Being loyal… to God

Yesterday I said that we can misunderstand what Jesus meant when he used the word “love.”

I suggested that the word he used for “love” was close in meaning to “loyalty.” It is to have a kind of committed attachment to someone as a fellow child of God, and to seek God’s best for them.

But Jesus tells us not only to love the people around us, but to love God as well: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

Based on what I said about love and loyalty, it was kind of like saying, be loyal to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

To me, it’s a helpful emphasis. It clears away the sentimentality and fuzziness that can creep into our understanding of the word “love.”

Loving God includes being loyal to God.

Here’s one idea about how to do that: Stand by God even when it’s not the popular thing to do.

Think about it. If I say that I love my brother, and then someone comes along and spreads lies about him, and if I just stand there twiddling my thumbs and don’t say anything to correct them… is that being loving?

Nope.

Loving God includes being loyal to God.

It can be tough because we live in a society that increasingly disrespects and misunderstands God. I get that. But we are called to love God with our whole being.

So with humility and grace, stand by God even when it’s not the popular thing to do.

By Matthew Ruttan

–This coming Sunday my sermon is called “But deliver us from evil: Understanding the spirit-world battle you’re already in.” Click here for a short YouTube video where I explain what it’s about.
—Today’s devotional is partly based on my most recent sermon called “The Cardinal Virtue.” You can listen in by clicking here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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