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True Loyalty

By one estimate, more than 14 trillion frequent-flyer miles have been accumulated by people worldwide. It all started in the early 1980s, when airlines began the first frequent-flyer programs to encourage repeat business by rewarding customers for their loyalty. Accumulated miles could be redeemed for free travel, goods, and services, so it wasn’t long before people began planning their travel based as much on personal reward as on price or schedule.

The apostle Paul was an avid first-century traveler, but he wasn’t in it for the “frequent-sailor miles.” His goal was to reach as many people as he could with the good news of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus. When some people in the city of Corinth questioned his authority, he wrote a letter describing the price he had paid to bring the gospel to others: “Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep” (2 Cor. 11:25). God gave Paul the grace and endurance to risk his life to tell people about Jesus with no thought of personal gain.

Whether we receive persecution or praise for our service to the Lord, may our focus always be loyalty to Him and gratitude for His sacrifice of love.

I am Yours, Lord, yet teach me all it means,
All it involves of love and loyalty,
Of holy service, full and glad,
In unreserved obedience to Thee! —Bennett
Our loyalty to Jesus grows from His love for us.

Insight

To modern-day followers of Christ, the apostle Paul is held in the highest regard for his tireless work of teaching, church-planting, and writing of biblical letters. This, however, was not the case in the first century. Even after years of faithful service, Paul had to write the letter of 2 Corinthians to defend his calling and ministry, which was being questioned by people in Corinth. Today’s reading is a part of that defense of his ministry.

29 thoughts on “True Loyalty

  1. faithworks101 says:

    Seldom does anyone question the opinion of doctors. They are the ones questioning everything and answering everything. They live good lives (in the worldly sense) and they don’t suffer persecution like what the Apostle Paul mentioned here. They (most) have nothing to show also like; churches planted, Spirit-inspired writings, souls saved and baptized. But Jesus, when he was 12 years old, was teaching them by asking and answering questions. So, to the doctor-perspective, I pose these questions: Where does the issue of discipleship came in this particular discussion? Isn’t it coming from a set of teaching/practice from your denomination? Tell me if Paul ever mentioned discipleship in this passage. Tell me if there is one among the Apostles that did discipleship? In the N. T., only John the Baptist and Jesus were having disciples. But John the Baptist handover his disciples to Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world” (John 1:29-36) And, “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30). Isn’t Jesus inviting everyone in Matthew 11:28-30 saying, “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
     Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light?”
    Is this not one of the reasons why there is conflict, disunity, disharmony, even among believers because:
    If I do discipleship or make disciples, they will be like me. If you will make disciples, they will be like you. They will like you but they will not like me. If another pastor also make disciples, they will be like him and they will like him but they will not like you. If they (Baptist, Pentecostals, Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglicans, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc.) will make disciples, they will be like them. ?

    I know you will never be able to find a hint that the early Christians were making disciples the way it was done by the Jewish Rabbis. I don’t mean to offend anyone. I love you all.

    1. hiaigbuza says:

      Great perspective with a lot of sense

      1. OU12C-HIM-2 says:

        Study for urself hiaigbuza. If any man lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives abundantly. Don’t just jump on the band wagon of anything that sounds good or makes man sense. Seek after Godsense.

    2. OU12C-HIM-2 says:

      Foolishness!!!. Lean not on ur own understanding but in all ur ways acknowledge Him and He will direct ur path. The ways of man seems right to himself but in the end…..it’s foolishness. faithworks101Do not forget the great commission Mat 28:19-20. We are to teach the ways of the Lord that they will be like Jesus not ourselves. Sect or donimation should make no difference. The Dr gave his perspective on discipleship because that’s what comments were mostly based on. Keep up the good work Doc.

  2. eternallyhis says:

    Randy Bridgeman, (“We catch ‘em,You clean ‘em). I love this little slogan, as it sounds like a true fisherman to me. As for follow up with new converts, quite often it isn’t possible, but that shouldn’t stop us from witnessing and leading people to Christ. As it is written, some plant, some water, but God gives the increase. God bless you and all the converts you catch for Him.

  3. OU12C-HIM-2 says:

    Whether we receive persecution or praise for our service to the Lord, may our focus always be loyalty to Him and gratitude for His sacrifice of love.

    It sounds like some of us did not take to heart what the ODB says today. So I thought I’d just give a brief reminder.

    Even though SALVATION IS FREE. We must understand that DISCIPLESHIP IS VERY COSTLY. Many may not be willing or able or even capable of disciplining others due to ….. whatever reason. But who are we to judge. Remember by what ever measure u judge others………But I love what ODB says…. be loyal whatever u do to serve. I am reminded that we are all part of the body of Christmas and we all have our function. Please don’t think for a minute that because u share the gospel and teach/disciple other that you deserve any glory, because u dont. So u do u. I’ll do me and let’s let Jesus be the judge of what rewards i will receive based on my earthly works. I agree with catchin’em and lettin God clean’em. Cause I’m not confused about where the power to save comes from.

  4. erkcol says:

    God Thank You for Everything and Everything- help me learn that I might be conqueror in some areas of my life but ver weak in some others. Help me not to judge. Help me understand I’m weak. Help me be Loyal to you.

    I need you

  5. sandy229 says:

    Often people say that God won’t let us go through more than we can bear, but Paul is a good example that God does let is endure more than we can bear. But He promises to be right there with us and carry is through it all. He stands before us, behind us, and next to us. He is always right there with us.
    And when

    1. eviesme2 says:

      Though I understand what you mean, I disagree. Truly each one of us has the capacity to endure more than we believe we can bear. In your own walk, review and ask yourself for the most difficult trial you endured, “Did I know that I could’ve handled it beforehand?” We set our own limits by saying, “I could never do that.” or “I don’t know if I would’ve been able to handle that situation the way so and so did.” “She/He is braver than me.” God shows us in the midst of the storm that we can. Look at so many survivors that endured ordeals that But for the Grace of God, wouldn’t have otherwise gotten through. As you said, He is there right beside us, and sometimes even carries us through, but he awakens the strengths within us to create in us the person he has called us to be. May God renew and strengthen you in your daily walk.

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