DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Loyalty
 

This study show how to be loyal, especially to your discipler / leader.

1. The determination of loyalty

Ruth 1:8-19
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the LORD show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me.
9 May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband." Then she kissed them and they wept aloud
10 and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."
11 But Naomi said, "Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?
12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me--even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons--
13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord's hand has gone out against me!"
14 At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.
15 "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
16 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.
17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."
18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, "Can this be Naomi?"


Naomi had 2 daughters-in-law who now were widows. Because of the famine, she planned to send them hom to Moab, where there was no food. Both Ruth and Orpah wept(v10,14) and felt bad about leaving. But Orpah left, while Ruth clung to Naomi, why? In v18 we see that Ruth was determined to be loyal. We need this kind of determination in our relatiounships.

Never give up on a relationship. Never follow others' examples of disloyalty. Persevere until you can get time with your discipler. Make a decision to be loyal.

2. The devotion of loyalty

2 Kings 2:1-6
1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
2 Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel." But Elisha said, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel.
3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?" "Yes, I know," Elisha replied, "but do not speak of it."
4 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho." And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went to Jericho.
5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?" "Yes, I know," he replied, "but do not speak of it."
6 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan." And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So the two of them walked on.


Elisha was so devoted to Elijah, he could not even bear the thought of leaving him (v4,6)

2 Kings 2:11-12
11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
12 Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.


Elisha's devotion to Elijah was so real, he lovingly called him his "father" (v12). He was devoted because the appreciated how much Elijah had done for him.

3. The decision of loyalty

1 Samuel 18:1-4
1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.
2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house.
3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.


We see here that because Jonathan loved David as himself, he could make a decision to be loyal. The friendship is needed but a decision is also needed.

4. The details of loyalty

1 Samuel 19:1-7
1 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan was very fond of David
2 and warned him, "My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there.
3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I'll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out."
4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, "Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly.
5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?"
6 Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: "As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be put to death."
7 So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.


Jonathan and David had a very warm relationship(v1). They spoke well of each other (v4), even when the other was being criticised. Learn to be warm with others and to defend the others agains criticism.

1 Samuel 20:24-34
24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon festival came, the king sat down to eat.
25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, and Abner sat next to Saul, but David's place was empty.
26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, "Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean--surely he is unclean."
27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?"
28 Jonathan answered, "David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem.
29 He said, 'Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.' That is why he has not come to the king's table."
30 Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you?
31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he must die!"
32 "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?" Jonathan asked his father.
33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.
34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the month he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David.


Jonathan was upset (v34) at Sauls criticism / persecution of David.

1 Samuel 20:1-4
1 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, "What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to take my life?"
2 "Never!" Jonathan replied. "You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn't do anything, great or small, without confiding in me. Why would he hide this from me? It's not so!"
3 But David took an oath and said, "Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, 'Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.' Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death."
4 Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you want me to do, I'll do for you."


David had a problem and Jonathan listened. Learn to listen. Jonathan said, "whatever you want to do, I'll do for you" (v4). This is the attitude we need to have.

1 Samuel 23:16-18
16 And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.
17 "Don't be afraid," he said. "My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this."
18 The two of them made a covenant before the LORD. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.


Jonathan helped David find strength in God. When we are loyal, we will help each other be strong in our relationship with God. Also, Jonathan comforted David.

5. Dare to be loyal

2 Samuel 1:26
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.

They dared to be close. We need to also.

Practical Suggestion

Put the above into practice with your discipler.