Loyal Living: As Loving As Jesus

by Carolyn Hope

“The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:10)

There is no greater example of loyalty than the one Jesus gave us. His loyalty reaches farther, dives deeper, and speaks stronger than any other. His commitment to His Father, and to His cause, propelled him to give up everything for everyone. He traded the height of His holiness for the humility of a human. He lived perfectly, faultlessly, completely submitted to the Father and to Holy Spirit. He only said what Father said. He only did what He was commanded.

Jesus entered the world in obedience. He lived a loyal life. He died a devoted death. Three days later, He rose in victory! And still, He remains faithful and committed. Not just to Father God, Holy Spirit, or Their plans and purposes; but to you as well. The loyalty of Christ was born out of an immeasurable love in His heart. He is loyal to you because He loves you.

The deepest loyalty is rooted in love. If you’re struggling to be faithful to someone, take a moment and search your heart for a love for them. Learn to love, and loyalty will come. For those whom you are loyal to, ask the Lord to deepen your love and commitment for them. As you grow in love and loyalty, remember that your Father is with you, and He is for you. His love for you is unfailing, and His loyalty to you is endless.

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Loyal Living: As Radical As Stephen

by Carolyn Hope

“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:59-60)

Jesus told us that there is no greater love than dying for someone (John 15:13). Stephen has become well-known as the first Christian martyr. Before that defining moment, he was a man full of the Spirit and of faith, flowing with signs and miracles. Even before that, he was a servant for the Lord, waiting on tables. Before Stephen was ever considered “great,” he was loyal.

It was loyalty that brought him day after day to serve the widows. It was loyalty that kept him when he started moving in power. It was loyalty that enabled him to speak with boldness before his accusers. And it was loyalty that pushed him to be willing to die for the cause of Christ.

There is such a thing as radical loyalty. It’s the kind that is willing to suffer for the sake of another. It’s the kind that doesn’t resent giving up the greatest treasures in life, or even life itself, if doing so will help the one you love. What kind of loyalty do you want to give? Will you push into deeper levels, and jump into greater risks? How far is your loyalty willing to go?

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Loyal Living: As Relentless As Ruth

by Carolyn Hope

“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.’ When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.” (Ruth 1:16-18)

Ruth is probably the most recognized picture of loyalty in the Old Testament. The above passage has been used in sermons, weddings, and more. Ruth is certainly worthy of all she is esteemed for. Her loyalty to Naomi changed the world. Had Ruth stayed in Moab, she would not have married Boaz, and in so doing, one day become the great-grandmother of David!

Ruth’s loyalty was relentless. Naomi had urged both her daughters-in-law to stay behind, but each had declared they would not leave her. Then Naomi pressed them again, and this time, one of them did leave. Even still, Ruth refused to be parted with Naomi. She proclaimed that even death should not separate them, and because of Ruth’s determination, Naomi let her come with her. The result was blessing and favor on all involved.

Loyalty never, never, NEVER gives up. Loyalty will press forward, and onward, and upward for all of time. Loyalty is an iron grip that refuses to let go of love. Will you be determined in your loyalty today? Will you decide, once and forever, to be loyal to God and to your family? You can be a Ruth by being resolute in your commitments, whether big or small, exciting or boring. Stick with it today. You were made to be relentless.

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Loyal Living: As Selfless As Jonathan

by Carolyn Hope

“And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.” (1 Samuel 18:3-4)

One of my favorite men in the Bible is Jonathan. He was a prince who laid everything down for the sake of his friend. To Jonathan, David was never a competing rival; he saw David as the future king, and he honored him. When Saul viewed David as a threat, Jonathan embraced him as a friend.

Jonathan gave everything to, and everything for, David. When Jonathan made a pact with David, he gave David his robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt. In this way, Jonathan handed over his identity as the future king to David. It would be like if the son of a successful CEO gave his Lamborghini, his Kiton suit, and all his state-of-the-art electronics to a lower class janitor’s kid. Jonathan gave his greatest to David without reserve. He recognized the anointing upon his friend’s life, and he supported it completely. Jonathan even gave up his relationship with his father, because of his love for David! And he protected David at the risk of his own life.

True loyalty requires sacrifice. If you’re going to be loyal to someone, you will have to give up much. You will have to let go of your own desires, dreams, and purposes, so that you can give your efforts to the benefit of another. Loyalty is taking someone by the hand, and pushing them ahead of yourself. It’s giving all you have and all you are to someone, no matter the cost. This is not for the faint of heart. Loyalty is hard; but there is great power in loyalty. Without Jonathan, where would David be? Without you, where will your friend, or spouse, or child, or whoever be? You have the opportunity to empower those around you. Are you willing to lay aside your own desires for them?

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Loyal Living: As Loyal As David

by Carolyn Hope

“Ahimelek answered the king, ‘Who of all your servants is as loyal as David?’” (1 Samuel 22:14)

David’s life was complex and complicated. He was a shepherd who one day became a king. He knew the life of a fugitive. He experienced the glories and the goriness of war. He walked through loss and pain, as well as joy and gain. But throughout the ups and downs of David’s life, he remained loyal to the Lord’s anointed. This is why he continued to play his harp for Saul even after Saul tried to kill him twice. It’s why David refused to kill Saul, even though he was given opportunities and encouragement to do so. It’s why David honored and respected his enemy. David was loyal.

And although David wasn’t perfect by any means, he never let go of his Lord. He never stopped trusting, serving, loving, or worshipping the ultimate King. Despite having to wait years and years for the promises of God to become a reality, David remained steadfast in his service. Though his first years as king were spent in a civil war, David continued to cling to hope. Even when on his dying bed, with the last of his breath, David instructed his son Solomon to keep the Lord’s commands. His heart was forever loyal to God.

Whether your life is going as well as it could go, or whether you are in the worst season you’ve ever endured, you can choose to be loyal to Jesus. If you follow Him through every ditch, bump, and turn in your journey, He’ll keep you steady. In your loyalty lies your destiny. As you continue day by day to go after your King, He will meet you and lead you to the place He has already prepared for you. Be like David today; cling to the One who holds your future, and let Him carry you.

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Loyal Living

by Carolyn Hope

“Loyalty.” There’s a certain ring to that word, isn’t there? But what does it look like? What does it mean to live in loyalty? What are its qualities?

This week, I’d like to consider some people in the Bible who were great depictions of loyalty; people such as David, Jonathan, and Ruth. There are powerful truths and important principles we can learn from their examples. Their stories and lives will tell us that loyalty is faithful. Loyalty is sacrificial, relentless, steadfast, and beyond all else, loyalty is rooted in love.

The quest for loyalty isn’t easy, but it’s worth seeking. It’s worth pursuing. If you’ll study this concept with me, I believe you’ll find that loyal living is challenging, yet attainable. Certainly, with Jesus in you, you can do whatever He calls you to do, and be whoever He’s made you to be. I invite you, I encourage you, to search for loyal characters in Scripture, and to learn from their lives.

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