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Summary: I’d like to look at the commitment a person makes when they call on the Lord and join their lives with Him! I’d like to start with some things to avoid (The I don’ts) and then we’ll look at what it means to say “I do” to the Lord.

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The “I Do’s” and the “I Don’ts”

Intro: Most of you are probably familiar with traditional wedding vows. Mine went something like this:

Mark, do you take Robin to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her, for as long as you both shall live? {I do.}

-Most couples (hopefully) enter marriage with the idea that it will work. What some of them do not realize is that it will take a whole lot of work to make it work. But there is one thing that a lasting marriage cannot do without: commitment. When a man asks a woman to marry him, he is telling her that she is the only one for him. When a woman says Yes, she is also indicating that he is the only one for her. A good marriage requires exclusivity! Thus, the phrase, forsaking all others, being faithful.

-For every “I Do” that a couple agrees to, there is also an “I Don’t.” If I say, “I DO promise to love her,” that also means “I will NOT despise her or be unloving toward her.” If I say, “I DO promise to comfort her,” then I’m saying “I will not be uncaring or harsh when it comes to her feelings.” When I say, “I DO promise to honor and keep her,” I am saying that I will not dishonor her or reject her.” I’m sure you are getting the picture.

-Well, the Bible compares our relationship with the Lord to a relationship between a husband and wife. You might argue that it is a people group, not an individual, who makes up the bride of Christ (the Church), but the same commitment applies for each person who calls on the Lord.

-So, along the lines of a marriage commitment I’d like to look at the commitment a person makes when they call on the Lord and join their lives with Him! What kind of commitment is the Lord looking for from those who call on Him? I’d like to start with some things to avoid (The I don’ts) and then we’ll look at what it means to say “I do” to the Lord.

1. Things to Avoid in order to stay true to God

• I will avoid hypocrisy & dishonesty

Romans 12:9 “Love must be sincere.” Don’t fake it! Be real! Hypocrisy is a form of dishonesty, lying about who you really are.

• I will avoid lust and immorality

Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”

• I will avoid misplacing my affections (not flirt with sin)

James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

• I will avoid selfishness and pride

2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”

• I will avoid being too busy for God

Luke 14:16-20 16 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' 18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' 19 "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' 20 "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'

-Busyness is often an excuse not to follow Jesus. Sometimes we keep ourselves so distracted and engaged by other things that we don’t even have time for the Lord. Just as couples need time together, so we need time with the Lord!

2. Exclusive Devotion to the one true God (The I Do’s)

• I will love

Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

• I will worship

John 4:23-24 “…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

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