This podcast covers Lesson 9 of Radical Acts Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
Adventure Tests Our Loyalty
Loyalty is defined as, “the quality of devotion or attachment to somebody or something.” It’s both a feeling and an action. Some of us by nature tend to be loyal. Others are more skeptical, preferring to be mavericks out on our own. Loyalty is tested every day in homes and businesses and human relationships across this planet. Who demands your loyalty? Who has the right to it? Do they receive it from you? How good are you at remaining loyal? Loyalty affects how you approach life—God’s way or the world’s way. In Acts, we can learn 4 truths about loyalty to Jesus on our walk of faith.
Truth #1: Jesus as Lord deserves our loyalty. He deserves your loyalty.
In Acts 20:19-24, Paul referred to Jesus as “Lord” 3 times. Paul declared that Jesus as his Lord deserved his loyalty.
The moment you trust in Jesus Christ as your savior, you get a new life fused together with His and a new identity. You are now said to be in Christ, a Child of God, one of God’s saints, totally accepted and loved by Him. You can never lose this new identity.
You are set free to live a radically different kind of life. And, in that freedom, you have a choice. Who are you going to serve with your life now? God or yourself? The best choice to make is saying to Jesus, “I am YOUR woman forever. I serve you.”
How do we do that with all the distractions around us? By that, I don’t mean our families or jobs. Serving them well is serving Jesus loyally. I mean, all the other ways of approaching life. All of those voices calling out to us from our culture. How do we remain loyal to Jesus as our master and His way of approaching life?
In Acts chapter 20, Paul described what he did to remain loyal to Jesus. He served the Lord with humility and did not consider his life worth anything to himself but only to his Lord.
Truth #2: Loyalty requires humility.
In the New Testament, humility refers to how you think of yourself. It pictures a servant bowing before her master.
In Jesus’ invitation to us in Matthew 11, he used two words to describe Himself that are related—gentle and humble. In Ephesians 4, Paul put those same two words together to describe how we are to live as believers. Gentleness in the Bible carries the idea of strength under control. It is the outworking of humility and a work of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 11:28-29; Ephesians 4:1-2
You choose humility before God by recognizing His authority over you. You know that you’ve made that decision when you are willing to trust in God’s goodness and accept His dealings with you as good without fighting Him on it. Then that choice is reflected in your gentle behavior towards others.
Humility is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. It is recognizing that you do some things well because God gave you the genetics, intelligence, and opportunity to do so. And, you give Him the credit for it.
Truth #3: Humility leads to obedience.
What good is a servant who refuses to obey? Or, who is out there trumpeting herself and her own will, and occasionally remembering to do what Jesus wants?
God would rather I have understanding of 2 verses that I obey immediately than 20 verses that I don’t. Obedience is the key to discernment. It’s not “capture and remember;” it’s “hear and obey.” (Chip Ingram, DTS Leader Board)
It’s obedience to God’s will for us revealed in His Word that grows us to maturity. Humility before God means you have already got obeying God settled in your mind. Now, you can obey Him in the rest of what He desires for your life to please Him.
What are some hindrances to our obedience? One is lack of understanding of God’s commands. Another hindrance is selectively choosing what we will obey. That leads us to being what the Bible describes as weak-willed women, always learning but never able to recognize truth for what it really is (2 Timothy 3:6). Lack of seeing the ugliness of our sin also hinders obedience. Obedience is necessary to remain loyal to Jesus and not get carried away by sin and all those other ways of approaching life.
Truth #4: Obedience offers protection
Obedience is necessary to protect yourself from those who distort the truth and draw you away from Jesus and His way of approaching life. Acts 20:28-31
The best teachers are 80-90% right in what they teach and would love to know where they are wrong so they can change it. Compare their words with what the Bible says.
When you humble yourself before Jesus as your master and choose to obey His commands revealed to you in the Bible, you will be able to recognize truth from anything that is distorted. But, when you resist the discipline that comes from obedience, you are vulnerable to embracing whatever new heresy comes along as a fad. And, you cannot recognize the truth when you see it.
Loyalty affects how you approach life—Jesus’ way or all those other options out there that offer nothing lasting. Jesus as Lord deserves our loyalty. Loyalty requires humility. Humility leads to obedience. Obedience offers protection from being sucked into every new fad that comes along. Have you already made that decision to say, “Lord Jesus, I am YOUR woman every day?” If not, will you do that today?
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His Spirit’s transforming power. And say yes to a life of adventure with Him!
Until next time, I’m Melanie Newton. And, this is Series 7 of Satisfied.
Joyful Walk Bible Studies by Melanie Newton are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.