The man who is “walking before God” will be perfect in his loyalty to God. He will take God’s side of any and every proposition or circumstance in which he may find himself placed. No matter what others do or what others may say, the man who “walks before God” is perfect in his loyalty to God. Friends may forsake and turn from him; he may lose social cast and standing among his fellows, but he cares more for the smile and approval of God than for all the world. He will be loyal to God’s interest in every proposition that comes before him, in every case where a decision must be made, the question is ever before his heart and mind, “Which of the two will glorify God?” He seeks God’s interest no matter what he may suffer or himself lose by so doing. He will represent God in all his dealings with mankind around about him.
For an example of this, turn to the life of David. God said of him, “I have found a man after My own heart.” With but a very few exceptions, in his earlier life, in all of his dealings with the nations around him, David took God’s side of the proposition. And God said of him; “I have found a man after My own heart.”
Up and down this broad land there are those who have been loyal to God. They were willing to give God their all. They not only started to walk before God, but they have continued in so doing. Many times have they been compelled to make decisions that, to their earthly friends, seemed disastrous; but, casting aside the opinions of friends, they made their decisions for God and righteousness, and God has not failed them.
Some thirty years ago in one of the states of the Atlantic Coast, a young became a partner in a certain business in which tobacco was sold. He called a council with his partner and said, “We can make money without selling tobacco. I don’t use it myself, and I don’t like to smell it; I don’t believe a Christian ought to use it, and I won’t sell to my neighbors anything which I believe to be injurious to them.”
The tobacco was put out of the business and Mr. C____ has adhered strictly to that rule. As a Christian man, he decided on the side of loyalty to God, and mark the results. He has succeeded in business and today is a wealthy man, while those who started with him and hooted at the idea have failed and gone out of business. Today he is not only a successful business man, but is teacher of a large Bible class, and is loved and respected by all who know him. He has several brothers, all users of tobacco, but he is the only one who has succeeded in business. As a Christian man, he was loyal to God.
We have a dear friend who has had a similar experience. When he and his brother came into possession of a large manufacturing business in glassware he found on the books large orders for goods from liquor firms. He refused to manufacture glassware for the liquor business, and promptly canceled orders amounting to many thousands of dollars. Many thought him very foolish and unwise, but he made his decision on the side of God and righteousness, with the result that he succeeded beyond all expectations, and has long since retired from business and is loved and respected far and wide. We have been entertained in his home and have heard him say that he made it the rule of his life to always ask the question, “What would Jesus do were He in my place? How can I as His representative, represent Him best?” And in that way he has made his decisions. He proved his loyalty to God, and God blessed him both in basket and in store. We have knelt in prayer around his family altar and have been cheered and encouraged by his godly life and his consecration to God.
Only a few years ago, we conducted a series of meetings in a town where, connected with the church was a man who had a small store, but tobacco was a chief article in trade. He saw that, as a child of God, it would not honor God for him to sell it. He stopped and put it out of his business and announced that he would sell it no more. He also stepped down and out of the secret order of which he was a member. Other men in business laughed and sneered at his actions. The big hotel men visited him and said, “We will boycott you if you don’t handle tobacco.” He would not yield.
Some years have passed by. His business was burned down once, but he rebuilt larger and better, and has made money and built himself and family a beautiful home, while others have failed and gone out of business. He was loyal to God and decided in God’s honor and God has honored him.
God will honor those who will be loyal to Him. They are not in the majority in this world, and sometimes they are looked upon as being fanatics, and heading for the asylum, but the protection of high Heaven is about them. Ofttimes they are placed in circumstances that are peculiar, but realizing that He knows, they close their eyes to worldly honors with an eye single to His honor and glory they make their decisions for Him whose they are and whom they serve.
Peter was but a poor fisherman, and when God so signally honored him with three thousand souls at his first altar call, it was enough to have turned his head. And when looking upon the beggar who lay at the gate, he cried, “Look on us; silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee,” and that poor old diseased beggar, who had been lame from his mother’s womb, leaped to his feet instantly healed, and the multitude flocked about Peter and John. What an opportunity it was to have shown himself, but into the heart of that ignorant fisherman had come a resolution to be loyal to the interest of One whom he loved better than life. “Silver an gold have I none,” but little use had he for such. Why? Because he was loaded down, stocked up and filled to overflowing with something silver and gold cannot purchase; something that will neither rust nor corrupt nor fade away; something that is far more beautiful than burnished gold or polished silver; something far better than the riches of this planet, and yet something that every child of God may have if he will pay the price for it.
Look on the face of that expectant beggar; watch that great, wondering, open-mouthed multitude; fasten your eyes on the humble, but shining, face of that illiterate fisherman; hearken as the words ring out like the notes from a silver trumpet, “Such as I have.” Yes, Peter had it, and had a plentiful supply, too. He need not be stringent nor saving of it. There was an abundance and he could replenish his coffers at will. What is Scripture measure? “Pressed down, heaped up and running over.” Glory be to God! Peter had it and it did run over that day and that old beggar got what Peter gave away. “Such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk,” and that moment ended the days of limping and begging for that beggar. With the attention of the multitude, Peter cried out, “Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate when He was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses, and His name, through faith in His name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3:12-16)
Not an iota of praise or vainglory for himself, but all the glory, honor and power given to Him who had purified his heart.
