Devotion of the Day

The All-Inclusive Loyalty

Married to another…to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Romans 7:4

If the issue is Christ, then surely for us the issue is just to be Christians. A Christian is a Christ-ian, and his supreme loyalty is to Christ. Better than that, his loyalty to Christ is all-inclusive; it comprehends all lesser devotions.

That does not exclude the lesser loyalties. A man is a better citizen of his country if he is faithful to his own family. A man is a better member of the whole household of faith if he is loyal to his own local church and religious group.

But when the lesser loyalty transcends the greater, then there is trouble. There is a place for political parties, but any man who puts party above the country and plays cheap politics in an hour of peril is a traitor. A man should be first as American before he is a Democrat or Republican. There is a place for local and group loyalty in the church, but a man who cannot, and will not, be a Christian first is a traitor to Jesus Christ.

We are married to Christ. A wife takes her husband’s name, and a true wife will make all other human loyalties subservient to that. A Christian bears the name of Christ and his loyalty to Christ includes and glorifies all other relationships. Christ does not merely come first, He is Alpha and Omega, and includes the alphabet of all our interests and affections.

Devotion of the Day

Christ is “It”

We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.
I Corinthians 4:5

By diverse paths and through varying experiences God’s men through the ages have arrived at the simple conclusion that what matters is Christ Himself, in doctrine, in experience, in preaching. We assume that everybody knows this, but here is our weakness. We assent to it theoretically, but we take it for granted and what we take for granted we never take seriously. We assume it but we ought to assert it. What we take as a matter of course we should be shouting from the housetops.

My own personal experience, reached through several stages, has arrived at the conviction with which I should have started – that the issue is simply Christ Himself. Familiar? Yes, but do we need anything so much these days as to familiarize ourselves with the familiar?

It is so perilously easy to preach less than Christ Himself – our own experience, a pet doctrine; a partial, fragmentary Gospel; a phase of Christ, a facet of His character instead of Himself, in whom all is included. This is “It,” “Christ Jesus the Lord” – Messiah, Mediator, Master.