Summary: Commitment is viewed by many diferent people many different ways, yet the scripture has another idea about what commitment is and how we can achieve single-minded devotion to Christ.
CASUAL OR CONCRETE COMMITMENT
(All my sermons use illustrations found on www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise indicated)
A little old lady was amazed at how nice the young man was next door. Every day he would help her gather things from her car or help her in her yard. One day, the old lady finally ask the young man, "Son, how did you become such a fine young man?" The young man replied, "Well, when I was a boy, I had a drug problem." The old lady was shocked. "I can’t believe that." The young man replied, "It’s true. My parents drug me to church on Sunday morning, drug me to church on Sunday night and drug me to church on Wednesday night."
I wonder how many of us have this kind of DRUG problem, do we have to drag ourselves to church functions, or are we HUNGRY for God’s Word and the fellowship our church family provides? In fact the Bible tells us in Heb 10:25 Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near. (Living Bible) I have wondered for a very long time WHY do people start to neglect church meetings and WHY do people restructure their priorities to make church something secondary? I honestly believe that it is due to a loss of focus as we discussed last week, and it is due to a differing opinion of what COMMITMENT is. Some make a very casual commitment to God, and others make a concrete commitment. This morning we will see in the scripture, what commitment is; and how to make sure that ours is a concrete commitment, not just something casual. So let’s start with a scripture from Psalm 37, we will look at verses 4-7 this morning and I am going to read from 2 different translations of the Bibles this morning: Follow along with me, Psalm 37:4-7 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. NIV
Ps 37:4-7 Be delighted with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart's desires. 5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will. 6 Your innocence will be clear to everyone. He will vindicate you with the blazing light of justice shining down as from the noonday sun. 7 Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him to act. Don't be envious of evil men who prosper. Living Version
David tells us here, to be extremely happy with God, to delight ourselves in Him, to rejoice in God. The word “delight” means much the same as Paul tells us in the New Testament when he says; Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
BUT, this is easier said, then done, AMEN? How does one become delighted with someone else? Well, it can only happen when we know someone very well. You must admit, it is impossible to rejoice for someone if we really don’t know them well. It is difficult, at best, to have any feelings for those we really don’t know, let alone delight ourselves in them. THUS, we must strive to know God better and the knowledge of Him, will reveal His great love for us. Knowing how much HE loves us will indeed give us delight.
David says that if we learn to delight in Him, then He will give us the desires of our hearts, AND then David says “COMMIT your way” or as the Living Version puts it “Commit everything” to God and both versions then say TRUST in HIM and He will do this. He will do this, either by helping us to see the desires of our hearts in a different perspective, or by striving harder to achieve them. The point of this scripture is simply this:
I. COMMITMENT BEGINS WITH TRUSTING GOD
There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, about that time he saw a little shack in the distance. He made his way over to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note. The note read: "pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need". Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die. After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed. Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveler.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “ Please prime the pump, believe me it works”! We have the same choice to make, do we hold on to what we have because we don’t believe there are better things in store for us? Thus we settle for immediate satisfaction? Or do we trust God and give up all that we have to get what God has promised us? I think the choice is obvious. We need to pour in all the water, trust God with everything.