“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 NIV
Welcome to Day Seven, week one completed, of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. In this patriotic weekend, we flow over from honor to loyalty. The flag pictured above commemorates lives lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001. Not only lives lost due to place and time, but sacrifices made, as first responders ran into a building that many others were trying to escape from. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice. They laid down their lives for not only their friends but strangers. That is loyalty to mankind, Biblical principles, and an oath they took to protect and serve the public, regardless of the circumstance or consequence.
Loyalty is devotion and faithfulness to a cause, person, group, or country. So what does loyalty look like to you? Do you feel a sense of loyalty to anyone or any thing? Ruth gives an exemplary display of loyalty in the Bible:
“But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” Ruth 1:16-17 ESV
Most of us would like to believe that standing face to face with a terrorist, demanding to know if we are Christian, we would be willing to declare our faith and submit to the punishment. After all, God clearly tells us that if we deny Him, He will deny us also. But if we take a closer look into our current lives, would someone be able to truly say that we lived a legacy of loyalty? How do you demonstrate loyalty in your everyday life?
Perhaps the thought has never really crossed your mind. So, think back to the last time you heard someone gossiping about your friend. Bad-mouthing your church. Discounting Christianity. Discrediting your pastor. Speaking disrespectfully about your family or spouse. Slandering your President. Speaking words of death over your country. Being rude to your parents or careless with your family. Did you speak up to defend their honor? Or did you sit quietly by, not wanting to “make any waves.”
Sure, there are times to keep your lips zipped, and you must let the Holy Spirit guide you… but what would happen if you stopped that poison in its tracks from spreading like a ravenous wildfire? We bet those people would think twice before they dropped those negative bombs around your ears next time around! They might even start to acknowledge what they are doing. They might see what loyalty looks like and catch the contagious positive energy you’re dishing out! Perhaps they would realize that you are not a “safe place” for attacking people or things who aren’t there to defend themselves- because God sent one of His angels to stand guard!
There is a time and a place to defend your faith, your people, your nation. But, we challenge you to start to build your boldness. Pray into how the Lord would prepare you for a future encounter. Think about what you would want your best friend… or your parents… to say in your defense if they heard someone slandering your good name. Then, let God take care of the legacy.
This is day 6 ‘in the life’ of our fast here at RISENfitness. We are building loyalty right beside you:)
Here’s to your Health and 21 Day Fast!