J. R. Miller, 1908
A true soldier may be wounded, may be beaten in many battles—but he never is a deserter, never is a traitor. He is always loyal. It is only when we desert Christ, turn away from Him, become false to Him—that we really fail. You never can fail—if you are true, if you are faithful.
But we should always keep the standard of loyalty up to the highest point. The command is: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5: 48). That standard must never be lowered. Christ’s own thought of loyalty—is simple faithfulness. “Be faithful.” Faithful seems a gracious word. It requires nothing impossible. It demands nothing unreasonable. It asks only for a just return. It does not exact ten talents—when only two have been given. It is a word of love. Christ is a gentle taskmaster. Yet the word sets a high requirement—one, too, which cannot be lowered. It must have the BEST that we can do. When much has been given—a little will not be a satisfactory return.
There must be loyalty also in character. Paul suggests a cluster of the fruit of the Spirit which do not take an active form, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal 5:22-23). Most of these are quiet virtues. They are qualities of character. One might possess many of them—and not be able to say he was an active Christian. Peace is not active. Joy, long-suffering, goodness are not active. Yet these graces are essential to a complete Christian life. We must think of the passive and quiet virtues—as well as the active ones—when we are trying to discover the full meaning of loyalty to Christ.
Here is a man, for example, who bears the name of Christian. But he is not loving—he is hard to live with, irritable, angry, resentful. He has no joy—but is a morose, gloomy, a sad man. He has no peace—but is fretful, anxious, restless, full of fear and worry. He has no meekness—but is impatient, irascible, unmerciful. Lacking the qualities of love, joy, peace, meekness, can you call such a man a loyal follower of Christ? He may be a lively Christian, so far as activities are concerned: a prominent church-member, a zealous church officer, foremost in the organisations of the church. Yet he is not a man you would call a beautiful Christian. Loyalty must be Christlike in character, in disposition, in spirit, in the shining of the face, in the lovingness of the heart.
But loyalty to Christ, must also be active. A true patriot is a quiet and peaceable citizen in times of peace. But when the country is imperiled, he is ready for service. He takes the soldier’s place. The Christian belongs to the army of Christ and must follow his King to battle. He who fails to do his part in the conquest of the world, cannot call himself fully loyal to Christ. He may not be an enemy of Christ—but he is a shirker, or he is lacking in courage.
Loyalty to Christ means activity in the service of Christ. Find your work—what you can do to make the world holier, happier, truer—and do it with all your might!
A good woman deplored her lack of usefulness. Yet many knew that her daily life was a constant blessing. She sweetened a home, blessed a houseful of children and young people, and manifested the love of Christ among her neighbors. Was not that being an active Christian? There is an activity of BEING—as well as of DOING.
Loyalty to Christ also demands of us—the uttermost of sincerity and truth in all our living. God desires truth in the inward parts. Yet are there not men who claim to be Christians—and are living a lie? There are lives that are honey-combed by all manner of unfaithfulnesses, dishonesties, injustices and injuries to others—and by many secret sins.
What does the lesson of loyalty to Christ have to teach us about these things? Are covered sins—safely hidden? Are they out of sight forever? Oh, no! “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32: 23). The word is not, “Be sure that your sin will be found out.” It may not be found out in this world—but it will “find you out”. It will plague you, spoil your happiness, make your life wretched.
What shall we do about these wrong things we have done? A life of loyalty to Christ—means a life that is white, clean, through and through. None can build a beautiful, shining character—upon covered sins. Joy is part of a complete Christian life, and no one can be joyous—with sins concealed in his heart.
Paul has a word about bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (II Cor 10: 5). We should test every feeling, every imagination, every disposition, all conduct, by this test—loyalty to Christ. Someone does you a wrong, and you feel like getting angry. Be loyal to Christ. Keep your whole life, every day, every hour—under the sway of his Word.
(Extracted from Gracegems website)