THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 4-10-11
LESSON TITLE: “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE: LOYALTY”
“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart,” Psalm 119:2. Are you among those who are happy today because you are keeping the commandments of God?
Thank you so much for joining us this day for this time of offering to our God. It is my hope and prayer that we are all doing our best, today and every day, to accomplish everything according to God’s precious will and His eternal purpose. Furthermore, won’t you do your part this morning so that God may truly be magnified and so that all we sacrifice toward His throne will be done in spirit and in truth.
With these thoughts in mind, will you bow with me before His almighty throne in prayer?
As it is time to begin with our first song of the morning, I ask you to consider the wondrous direction and guidance of God. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Let The Lower Lights Be Burning?”
(SONG # 1)
As we look around the world and see the suffering, trails and poverty of most on this planet; we should be reminded of how blessed we are to live in a country such as the United States of America. For those who have never left the borders of the U.S., it is hard for them to realize just how good we have it. However, the reality is, our God has richly blessed this nation and it’s inhabitants with so many wondrous opportunities and gifts. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for!
With this in mind, I want you to think about an even greater gift than all that is in this world. In fact, Paul put it like this when He spoke to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 9:15. There we read, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” Wow, just think of all that our God has done, is doing and has promised to do for us! He has certainly offered us all many gifts that are beyond our worthiness and are indescribable.
Think for a moment about the gift of God’s grace. Didn’t Paul say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” Eph. 2:8! We also read about the gift of God’s righteousness, mercy, love and even the Holy Spirit. On and on we could go, and the fact is that all of these things are made ready and just awaiting our response to take them - through an obedient faith.
One other gift I would like to mention is clarified for us in Romans 6:23, this familiar verse reminds us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Did you hear that? The ultimate gift of God through our Lord Jesus is Eternal life! Oh, what a truly loving and caring God we serve.
Have you responded to the gifts which God offers to those who choose to obey? Are you among the faithful this day, who have committed themselves to the things of God, and thus received the gifts that God promises to all who will follow Him?
In just a few minutes it will be time for our main lesson of the day. This morning, we will be continuing our series entitled, “Let Your Light So Shine.” Our specific discussion of the morning will focus on, “Loyalty.” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, we will be lead in our main study of the day.
As far as our speaker, we are happy to have brother Ted Clarke with us. Brother Ted is the minister for the Marshfield Church of Christ and he is also one of the full time instructors at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for joining us this morning. Now let’s return to our songs of praise as we join together in our second hymn of the day. The name of this hymn, “Living By Faith.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ted Clarke
Good morning and welcome to “The Living Word” Bible program brought to you by the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ. We hope you are a regular viewer of this program and if there is anything said that you have problems with this morning, that you will call the congregation and ask for a tape or that you will make notes as we go along and you can go back and check that out from your own Bible. I am pleased to be able to preach to you this morning on the subject of loyalty.
The dictionary definition of loyalty or at least one of the dictionary definitions of loyalty is this: “A commitment to an ongoing relationship and the attitude and behavior demanded by it.” It is evident in both human relationships and also in God’s covenant relationship with His people. Loyalty simply means that we are ready to stand by whoever it is that we are being loyal to whether it is God or whether it is a fellow human being or a cause for which we stand, and that we have the proper attitude and behavior that is required in order to demonstrate that loyalty.
I am going to read to you today from the Old Testament and the New. Some people might believe that some of the things we are going to read from the Old Testament are not required in the New and I want you to pay careful attention and follow along because of this may be very much needed by many in the audience. In Leviticus chapter 26 in verse 3 beginning, God says, “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and perform them then I will give you rain in its season and the land shall yield its produce and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage and the vintage shall last till the time of the sowing: You shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land safely and I will give you peace in the land and you shall lie down and none of you shall be afraid. I will rid the land of evil beasts and the sword will not go through your land.”
Of course God is talking here to Old Testament Israel and promising them that as they prepare to go into the land of Palestine that if they will be loyal to Him and keep His commandments and statutes and perform them as God’s message requires, then He will bring an abundance of blessings on them the likes of which they have never experienced before.
But then in verse 14 of the same chapter, Leviticus 26, he says this, “But if you do not obey Me and do not observe all of these commandments and if you despise My statutes or your soul abhors My judgments so that you do not perform all of My commandments but break My covenants, I also will do this to you. I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of the heart and you shall sow your seed in vain for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you and you shall flee when no one pursues.”
Now God has said that the people of Israel could have it either way. If they wanted to demonstrate their loyalty to Him, He would certainly bless them with blessings in great abundance. If they chose however to turn away from God and serve themselves or serve the gods of the pagan lands in which they were going then God would punish them and punish them severely. It all depended on their loyalty to God. God brought them with a mighty hand out of Egypt with the plagues and crossed the Red Sea and led them to Mt. Sinai and then through 40 years of wilderness wanderings and took them up into Palestine and they conquered the nations and made their home there. As they made their home there in Palestine, they were to be sure to observe all of these things that God had given to them.
