September Newsletter, 2017 Rick McPherson
The pastor* preached a very good sermon on Sunday. It was about loyalty. In his opening he stated that it is a virtue that is uncommon in our world and seems to have lost its importance. In this generation it’s rare that loyalty is shown to anything or anyone. To illustrate the contrary, he included Hall of Famers, Cal Ripken, Jr., of the Baltimore Orioles, and George Brett, of the Kansas City Royals both of whom played their entire Major League Baseball careers for the same franchises. They demonstrated loyalty to their teams, their owners and management and their cities. Even as a lifetime Boston Red Sox fan, I have to tip my cap to them both, not only for their incredibly successful careers, but also for the important characteristic of loyalty that they displayed. What an important lesson from Cal and George.
But the message didn’t end without a challenge. There were four areas of loyalty that the pastor challenged us to examine in our lives. Are you loyal to God… loyal to your spouse… loyal in your relationships… and finally, are you loyal in your service to God? It was powerful. Carefully, slowly and prayerfully, I worked through the list. My personal review and results are too private to discuss here, but the last item on the list is not.
When I think about loyalty in my service to God, there are a lot of obstacles. Apathy, fatigue, resentment, boredom and loneliness are just a few of the things that come to mind. These are in fact devices, which the Enemy uses effectively to keep me from fulfilling what God is asking. One time the Apostle Paul was urging Believers in Corinth to, “reaffirm their love to God,” (II Cor. 2:11) and he reminded them to not let Satan take advantage of them, “for we are not ignorant of his devices.” What? Devices? Like, what? Well, anything that works. Be smart enough to know what they are.
Your list of obstacles may be completely different. But, trust me, we all have them. The truth is that the Enemy will do anything and everything he can to stop us in our service to God. He hates loyalty, especially when it comes in our service to God. His intention has not changed …he will kill …he will steal …and he will destroy. He doesn’t want to just defeat us…he wants to destroy us.
But here’s the good news. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4) In sports vernacular it goes like this; “WE’RE NUMBER ONE!”
So today, would you take a moment and rethink your loyalty to serve God? As I write, I know that many of you have displayed incredible loyalty to the ministry of Pacific NW Outreach, Inc. and the work of helping Native Americans both physically and spiritually. God bless you for your loyalty. If there was a Hall of Fame for loyal supporters, you’d be in it! For others, the obstacles have been overwhelming and maybe you’ve been affected by his devices. Let me encourage you to stand up, brush yourself off and get back in the game. Loyalty is not quitting. Loyalty is the tattoo that says, “UNSWERVING ALLEGIANCE.”
Thanks Cal! Thanks George! Not only are you enshrined in Cooperstown for consecutive games played, total base hits, home runs, Gold Glove awards, Silver Slugger awards and All-Star Game appearances, but you have also shown us an incredible example of loyalty. Now, I think I’ll head over to the batting cage and see if I can catch up to a 99 mph, “heater!”
*Pastor Larry Rounsley, Liberty Bible Church, Vancouver, WA