus loyally. I mean, all the other ways of approaching life. Think about some of those: leaning on astrology or psychics, gaining power through money, self-promotion and self-will, the right to pleasure yourself, claiming no absolute truth so you choose what works for you, and our American rights of equality. All of those voices are calling out to us in this culture. How do we remain loyal to Jesus as our master and His way of approaching life?
In Acts chapter 20, Paul described what he did to remain loyal to Jesus. In this speech from Paul’s heart, he starts off with saying that he served the Lord with all humility. And, he did not consider his life worth anything to himself but only to his Lord.
Truth 2. Loyalty requires humility.
Humility is a decision you make in your mind. You choose humility before God by recognizing His authority over you. You know that you’ve made that decision when you are willing to trust in God’s goodness and accept His dealings with you as good without fighting Him on it. Then that choice is reflected in your gentle behavior towards others.
Humility is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. A poor me attitude is occupied with self. “I’m a victim, I’m worthless, it’s God’s fault I’m like this.” Humility is not occupied with self at all.
Humility is not renouncing that you can do some things well. It is recognizing that you do those things well because God gave you the genetics, the intelligence, and the opportunity to do so. And, you give Him the credit for it.
In order to serve Jesus Christ loyally, we must do it with humility, declaring, “I am YOUR woman, Lord Jesus. How may I serve you today?” Loyalty requires humility. Humility leads to obedience.
Truth 3. Humility leads to obedience.
What good is a servant who refuses to obey? Or, who is out there trumpeting herself and her own will, and occasionally remembering to do what Jesus wants?
I heard Bible teacher Chip Ingram say this about obedience:
God would rather I have understanding of 2 verses that I obey immediately than 20 verses that I don’t. Obedience is the key to discernment. It’s not “capture and remember;” it’s “hear and obey.” (Chip Ingram, DTS Leader Board)
What do you think about that? Do you agree? I’ve often wondered what would happen in our small groups if we studied the same passage over and over until we all got it and applied it, then moved on.
We can have this desire for knowledge about the Bible. That’s a good thing. But, it’s obedience to God’s will for us revealed in His Word that grows us to maturity. And, we can know God’s will on a great many things. Humility before God means I’ve already got that settled in my mind. Now, I can obey Him in the rest of what He desires for my daily life to please Him as I choose to approach life God’s way.
What are some hindrances to our obedience?
- a lack of understanding of God’s commands
- selectively choosing what we will obey
- not getting the ugliness of our sin
Obedience is necessary to remain loyal to Jesus and not get carried away by sin and all those other ways of approaching life. Humility is the decision you’ve already made in your mind that you are not God, that Jesus is your master, and you serve Him by obedience to Him.
Truth 4. Obedience offers protection.
The rewards of being loyal to Jesus are immense and incomparable to anything the world can offer me. One of those rewards is protection. Obedience is necessary to protect yourself from those who distort the truth and draw you away from Jesus and His way of approaching life. You are protected from being sucked into every new fad that comes along. And, there’s protection from the consequences of following our own bull-headed schemes!
When you have humbled yourself before Jesus as your master and chosen to obey His commands revealed to you in the Bible, you will be able to recognize truth from error, from anything that is distorted. But, when you resist the discipline that comes from obedience, you’re vulnerable to embracing whatever new heresy comes along as a fad. And, you cannot recognize the truth when you see it.
Beware of anything that promotes disobedience to God’s commands and robs you from the joy and benefits of loyalty to Jesus.
Loyalty affects how we approach life — Jesus’ way or all those other options out there that offer nothing lasting. The loyalty factor is a huge lesson for all believers to grasp. Jesus as Lord deserves our loyalty!
Radical Acts Bible Study (read online)
Radical Acts Bible Study (download pdf)