Then in Deuteronomy chapter 28 we have something of the same but a little different. He says beginning in verse 1, “Now it shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of your Lord to observe carefully all of His commandments which I command you today that the Lord your God will set you high above the nations of the earth and all of these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you because you obey the voice of your Lord.”
In verse 9 He says, “Your Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself just as He has sworn to you if you keep the commandments of the Lord and walk in His ways.”
But then again here is another warning! In verse 15 He says, “But it shall come to pass if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God to observe carefully all of His commandments and His statutes which I command you today that all of these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed you shall be in the city. Cursed you shall be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle, and the offspring of your flocks. Cursed shall you be when you come in and cursed shall you be when you go out.” Now listen! “The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, rebuke in all that you set your hand to do until you are destroyed, until you perish quickly because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.” In other words, if we abandon our loyalty to the Lord in doing those commandments and serving Him with all our being then we can look for the ultimate of God’s punishment because we have forsaken the promise that we made when we obeyed the gospel to worship Him and serve Him.
Now who are the characters of those that will abide with the Lord? In Psalm 15 beginning in verse 1 it says, “Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle and who may dwell in your holy hill? He who walks uprightly and speaks righteousness and speaks the truth in his heart. He who does not backbite with his tongue nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take out the reproach against his friends in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but He honors those who fear the Lord. He who swears to his own heart and does not change. He who does not put his money out in interest nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.”
If time permitted we could read a lot more of that sort of thing from Psalm 35, but we will move on to consider some things that the New Testament has to say about these very matters. In John chapter 14 or John 3:16, we will start there. Jesus clearly says that, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Some people come along today and say, “Well that’s it. That’s all we have to do is just believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and we are saved and we can’t possibly be lost.” My friends, those that say that are not teaching you what the Bible says. I challenge anyone to call up or to write and show a verse in the Bible that says, “We are saved by faith alone,” or a verse in the Bible that says, “Once we are saved, we are always saved.” Those things just aren’t part of our loyalty to God. Our loyalty to God includes our doing the things that God says to do in the New Testament just like in the Old.
For example in John chapter 14 in verse 15, Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” We have to have a loyalty of love toward the Lord and keep His commandments or He will not do the things He says He will do in this chapter.
In verse 21, He says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them it is he who loves Me and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
In verse 23, He says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make our home with him.”
In verse 24, “He who does not love Me, does not keep My Words and the Words which you hear, is not Mine but the Fathers’ who sent Me.”
So there are a number of other passages there that we could read also. In chapter 15 for example in verse 14, He says, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
And so our loyalty to Christ is wrapped up in and must be secured and fostered by our loyalty to Christ in doing His commandments. There just is no way that we can do otherwise.
In the book of 2 John, John says, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”
Friends, we owe no loyalty to the false teachers in this world, those that will go about and pervert the Word of God and teach things that simply are not given by God in His Revelation. We must always remember that if we want to be loyal to God, we have to be loyal to His Word.
Jesus said in Mark chapter 9 and verse 38, “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My Word, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in the glory of the Father with all His holy angels.”
Loyalty to Christ includes loyalty to God and His Word and not to the world.
1 John chapter 2 and verse 15 says, “Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but of the world and the world is passing away and the lust of it, but he who does the Will of God will abide forever.”
James says in James chapter 4 and verse 4, “You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God.” Whoever therefore would make himself a friend of the world is at enmity with God and makes himself and enemy of God.
In the New Testament scriptures in the gospels, in Matthew chapter 15 our Lord was reminding the Jews of His day that God required loyalty to both Him as a Being and to His Word. In Matthew 15 verses 8-9 Jesus says, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me and in vain they worship Me teaching as their doctrines the commandments of men.”
Brethren and friends, if someone comes to you and begins to teach you things that are simply not a part of the sacred scriptures, as I said before you have no need for loyalty to them. In fact, you ought to teach them the Word of God more accurately. If someone comes to you and insists that you can be saved in a way that is not in harmony with God’s Word give that person no place in your home because he is a false teacher and if you invite him in and partake of his teaching, you will be just as guilty as he is. My friends, the Bible has the answer in all things and in all ways. Paul said that, “The Word of God is inspired fully and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, or correction, for instruction which is in righteousness that the man of God might be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” What more could we need than what we have? All of those coming along today with latter day revelations are just people who have done like those did in the Old Testament when the prophets, the false prophets came along and said that God had spoken to them when He hadn’t done that. They tried to pervert God’s Divine and Holy Word.
We encourage you to pick up your Bibles, take them to your place of worship. We hope you’ll worship with the Kansas Expressway congregation or one of the supporting congregations of this program, but we want you to search the scriptures and to see whether or not what you have been taught in the churches of Christ is the truth. If you’re going to some other religious groups, search the scriptures with them and make sure that you know that they are teaching what the Bible teaches. There is no other way to be certain of Heaven than to go by God’s Holy Word.
(SONG # 3 - “More About Jesus!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
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May we always realize the importance of loyalty toward God and our fellow man? Can God count on you to be trusted in all His Will? Give God your best today!