Summary: This sermon is part one in a series challenging God’s people to deeper committment in their relationship with Him.
“Fully Committed to Him”
Sermon – 8 August 2004
We have just come out of a six week series of sermons entitled “Breaking Down Barriers & Building Up The Wall”. One of the points that we touched on a couple of times throughout that series was the matter of being committed to the Lord.
In particular, last week we spent some time discussing commitment as it relates to taking up our position.
Commitment is a foreign concept to many in our Western culture. We see this reflected in many different areas. Not the least of which is in the area of marriage.
One major problem in the area of marriage is those who all live together as opposed to committing to the other person in a lifelong relationship. Unfortunately, cohabitation is quite common in the church as well.
When people do get married more than 50% end in divorce. Again, this statistic is nearly mirrored in the church in general.
According to George Barna only half of people who attend a Christian Church describe themselves as “absolutely committed” to Christianity, but 92% of Evangelicals describe themselves as “absolutely committed”.
Among Christians 16% are involved in a discipleship process of regularly meeting with a group or individual for spiritual growth.
We must understand that the word “Christian” is a rather broad word.
No matter how you cut it, commitment is a big problem in this country and it is reflected in the church as well.
Let us take a look at our text for today…
2 Chronicles 15:1-7, 12, 13, 16-18; 16:7-14
This is a very interesting portion of scripture because Asa was known as a king who did right in the eyes of the Lord.
After the prophet spoke to him he took heart and began to remove the places of idol worship and repaired the temple of the Lord.
Not only so but he instituted many reforms in the land of Judah over which he was king.
It may be kind of difficult to understand what happened that caused Asa to turn away from the Lord in the way he did after seeming to be so committed to him.
We are going to look at this text and see what caused Asa to turn away from the Lord in the way he did.
1. Rejected God’s Rule –
When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations…seven nations larger and stronger than you – 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.
For the first thirty-four years of Asa’s reign he was truly committed to the Lord.
As we have mentioned, he instituted great reforms in the nation of Judah which we have mentioned.
There is one point of wavering that may be a sign of what was to come…
King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed [to the LORD] all his life.
Now, the scripture is silent as to what precipitated this wavering on the part of Asa. For some unknown reason he fails to remove the high places which were the places where the worship of Baal and Asherah actually took place.
Whatever precipitates it, we clearly see a slight compromise. And in a few years that slight compromise would grow to a total disregard for the Word of God.
David knew the importance of God’s Word…
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
A skeptic in London, in speaking of the Bible, said that it was quite impossible in these days to believe in any book whose authorship is unknown. A Christian asked if the compiler of the multiplication table was known. “No!” he answered. “Then, of course, you do not believe in it.” “Oh yes,” was the skeptic’s reply “I believe in it because it works well.” “So does the Bible,” was the rejoinder. The skeptic had no answer to that.
Well said…the bible works! But it only works if we use it and apply it!