So what does "loyal" mean? The dictionary says: having or showing continuing allegiance; faithful to one's country, government, etc.; of or expressing loyalty. Faithful to one's sovereign, government, or state; faithful to one's oath, commitments, or obligations; faithful to any leader, party, or cause, or to any person or thing conceived as deserving fidelity; characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.
Loyalty is defined: the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations; faithful adherence to a sovereign, government, leader, cause, etc.; an example or instance of faithfulness, adherence, or the like. The state or quality of being loyal; a feeling of allegiance.
These days, from what I read in my Facebook feed, it seems like more and more people are growing less loyal to this nation in which we live. Are we growing less loyal in general? Are we growing less loyal in our friendships, and to our families?
An even greater question: Are we growing less loyal to our Heavenly Father?
The King James Version of the Bible doesn't use either word, loyal or loyalty. A passage that suggests loyalty, though, is found in Colossians 3:
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (verses 17-24)Here are a few thoughts, from one of my favorite authors:
It is no time to be ashamed of our faith. We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. The whole universe is looking with inexpressible interest to see the closing work of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. At such a time as this, just as the great work of judging the living is to begin, shall we allow unsanctified ambition to take possession of the heart? What can be of any worth to us now, except to be found loyal and true to the God of heaven? What is there of any real value in this world, when we are on the very borders of the eternal world? What education can we give to the students in our schools, that is so necessary as a knowledge of “what saith the Scripture”? Christian Education, p 212, by E.G. White
There are few who realize the influence of the little things of life upon the development of character. Nothing with which we have to do is really small. The varied circumstances that we meet day by day are designed to test our faithfulness, and to qualify us for greater trusts. By adherence to principle in the transactions of ordinary life, the mind becomes accustomed to hold the claims of duty above those of pleasure and inclination. Minds thus disciplined are not wavering between right and wrong, like the reed trembling in the wind; they are loyal to duty because they have trained themselves to habits of fidelity and truth. By faithfulness in that which is least, they acquire strength to be faithful in greater matters. Christian Education, p 226, by E.G. White
The man who attempts to keep the commandments of God from a sense of obligation merely—because he is required to do so—will never enter into the joy of obedience. He does not obey. When the requirements of God are accounted a burden because they cut across human inclination, we may know that the life is not a Christian life. True obedience is the outworking of a principle within. It springs from the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God. The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our Redeemer. This will lead us to do right because it is right—because right doing is pleasing to God. Christ’s Object Lessons, p 97, by E.G. White
There are only two classes in the world today, and only two classes will be recognized in the judgment—those who violate God’s law and those who obey it. Christ gives the test by which to prove our loyalty or disloyalty. “If ye love Me,” He says, “keep My commandments.... He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me. And he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.... He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings; and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.” “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” John 14:15-24; 15:10. Christ’s Object Lessons, p 283, by E.G. White
And finally, this passage, which is especially powerful for our young people, pointing them to Daniel as an example:
In school life the youth may sow seeds which will bear a harvest, not of thorns, but of precious grain for the heavenly garner. There is no time more favorable than the time spent in school in which to acknowledge the power of Christ’s saving grace, to be controlled by the principles of the divine law, and it is for the student’s interest to live a godly life. The crowning glory of life results from a connection with Christ. No man liveth unto himself. Your life is interwoven with all others in the common web of humanity, and you are to be laborers together with God for the salvation of those who perish in degradation and woe. You are to be instruments in influencing all those with whom you associate to a better life, to direct the mind to Jesus.We as homeschooling parents...parents in general...need to be doing our part in training our children to be loyal to God as was Daniel.
John writes: “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” [1 John 2:14.] And Paul exhorts Timothy to bid the young men to “be sober-minded.” [Titus 2:6.] Elevate your soul to be as was Daniel, a loyal, steadfast servant of the Lord of hosts. Ponder well the path of your feet; for you are standing on holy ground, and the angels of God are about you. It is right that you should feel that you must climb to the highest round of the educational ladder. Philosophy and history are important studies; but your sacrifice of time and money will avail nothing, if you do not use your attainments for the honor of God and the good of humanity. Unless the knowledge of science is a stepping stone to the attainment of the highest purposes, it is worthless. The education that does not furnish knowledge as enduring as eternity, is of no purpose. Unless you keep heaven and the future, immortal life before you, your attainments are of no permanent value. But if Jesus is your teacher, not simply on one day of the week, but every day, every hour, you may have his smile upon you in the pursuit of literary acquirements.
Daniel ever kept before him the glory of God, and you should also say, Lord, I desire knowledge, not for the glorification of self, but to meet the expectation of Jesus, that I may perfect an intelligent Christian character, through the grace he has given unto me. Will the students be true to principle as was Daniel?
In the future there will be more pressing need of men and women of literary qualifications than there has been in the past; for broad fields are opening out before us, white already for harvest. In these fields you may be laborers together with God. But if you are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, if you are filled with levity, if you allow the golden opportunities to pass without acquiring knowledge, without placing solid timbers in your character building, you will be dwarfed and crippled in any line of occupation you may undertake.
While a good education is a great benefit if combined with consecration in its possessor, still those who do not have the privilege of gaining high literary attainments need not think they cannot advance in intellectual and spiritual life. If they will make the most of the knowledge they have, if they will seek to gather something to their store every day, and will overcome all perverseness of temper through the studious cultivation of Christ-like traits of character, God will open channels of wisdom to them, and it may be said of them as it was said of old, concerning the Hebrew children, God gave them wisdom and understanding. ~Christian Education, by E.G. White.
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