Saturday, May 27, 2023
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
Professors and mentors taught me not to over-use words like "always" and "never." If I used them too often, people would see me as someone employing hyperbole to over-sell what I was saying. Eventually, when I spoke about an issue of utmost importance, people would tune me out or turn down the volume of my passion on that one issue of supreme importance. Even today, our proofreader reminds me not to overstate the significance of what I am trying to say. Jesus and his half-brother, James, also instructed us to keep our words simple and free from overstatement. 
In this great book of wisdom, the Holy Spirit is NOT overstating the truth when saying, Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! The two words translated "loyalty" and "kindness" are the same key descriptive words — "faithfulness" and "unfailing love" — that God chose to identify two of His essential qualities.  They are so important that we should wear them on "reminder necklaces" helping us remember these qualities.
Why would the Holy Spirit use the dramatic phrase, "Never let loyalty and kindness leave you"?
These qualities are essential to the character and nature of God! The apostle Paul said something similar:
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. 
The Holy Spirit transforms us to be more like God. One day, we will fully be like Him.  Until that time, however, we need to have symbols that remind us that we must NEVER let loyalty and lovingkindness leave us. We engrave these qualities on our hearts so that they will shine forth in our lives.  Just as God calls us to be holy because He is holy,  we choose to be faithfully loyal and kind because God is. These qualities show that our Spirit-imprinted DNA comes from God, not human flesh. 
Dear Father, I know You are loving and kind, faithful and loyal, giving us grace and mercy because of Your steadfast love. Thank You. So many things in my life are changeable and subject to aging and decay. You, O God, are steadfast. I can count on Your loving presence as I face life's challenges. As the Spirit works Your way into my heart, O God, I pray that my character more perfectly reflects Your character. I want to be known for my steadfast love and faithful lovingkindness. I ask, Holy Spirit, that You continue Your work of transformation in me, conforming me to Jesus. I ask this prayer in His name. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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