Face to Face - Part 6 [Devo]

I Pledge Allegiance

Face to Face, Part 6
What does it mean to pledge allegiance to something? Dictionary.com defines allegiance as “loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like.”  

The earliest I can remember pledging allegiance to something was in elementary school. Every morning, the principal, a teacher or even a student would deliver the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeaker, and then everyone in our homeroom would recite it together.  

Many of us pledge our allegiance to certain sports teams. Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, I pledged my allegiance to the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals and The Ohio State Buckeyes. Most people in West Virginia have a strong allegiance to The Mountaineers! Regardless of how well they play, no matter their record, good or bad, Mountaineers are devoted to their team. As Tony Caridi says, “It’s a great day to be a Mountaineer, wherever you may be.”  Now that's allegiance!

When I married my wife, Karen, we said our traditional wedding vows: “I Bruce, take you Karen, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge to you my faith." I pledged my allegiance to Karen more than 35 years ago and continue to be devoted to her today!

The Bible has a lot to say about where to place our allegiance. In the Old Testament, it is clear where God wanted the people’s allegiance to be placed — wholeheartedly in Him. Unfortunately, many passages show what happened to the Israelites when their allegiance shifted away from God; none of it was good. But many passages also showed God’s favor when the Israelites turned back to Him.

In the New Testament, Jesus also makes it clear where our allegiance must be placed. In Luke 14:26, He says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes even his own life — he cannot be My disciple.”

According to Dr. Warren Wiersbe, “The word ‘hate’ really means 'to love less.' Our love for Christ must be so strong that all other love is like hatred in comparison, including our own lives.” Now that’s allegiance! But it’s not easy. We have all sorts of things that vie for our attention, our time, our eyes and our minds. So many things that cause us to lose our devotion to Him.

Stay humble and love well, regardless of what’s going on in our culture and society.

So how can we keep the loyalty and devotion that Jesus demands? We need to have a close relationship with Him and listen to His voice — through bible study and prayer. We need to stand firm against the devil and his adversaries, against the things of this world. And we need to stay humble and love well, regardless of how we feel and regardless of what’s going on in our culture and society.

Allegiance is a choice. To what or whom are you placing your allegiance in today?  

“Therefore, fear the Lord and worship Him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship the Lord. But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship — the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.” –Joshua 24:14-15 (CSB)
Author: Bruce Lane, Executive Pastor
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