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A Lesson in Loyalty

A Lesson in Loyalty

Words of Faith 12-5-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 4

     [10] My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings,

 

       Sometimes the names we find in the Bible seem foreign and confusing but I always remember that they are there for a reason.  All scripture is God-breathed and is useful.  It is no mistake that a person is listed or mentioned in a particular place. 

       As Paul closed this letter, he reminds us that there were others with him in the Roman prison.  Aristarchus was quite a friend to Paul.  The two became acquainted in Thessalonica, and then both were arrested for causing a riot in Ephesus!  Now that is a pal. 

        You may remember the huge riot that broke out against the Gospel preachers in Ephesus. So many people were being converted that it was cutting into the sale of idols made to look like the goddess Diana. Aristarchus was probably one of the leading spokesmen for Christ because he was attacked and dragged before the mob in the huge theater.  

       The truth is nothing will make a couple of men closer than getting busted for doing a righteous thing.  It’s not something to seek out, but it is something one never forgets!  These two were bonded together.

       Aristarchus later accompanied Paul to Jerusalem and then went with him on the journey from Caesarea to Rome.  Writing from prison, Paul called Aristarchus his "fellow-prisoner.”  Paul may have meant this in either a literal or spiritual way.  It is not clear whether Aristarchus was literally in the custody of the Romans for the same charge of treason.  It may well be that Paul saw him as a fellow prisoner taken captive by Christ.

         Whatever the case, Aristarchus refused to leave Paul’s side.  Aristarchus is a lesson in loyalty.  He stood as a companion with Paul through thick and thin on several journeys and trials.  He was a real companion and partner in the Gospel.  He would never think of deserting his dear friends or the Lord, no matter how difficult the task or terrible the trial. He would face imprisonment and suffer death before he would be a turncoat. He was a good man to have around when facing trials, for he would stand by your side.

         Aristarchus reminds us of the call to carry each other's burdens, and in this way, fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).  We need people around us who will help with the burdens, and we need to be loyal to help other believers carry the weight of the journey.  There is also a call here upon believers to remember those in prison. Remember them as if you were their fellow prisoners. And remember those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering (Heb 13:3).  Aristarchus walked this out.  We are called to do so as well.

        When I read about someone such as Aristarchus, I am challenged to think about my own friendships and partnerships in the Gospel.  Am I loyal through thick and thin?  Will I stick with a minister of the Gospel even when they are persecuted?  Will I stand with those going through trials for the sake of the Gospel?  Am I loyal to my missionaries who carry the Gospel into dangerous places?

        Aristarchus had no difficulty answering those questions.  He taught a lesson in loyalty.

 

      Father God, teach me the lesson of loyalty.  Build in me the discernment to see You at work in situations that may be confusing.  Give me courage to stand with those who are contending for You.  Give me grace to lift the burden of a brother or sister.  Give me mercy to be with those who are suffering.  In Jesus’ Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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