God Is Loyal to His People
"O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever." (Psalm 136:26)
Do you know what it means to be loyal? Stella's grandpa kept a white pony named Ginger on his farm. Whenever Stella visited Grandpa, she loved to ride Ginger around the pasture. Sometimes Stella would sit on the fence for an hour at a time talking to Ginger. When she would have to leave Ginger and go back home to the city, the pony stayed in her thoughts. Stella often drew pictures of Ginger or wrote about her in stories.
Now the truth is, Ginger was a very stubborn pony, and she was even a little bit mean at times. But if anyone ever said anything bad about her, Stella always stood up for her. She thought of Ginger as her horse. When Grandpa finally had to sell Ginger away to another farm, Stella went out to the empty pasture and found some long white hairs from her tail stuck in the fence. For years afterward, she kept that horsehair in a special little box. Her love for Ginger was loyal.
Did Ginger deserve to be loved like that? No, probably not. And neither do we. But God's love for His people is just as loyal as that--in fact, it is even more loyal than any human love could be, because God is God. When you read the Old Testament, you can see God showing loyal love to His people, the Israelites, over and over again. He faithfully led them. He defended them against their enemies. He shared the deep thoughts and plans of His heart with them. He revealed Himself to them with wonderful miracles. He did not overlook their sin. When they broke their covenants with Him and went after idols, He always punished them. But even the punishments were signs of His loyalty. He never gave up on His people. He never "let them go." He always drew them back. When they humbled themselves and sought Him, He mercifully restored them again to a right relationship with Him. And best of all, He sent them a Redeemer--His own dear Son, Jesus Christ.
The Hebrew word for God's loyal love is hesed. You will often see this word in our English translations as lovingkindness or mercy. God acts the same toward His redeemed people today as He did toward His people Israel in the Old Testament days. He will never give up on His people, nor will He ever give up a good work that He has begun. He loves us with a loyal, steadfast love.
God's love for His people is loyal and steadfast.
» Am I loyal in my love for God?
» How can I demonstrate (show) loyalty like God's in my relationships with my friends and family members?
Truth In Real Life
“Hell is the highest reward that the devil can offer you for being a servant of his.”
Born November 19, 1862, on a farm in Ames, Iowa, Billy Sunday would become one of the most popular American evangelists in history. His father was a Civil War soldier who died when Billy was one year old. At the time, Billy was cared for by his mother and grandfather. When he was twelve, he was sent to an orphanage to live.
From an early age, Billy Sunday was a great athlete. He was a fast runner and a good baseball player. He played sports, no doubt, to help keep his mind off of the hard circumstances in his life. The owner of the Chicago White Sox saw him play one afternoon and – even though Billy did not have shoes – invited him to play in the big leagues. Billy Sunday was able to run the bases in less than 14 seconds! In the eight years that Billy Sunday played professional baseball, he played incredibly – stealing 92 bases, setting national records, and making quite a name for himself.
During this time, Billy met a group of Christians from the Chicago Garden Mission who told him about Jesus Christ. He was downtown partying with his baseball buddies when the witnessing wagon pulled up and started preaching the gospel. God got a hold of Billy Sunday’s life that day and he accepted Christ as his Savior. From that day forward, Billy Sunday was a changed man. Everything about him was different.
Billy Sunday became “the baseball evangelist” and gained huge popularity when he preached. Huge crowds gathered to hear his sermons, and he won many souls to Christ. By 1914, he was holding huge revivals around the country. He preached on many important topics, including the sin of drunkenness, and told nearly one million people about God.
Has your life changed since God saved you? In what ways?
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.