Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 18, 2015
Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Isaiah 1:4
What does it mean for me to first pledge my allegiance to God? It means I am a citizen of heaven. Almighty God is the sovereign ruler over my life, to whom I owe my unquestioning love and loyalty. However, in a land of plenty there are plenty of competitors to my loyalty to the Lord. Affluence creates options. For example, Sunday, the one day of the week designated to worship God, can become just another day to work and play. Prayer, praise and Bible study are replaced by travel, sporting events and recreation. Has my allegiance to affluence replaced my allegiance to God?
Like ungrateful children who turn their backs on parents who have sacrificed for their well being—the nation of Israel had rebelled against God. They presumed on the Lord’s favor and drifted into indifference to faith. Like the outbreak of a deadly virus, sin captured the imagination of public opinion and its epidemic infected the soul of an entire nation. Apathy against Almighty God may be the worst offense of His creation. We act like He is not there until we need His care. Our selfish behavior betrays our selfless beliefs. God allegiance demands our dependence.
“Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:19-20).
How do we know if our first allegiance is to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? Continual prayer offered from a humble heart is evidence of our loyalty to the Lord. We bow our heads and hearts in confession and repentance of sin. What Holy Scripture defines as sin we call sin. People who claim rights while causing damage to the culture are denied their right to do wrong. Without behavioral boundaries we behave badly. Where we dilute truth—evil corrupts our communities. Allegiance to God adheres to righteous standards defined by God. Nations who bow down will stand strong!
Furthermore, the Lord calls those who have spurned Him to return to Him. Lesser allegiances are inferior and will always be lacking. They are not reciprocal in their love and loyalty. Thus, we elevate our need for worship over our need for work. We highly esteem faith over family. We prioritize prayer over pleasure. We hold to the historical and biblical definition of marriage as one man and one woman, over the emotional debate to redefine marriage. Allegiance to God requires a price to be paid. Jesus paid sin’s debt on the cross. He calls us to bear our cross in allegiance to Him!
“Then he [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my allegiance to You so all other loyalties fade in significance.
Related Readings: Deuteronomy 32:15; Isaiah 31:1, 47:4; Jeremiah 23:14; Proverbs 30:9
Post/Tweet this today: Our apathy acts like God is not there—until we need His care. #allegiance #wisdomhunters
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