There are several points to which we wish to call the reader’s attention. First, “Such as I have,” he said. No cringing and finding fault, and saying, “Oh, I am not what I should be,” or “I do so much I ought not to do and leave undone so much that I ought to do.” No, ten thousand times, NO! Those days were past; the fires of that upper-room baptism had burned out that sort of thing root and branch. There was no confessing of a conscious lack of something, but it was straight out, clean, clearcut language that raised the hopes of that beggar and fastened the attention of that on-looking multitude.
“Such as I have.” Yes, such as you all may have if ye will “repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off.” Thank God, that brings it down to every child of God today.
“Such as I have.” Oh, that every church, preacher, worker and child of God could say thus today, and they could say thus if they would walk before God with perfect hearts and thus be perfect in their loyalty to Him.
A second point. Peter was glad to testify to what he possessed. “Such as I have.” He was not afraid to tell it out, and in a way and manner that carried the conviction that what he had to give was different from what that poor old beggar had been accustomed to receiving from the average passer-by.
Oh, what a lesson here! If we would be loyal to God, we must strictly adhere to what He says, not to our own ideas nor what we or others manufacture, but to Him and to His words. If every man and woman who professed God’s salvation would only tell out in language definite and clear what they have; if they have found pardon for their sins and been born of the Spirit, and would tell it out in language plain and simple, how it would grapple with the minds and hearts of thousands who do not know that there is such an experience that one may really know; if every one who professes to have been sanctified wholly by the baptism of the Holy Ghost would tell it out so that those about them would readily see and understand that they really possess something which the ordinary church member has not, what a hungering it would cause! What a commotion! Peter was not bragging on what he had done, but, loyal to Him who had done the work for him, he was telling what he was the possessor of “Such as I have!” Beloved reader, what have you?
Third, note the effect. That poor beggar was all attention and through Peter’s straight-forwardness he believed he was to receive something quite out of the ordinary, and he was ready to obey, and as the command, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk,” fell on his ears, he leaped to his feet and began praising God.
Again, note the effect on that multitude. It brought them together, anxious to hear the words of God’s anointed. It will do the same today. If those who stand to proclaim the Gospel of the Son of God would be as loyal to Him as Peter was that day, not only would the lame be healed, but the multitudes would be drawn together, and churches that are half empty would be thronged with an earnest, anxious multitude. Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” Every little while we see or hear of some meeting being advertised with the topic, “How to reach the masses.” Peter solved the problem that day, and today, throughout this broad land in brush arbors, tents and groves, the holiness people are solving it still; and thousands are being drawn to Him. How do they do it? By being loyal to Him. They proclaim a Gospel that saves from all sin. They tell of the first promise made to fallen man being kept by Jesus coming and dying for all. Jesus has come; they have heard, tested, tried and proven His word, and, loyal to Him, they are telling everywhere that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth from all sin.
God said to Abraham, “Walk before Me, and be thou perfect,” and the man who does so will be perfect in his loyalty to God.
Suppose you were king and something workman transpired to dethrone you and remove you from your kingdom. In your realm were men who were qualified and able to look after your interests. During your absence they looked after your interests and were loyal to you until your name became a hiss and a by-word among men; then they saw that to be loyal to your interests and represent you and stand for you meant to suffer loss to themselves; and they said, “We cannot do this; we must look out for our own interests,” and in looking after their own interests they allowed yours to suffer. Also in your realm was another class of men. They were not so well qualified to look after your interests as the first-mentioned class, but through all they remained loyal to you. When your name was degraded and men cast it out as a sneer and by-word; they stood loyal to your interests; they suffered loss, they were the butt of ridicule among men; but through it all they remained faithful and loyal.
Bye and bye, the time came when you were reinstated upon your throne. Then you needed men able and qualified to help you in carrying out your government in the kingdom. Which class would you choose for your ministers of government? The first-mentioned class who were well qualified, but not loyal to your interests while you were gone, or would you choose the second class who were loyal to you to the end?
Friends, listen; Jesus was here among men; He has gone away and left His interests in the hands of His followers. The time is coming, and perhaps soon, when He will return again and take possession of His kingdom. Tell us, are you so loyal to His interests now during His absence that on His return you will be just the character of a man or woman that He will choose to help Him in the establishment and carrying forth of His kingdom? Are you perfect in your loyalty to Him now? His name is now used as a sneer and by-word among men; there is an offense to His cross. Those who live godly lives shall suffer persecution, but He said that if you suffer with Him you shall also reign with Him. Are you bearing His cross now? Are you standing up bravely and loyally for Him during His absence? Are you representing Him in all your dealings and in your walk among men? Come, we ask the question, are you perfect in your loyalty to Jesus? Are you walking before God with a perfect heart?