Loyalty Above All
Everything you do -- every thought, every word -- must be related to your relationship to God.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you, looking at the Word of God. We’re walking around in the Book of First Timothy and we’ve, now, come into chapter 5. We summarized, the last time we got together, Paul’s admonition to Timothy about how to treat his elders. “Don’t jump on ’em, but love them. Comfort them. Reward them. Don’t listen to criticism about them. But when sin shows up, jump on it with both feet.” [chuckle] That’s a Cook version of the first 20 verses of chapter 5, so far as it applies to elders.
Now, he says in verse 21, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins. Keep thyself pure.” Then we come to a verse about, which people have argued a good deal, “Drink no longer water only, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”
This is pretty serious stuff. He says, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels.” That phrase shows up in second Timothy as well. “I charge thee, therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing, and His Kingdom preach the Word.” The charge that Paul gives to this young preacher, means that these are things that are very, very serious and that he must remember. He must remember to preach the Word. He must remember to be impartial and fair. He must remember the proper spiritual procedure, “Lay hands suddenly on no man.” We’ll get at that, proper spiritual procedure. “He must take care to keep his own life clean, and above reproach, and he must take care of his body.” These are the things that Paul says are important. Interesting, isn’t it?
Now, he says, “I charge thee before God,” that’s Sovereign authority. “And the Lord Jesus Christ,” that’s the Savior and Lord, the One Who makes all of Deity real and available to you and to me. “And the elect angels,” that has to do with the divine spectators and the ministering spirits that are sent forth, as we read in the Word of God. “To minister for them, which shall be heirs of salvation.” He says, “You’ve got three points of responsibility when you are approaching the essentials of your ministry. You have three points of responsibility: One, to Almighty God. God the Father.”
I was in the study of Franklin Logsdon, who is now with the Lord, I guess, a year or more already, dear man of God and my own friend through many years. I came up to see him when he was pastoring in London, I think it was, Ontario, years and years ago, when I was in Youth for Christ. Their church was meeting in a huge, old mansion that had been converted for church use. And he had a study that was, well, it was good sized, to say the least, and a great, big, old desk in the middle of it covered with a plate glass cover, under which he had certain mottos, and pictures of loved ones, and whatnot. But right there in the middle of this desk, under the plate glass, was a maybe, 6×9 motto, printed with these words, “Thou God seest me.” A quote, of course, from Genesis, “Thou God seest me.” It reminds us, of course, of the verse that says, “All things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him, with Whom we have to do. Whither shall I flee from Thy Presence?”
Well, I said, “Franklin, that’s interesting, that you have that motto right there in the middle of the desk.” He said, “That’s something I never wanna forget.” He said, “Everything I do, and everything I say in this office, and anywhere else, is under the scrutiny of my Heavenly Father.” He said, “I wanna be true to Him,” and so he was throughout his lifetime. “Thou God seest me.”
Some of us aren’t particularly aware of the necessity of relating our conduct and the atmosphere, you may say, of our lives to God. I was talking with someone many years ago, when I was in the pastorate, about his Christian life and Christian duties. And the subject of tithing came up, and the answer, with a chuckle, that I got from this man was, “Well, preacher, God isn’t after me, quite as much as some of my creditors.” [chuckle] That’s how he shrugged it off. “God isn’t after me, as much as some of my creditors are.” “And I charge thee before God.”
Now, see, my question, beloved, is this, how keenly aware are you of the fact, that everything you do, and all that you are, and every thought, and every word, the whole package of life needs to be related to your relationship to God, your Heavenly Father? “Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,” said Paul, “Do all to the glory of God.” Whatever you do… This is Colossians 3:17 and he said, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father through Him.”
See, the Lord Jesus is the one who is our living way into the Presence of God. How keenly aware are you of the fact, that it does matter to God about you? There isn’t ever a moment, when you can say, “It doesn’t matter,” now. Always responsible, always under His gaze, always in His loving hands, always subject to His Sovereign Will, God, Sovereign authority. Paul says, “I charge you before God.”
Now, I don’t wanna make anybody paranoid, and have you constantly looking over your shoulder, and saying, “I wonder if God is after me?” That isn’t the point, you know that. God loves you. He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” He is the Rock of Ages. Underneath are the everlasting arms. He’s not about to drop you. I often say to our radio friends, “God hasn’t brought you this far to dump you now. You can trust Him, but at the same time, you and I better remember that we are responsible to Him.”
When, as a teenage boy, I would give my father a hard time… He and I were living together in a rented room in Toledo, Ohio… And as teenagers do, I was testing parental authority, and trying to get my way about things. Oftentimes, it would boil down to whether I could use the family jalopy to go somewhere of an evening. And he would look at me seriously, and say, “My boy, it’ll be far easier for me to say ‘yes’ to you, than to say ‘no.’ ” But he says, “I want you to remember, that I’m responsible to God for you. I have to build a life and I’m responsible to God for you, my boy.” Oh, I never got away from the seriousness of those words, as he spoke them to me so earnestly.
Yes, you and I are responsible to God, our Father. That is the number one loyalty, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, strength, and mind.” That’s the number one loyalty that’s required of people, who name the name of Christ.
Then he says, “I charge thee before the Lord Jesus Christ.” Why do this? Because your relationship to God is dependent upon and affected by your relationship to the Lord Jesus, as your Lord. He’s the Lord Jesus Christ. You remember the seven sons of Sceva, who took upon them to exorcise evil spirits? And they approached one poor victim, who was under the control of evil spirits, and they said, “We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth.” And the evil spirit replied, using the voice of the man, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?” You see, the effectiveness of your life depends upon your loyalty to God, and your loyalty to God is mediated, is implemented by the Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life. He is Lord. What does that mean? He gives the orders. He’ll use you up, if He wishes. You are expendable: Your life, your fortunes, your reputation, your property, your hopes, your ambitions, as well as your weaknesses, and failures. All of them in The pierced hand.
“No man,” said the Lord Jesus in John chapter 10, “Is able to take them out of My hand. My Father Who gave them Me, is greater than I, and no man is able to take them out of His hand.” So you’re held in that dual relationship of God, the Father, Sovereign God, the Son, Lord of your life.
Now, here again, you see, I simply asked a simple question, “Have you faced, beloved, the question of the Lordship of Christ? Does He matter that much to you, moment by moment in your life?” We get caught up in familiar routines, do we not? Even a minister is subject to that type of thing. We have certain routines. I still think I could run a morning service without having to consult the manual. [chuckle] You have the doxology, the invocation, the first hymn, the scripture reading, and the pastoral prayer, the special music, the announcements, the offering, another hymn to get people standing up and wake them up before you start to preach, you preach the sermon, you finish the sermon, you pray, you have the closing hymn, you have the benediction, you go stand by the door and greet the faithful as they toddle on out.
I thought the other day of someone, who back in the ’40s, always had the same response as he went out after a morning service. He would shake my hand hardly, and smile, and say, “Well, preacher, you sure gave it to ’em today.” [chuckle] It was always ‘them,’ it wasn’t ‘me.’ “Sure gave it to ’em today.” Well, yes, I could run a morning service. I think I still remember the wedding ceremony without having to look at the minister’s manual. We get into routines and the same is true of any other lifestyle, you know that. Jesus has to be Lord of your life. That means He’s Lord of the routine. That means you ask Him for His guidance in ordinary things. That’s why I say, “Pray your way through the day.”
Dear Father, today, oh, may we be loyal to Thee, in all that we say and do. In Jesus’ name, I ask this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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