Beloved: Reflection 4


Read  3 John and Deuteronomy 7:6-10 

Pray that the Lord will open your mind and heart to hear His voice.

How do we stand with and for our brothers and sisters in the Lord?

We step up. 

The concept of loyalty runs throughout the Bible, from the Hebrew אָמַן ( ‘āman), meaning to be trustworthy and steadfast, to the Greek words εὐπρόσεδρος (euprosedros), meaning devotion and πιστός (pistós), meaning faithful. A loyal person is devoted and trustworthy, no matter how difficult situations become.  God expressed his loyalty to the Hebrew people by continually showing mercy and grace throughout years of exile, prosperity, idolatry, and repentance. That God was silent for 400 years between the final prophecy of the ancients and the birth of the Messiah illustrated his infinite patience. Even though religious leaders during Jesus’ time hated him, God’s love prevailed; Jesus died for them just as much as he died for us. God is the faithful (loyal) God who keeps his covenant and steadfast love with those who love him (Deuteronomy 7:9)

Loyalty looks like the women at the cross with John. Loyalty looks like the disciples who left everything to follow Jesus. Loyalty looks like Jesus speaking with Peter in John 21.  

Jesus told the disciples that if they would abide in him as branches abide in vines, their loyalty would lead to “much fruit,” the creation of more disciples who would also abide in the vine of Jesus. Their loyalty led to imprisonment, beatings, and ultimately martyrdom. Loyalty cost them everything, but it established the Church. Our knowledge of Jesus comes through the loyalty of his followers over the course of two millennia. 

All of the letter-writing apostles wrote thanks to people and churches who stood by them as they taught and preached. John wrote, “Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the Church” (3 John 5-6).  The heart of loyalty is commitment regardless of difficulty, convenience, and status.  The task itself is less important than deciding to stand beside our brothers and sisters no matter what. Devotion to Jesus on this side of heaven is doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly (Micah 6-8). When our brothers and sisters have a need, we step up in love.

Journal a response to the Father recognizing His great loyalty toward you. List some ways you can put loyalty into action.

For further reflection, contemplate Psalm 145

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