WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 16, 2021
TOPIC: IS YOUR HEART LOYAL TO THE LORD?
BY T. O. BANSO
“For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David” (1 Kings 11:4 New King James Version).
It is the heart of a child of God that first turns away from God before others begin to see the physical signs of backsliding. Proverbs 14:14 says, “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above” (New King James Version).
All the evils that Solomon did were as a result of his heart that first turned from the LORD. But he had been warned about this before then. “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. ‘Solomon clung to these in love’” (1 Kings 11:2 New King James Version).
Ever before the Israelites asked God for a king, He had given them the principles that would govern the kings He would set over them. Here’s one of the principles: “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:17 New King James Version). Solomon did not only multiply wives; he also married foreign wives which the LORD had forbidden.
1 Kings 11:4 says, “For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David” (New King James Version). David, Solomon’s father, was not a perfect man, but his heart was loyal to the LORD. He was not without sin, but he didn’t forsake the LORD. His heart didn’t turn away from Him.
The New Living Translation renders 1 Kings 11:4 thus: “In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship their gods instead of trusting only in the LORD his God, as his father, David, had done.” From this translation, we could say that the phrase “his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God”, as used in the New King James Version, means not “trusting only in the LORD his God” (New Living Translation).
Is your heart loyal to the Lord? Do you trust only in the Lord? Or do you have some chariots or horses you put your trust in? The Bible in Basic English says, “For it came about that when Solomon was old, his heart was turned away to other gods by his wives; and his heart was no longer true to the Lord his God as the heart of his father David had been” (1 Kings 11:4). Is your heart true to the Lord your God? Is your heart still as true to the Lord as before?
David was a man that God said was after his heart. Samuel told Saul about his rejection by God as king and announced to him: “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you” (1 Samuel 13:14 New King James Version).
The same testimony is recorded in the New Testament. “And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will’” (Acts 13:21-22 New King James Version).
David’s heart was loyal to the LORD. David said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the LORD.’ Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!” (Psalm 122:1-2 New King James Version). That was why he, not only brought the Ark of God back to Israel after several years of the ark’s sojourn in a foreign land, he wanted to build a temple for the LORD. Though He denied him the privilege of building it, he gave generously both as the king and in his private capacity towards the building project, which his son, Solomon executed.
But Solomon, who built a temple for the LORD, later abandoned Him. His heart was turned away from the LORD to foreign gods. This was the same Solomon that the Bible had said: “And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places” (1 Kings 3:3 New King James Version). But this was during the earlier years of his reign.
What was the consequence? “So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded” (1 Kings 11:9-10 New King James Version).
Talk is cheap! Be careful that you are not like the Pharisees whom Jesus said did not practise what they taught (Matthew 23:3b). May you not be guilty of what you preach against. Solomon, blessing the assembly before the dedication of the Temple he built for the LORD, had told the people, “Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day” (1 Kings 8:61 new King James Version). But the same Solomon failed to continue to obey what he had told them.
What is the state of your heart? Is your heart loyal to the LORD? Is your heart true to Him? Or your heart is after other gods such as money, fame, and power? When a Christian begins to go for days without reading or studying the Word of God and still feels comfortable about it, his heart has turned or is turning away from God. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God (Luke 4:4). If your heart is loyal to God, you will search the scriptures daily like the Berean Christians (Acts 17:10-11). You will treasure the Word of God in your heart (Job 23:12b).
When a Christian feels comfortable after he has violated the Word of God or disobeyed the Holy Spirit, his heart is no longer loyal to God. “And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:32 New King James Version). Is your heart hot, cold, or lukewarm?
God is looking at your heart. Is your heart loyal to Him? Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” (New King James Version).
Is that what you do? Are you serving the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul? Are you loyal to the Lord? Look at that scripture again. Why does God require you to fear Him, live according to His will, love and worship Him with all your heart and soul, and obey His commands and laws? Why? The last phrase of that scripture tells us the answer: “for your own good” (Deuteronomy 10:13 New Living Translation).
Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (New King James Version). Luke 16:13 says the same thing. This is talking about loyalty. Is your loyalty to mammon or other gods or your loyalty is to God? You can’t serve God and other gods.
2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified” (New King James Version).
If your heart has turned away from God, repent and return to Him. “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Return to Me,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 1:3 New King James Version).
God’s word to the church of Ephesus – the loveless church – was, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent” (Revelation 2:5 New King James Version). Return to God today. He’ll heal your backslidings (Jeremiah 3:22).
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (Proverbs 4:23 New Living Translation). Is your heart loyal to the Lord?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent today for my heart that is turned away from You; forgive me, Father. I renounce my loyalty to other gods and pledge my loyalty to You. Holy Spirit, help me; heal my backsliding. Help me so that my heart will be loyal to God to the end in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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