SCRIPTURE GEMS – 15
One thing for which our prayer warriors pray is more commitment within the congregation. Why? There are too many that may appear for study, worship, and prayer, but you can’t depend on their presence. So many excuses are available: too hot, too cold, don’t feel well, company is coming, a time for my favorite amusement (golf, boating, playing cards with friends, ball game, etc.), only time I can sleep in, and the list goes on and on. These excuses would not suffice for a job, school, or some other real life obligation such as a fireman or 1st Responder. Church or private devotions are not considered as a real life obligation to the majority. It is just a choice for the time-being. It is nice but not necessary.
So what is commitment? For one thing, it is a pledge. We pledge allegiance to our country. We honor, serve, and obey its laws. Commitment is dedication. When we dedicate, we devote ourselves, edifice, or place to a special person or cause with special honor. We commit for safekeeping with trust. When we commit, we are obligated and that restricts freedom of action in some other realm. The question is: Are we committed to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, or are we committed to self and our desires. The answer to this question determines our spiritual growth and the growth of the Lord’s church.
David was a “man after God’s own heart.” This is what he wrote in Ps.37:5. Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. Did David sin? Ps.32:5 Of course he did but he was quick to confess and come back to the Lord. Ps.31:5 Another version of this verse says, I give you my life… Isn’t this what we do when we become a Christian? We deny ourselves for Jesus. Matt.10:38
Committing is also “doing.” Jhn.8:34 We must never be guilty of the wrong commitment. Joshua gave a choice of commitment to the Israelites and then proceeded to give his commitment to the Lord. Josh.24:15 When Elijah challenged the commitment of the people to God or to Baal, their commitment changed as they saw the power of the Lord. 1 Kgs.18:21,39
Satan can distract us from our commitment. Some disciples wanted to follow Jesus but they put it off for worldly reasons. Matt.8:21 Many do that today. I’ll follow Jesus when… Peter was strongly committed to Jesus to the point of going to death for Him and yet who denied Jesus when He was on trial. We forget. Jhn.13:37; Jhn.18:27
Jesus committed His life for us. Jhn.10:11 Can we not commit our lives to Him? It is not without reward! Lk.9:24,25; Jhn.12:25 Esther is such an example of commitment and reward. She did not do it for reward but she and God’s people all experienced the reward. As the Jews were to be killed, Esther was challenged in the danger of going unannounced before the king. Esth.4:14 Esther showed her great commitment as she replied to the challenge. Esth.4:16 God rewarded. Esth.8:16,17
Do we say, “This is all too much to ask of us.” So we sell our soul for the mundane things of this world rather than do without a few pleasures that never last, for an eternity of joy and glory with the Lord. Lk.13:30 We are like the child that would rather have a piece of candy today rather than wait for a dollar next week. We are after the here and now. Jer.2:13 We become like broken cisterns that can hold no water spiritually.
Let us follow the advice of Solomon in Prov.16:3. May we commit our cause unto God and reap the joy He has awaiting us. Job 5:8,9 Paul committed the Word unto Timothy that they might be kept by the Holy Spirit. 2 Tim.1:13 We now have this committed Word in its completion that we need to keep. Test ourselves (not others), how committed are we to the Lord and His church or are we guilty of those excuses?
Vic Knowles quoted from a new poll by the Barna group in his Knowlesletter. 51% of U.S. adults no longer think church attendance is important. Only 2 in 10 adults under the age of 30 believe that church is important. One-third of that group are anti-church. People who show up once every 4 to 6 weeks consider themselves “regular churchgoers.”
Astounding! Where is the commitment? Ask yourself where do I stand?
To remember as of utmost importance (not nonchalantly), Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. Ps.37:5
As an added thought, this is from the same source as above. The 5 factors that the vast majority of preachers consider as a successful church: 1. Attendance 2. Giving 3. Number of programs 4. Number of staff 5. Square footage
Where is this found in the Scripture? No wonder the above statistics are happening. Get back to the Bible!