The beginning of the year is a time when people in our society reflect. For many, new resolutions and goals are forged on the gold-embossed pages of a new journal. Yet as the past is closed for the door of tomorrow a timeless God is not concerned with another year. His word makes His question clear—are we loyal to Him?
Beware of setting goals over the wrong things! If we would ask God what He sees as a hindrance to our loyalty, we might be surprised by His answer. The call of loyalty begins with Jesus’ advice, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me” (John 15:5). What branches do we nourish that hamper our loyalty to our Father in heaven?
Reputation—means nothing if it takes precedence over obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Work—hazardous if God does not come first.
Marriage or friendship—misguided if it exceeds my love for my Savior.
Education—foolishness if God is disdained.
Pleasure—cancerous if it moves Christ away from the throne of my heart.
Possessions—a hideous trap if they spoil my allegiance to the King of Kings.
Emotions--selfish and deceitful whenever they ignore the Lord.
Position--a stumbling block of pride if Almighty God is not honored.
Health--a disease if He is absent.
1 Chronicles 29:17, 18--I know, my God, that You test the heart and that You are pleased with what is right. I have willingly given all these things with an upright heart, and now I have seen Your people who are present here giving joyfully and willingly to You. Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our ancestors, keep this desire forever in the thoughts of the hearts of Your people, and confirm their hearts toward You.
Do you want to know God? Then courageously pick up the axe of integrity and sever every fruitless branch that weighs down your heart and keeps you from being nourished by Jesus. Loyalty is not for the faint of heart. If it is too hard to swing the blade, cry out to your Father. Give Him permission to cut. Will it be painful? Absolutely. Will it seem unfair? Most likely. When does it not hurt to lose what we don’t want to let go of to gain what we could never see?
Remember, the foundation of loyalty is trust. What better way to begin a year than by believing that the God Who made us is worth following wholeheartedly! Cling to the Vine! Cling to the Vine! Cling to the Vine!
Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)