Monday, October 17, 2016

Be Loyal

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

Today and the next three days, I want to share with you one key concept from each of the four chapters in your book of 2 Timothy. Today’s key thought is this: be loyal!

This short letter from Paul was an urgent message to his beloved son in the faith, Timothy. Paul knew his time before being martyred for his faith was short (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Some of Paul’s cherished converts and even some of his apprentices had turned back from him and from their faith in Me. This abandonment broke Paul’s heart. Over the next several days, you will hear this brokenness in some of the words he wrote to Timothy. These circumstances also created a sense of urgency to share some important words of encouragement and challenge with Timothy. Leaders who would take My good news to the world were lacking. Leadership among My disciples was now going to rest in the hands of a new generation of people like Timothy.

So in today’s verses, the opening part of his letter, Paul reminded Timothy to be loyal. He challenged Timothy to be loyal to the gospel of grace that gave people “the promise of life” in Me. He was to be loyal to the calling and the anointing to ministry that he had received. Timothy was to show himself loyal to the upbringing and training he had received from his mother and grandmother. He was to remain loyal to Paul and to the message Paul proclaimed. He was to be loyal like Onesiphorus, who found Paul in prison and came to him and refreshed his spirit.

Loyalty is an essential virtue. When loyalty is violated, broken, or abandoned, disloyalty deeply wounds all the people involved. Remember that My closest disciples forsook me and fled when I was arrested and crucified. Remember that Judas betrayed Me. Peter denied he knew Me. My other apostles abandoned Me.

Abandoning loyalty to your call to minister to others short circuits My desire to use you to channel My grace to others.

Disloyalty in marriage creates separation between lovers and sows the seeds of destruction in the relationship.

Being disloyal in your relationships also breaks something inside of you. You hurt in your soul because you know that you have done something wrong. However, if you simply ignore your conscience and the Spirit within you calling to you to own your disloyalty, confess it, and turn from it, and if you refuse to seek forgiveness for your disloyalty and refuse to seek reconciliation, then that brokenness can become crippling to you and your relationships. Disloyalty to your faith does much the same thing. Worst of all, your abandoning loyalty to your faith impacts all those around you and affects you eternally.

So I want you to feel the emotion of the old apostle Paul as he writes to his now “not so young” apprentice minister, Timothy. Paul is imprisoned and awaiting death. He is almost completely alone. Many have abandoned him. Others have deserted the faith he shared with them. Just as he pleads for Timothy to be loyal to all those things that had been entrusted to him, I want you to hear My call to you to be loyal. Be loyal to Me, to My grace, to My work, to My call in your life, to My leaders, to My disciples, and to My message — all of which include being loyal to all of your commitments to Me as well as to others.

Be loyal! It won’t be easy. It might be costly. It could even be dangerous. But be loyal! Being loyal opens the door for My work in you to make you more than you are now, to make you better than you are now, and to make you more fully whole as a human being and as a child of your Father in heaven.

Be loyal!

Verses to Live

As you read Paul’s challenge to Timothy to be loyal in every area of his life and ministry, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the areas where you need to be more loyal. Also, ask yourself if there is a person to whom you have been disloyal and with whom you need to reconcile (Matthew 5:23-24).

Paul, an emissary of Jesus the Anointed commissioned by God’s will according to the promise of life found only in Jesus the Anointed, to you, my dear child Timothy.

May grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus the Anointed be yours.

Timothy, you are constantly in my prayers. Day and night I remember you before God and give thanks to Him Whom I serve with a clean conscience, as did my ancestors. I really want to see you, especially when I remember how you cried the last time we were together. Yes, I know it would make me joyful to see you again. What strikes me most is how natural and sincere your faith is. I am convinced that the same faith that dwelt in your grandmother, Lois, and your mother, Eunice, abides in you as well. This is why I write to remind you to stir up the gift of God that was conveyed to you when I laid my hands upon you. You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit but a powerful, loving, and disciplined spirit.

So don’t be embarrassed to testify about our Lord or for me, His prisoner. Join us in suffering for the good news by the strength and power of God. God has already saved us and called us to this holy calling — not because of any good works we may have done, but because of His own intention and because eons and eons ago (before time itself existed), He gave us this grace in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King. And now, the time has come! That grace was revealed when our Savior, Jesus the Anointed, appeared; and through His resurrection He has wiped out death and brought to light life and immortality by way of this good news. I was appointed a preacher, emissary, and teacher of this message. This is exactly why I am suffering. But I am not ashamed because I know Him and I have put my trust in Him. And I am fully certain that He has the ability to protect what I have placed in His care until that day.

Remember the words that you heard from me. Retain them as the model for healthy and sound teaching in the faith and love that are available in Jesus the Anointed. As for the precious thing entrusted to you, protect it with the help of the Holy Spirit Who dwells within us.

You may know by now that all those in Asia have turned their backs on me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. But Onesiphorus was not ashamed of my chains. So when he arrived in Rome, he searched for me and found me. May the Lord show mercy to his house because he has often stopped by to refresh my weary soul. And may the Lord shower him with divine mercy on the last day. You are well aware of all he did to serve me in Ephesus.

(2 Timothy 1:1-18)

Response in Prayer

Father, I confess that when I think about Judas’ betrayal of my Lord Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, I am dumbfounded how he could do such a thing. Then, dear Father, the Holy Spirit convicts me with this thought: “Judas betrayed his Lord for 30 pieces of silver. How many times have I done it for nothing?” So forgive me. I want to show steadfast loyalty to You, Father, and to the message of Your grace in Jesus. I want to be loyal to Your call in my life. I want to be loyal to my brothers and sisters in Your family. So I ask for strength from the Holy Spirit as I commit myself to being loyal. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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