Tag Archives: commitment

Deuteronomy 18-20; Go Home

I came across some verses here today which remind me of something Jesus said. Moses is talking about warfare as the Jews prepared to take the Promised Land. “Don’t be afraid,” he tells them, “even if the enemy seems unbeatable, because the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, will be with you and will fight for you.” (from 20:1-4)

But then Moses instructs the army officers to weed out certain soldiers:

If you’ve recently built a house, go home.

If you’ve just planted a vineyard, go home.

If you are engaged to be married, go home.

If you are afraid, go home.

It makes me think of when Jesus, in Luke 9, tells a couple of guys the same thing:

You want to go bury your dad? Go home.

You want to go say goodbye to your family? Go home. Neither one of you is of any use in my kingdom.

An effective Jesus follower cannot have divided loyalties. Period.

Toward the end of his life, my dad spoke more freely about his experiences as a Marine fighting in the Pacific during WWII. He talked about fear, about duty, about focus and determination, senses heightened, everything forgotten but the task at hand.

He told me about a Marine in his division, who gave in to fear. He said the young man, at a critical point in the battle, stood up and tried to run away. He was immediately shot and killed by the enemy. I must have said something like, “How sad,” or “I feel bad for that guy.”

Dad quickly replied that there was nothing sad about it, that that Marine had jeopardized every other Marine in the area by revealing their position. He had no sympathy for that young man.

So what does this have to do with living the Christian life in 2017? I am reminded that being an effective follower of Jesus is not for sissies. It’s hard. It’s not popular. It takes intention and determination. It takes focus, and courage. It means loving Jesus more than your spouse, or your children. It means obeying Jesus even if it costs us a career, or a friendship. It means sharing the Gospel with that loved one, that neighbor, that coworker, even if that person will think you are an idiot.

It means living a life that doesn’t look like the world. This is war. And if you aren’t in this 100%, just go home. You might as well go golfing on Sunday morning, quit identifying with your church fellowship, stop quoting Scripture if your life doesn’t reflect the Truth.

Because you are putting the rest of us at risk. You are giving Christianity a bad name, you are undermining what God would like to do in the lives of the people you are in contact with. There are people who are totally committed to Jesus, who are obeying Him, loving Him, sacrificing for Him. And if you aren’t one of them, you are a liability.

The soldiers Moses was talking about were still soldiers, the men Jesus spoke to might have really loved Him. But they were told to go home anyway, because they were of no use in the battle at hand.

And neither are you if you aren’t in this all the way. The Bible doesn’t encourage us to kinda follow the Lord. It doesn’t tell us to turn over most of our life to Him. Scripture is pretty clear that it’s all, or nothing.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matt 22:37)

I challenge you to find a verse that says differently.

I know this sounds harsh, but I think it needs to be said. We’ve come way too far away from this truth. And Christianity is suffering for it. There is nothing politically correct about being a Jesus follower. Jesus was hated and crucified because He refused to be politically correct.

I think it’s time we quit trying to look like the world, trying not to offend sinners, or by making sinners feel comfortable in the presence of a Holy God. It’s time we quit wimping out when it comes to standing for Biblical truth. The Church was never intended to be a country club.

It was intended to be an army of dedicated soldiers, giving it all for the purpose of sharing the Gospel. Here’s the good news: Moses reminded the people that God Himself, the God who rescued them from slavery, was fighting with them and for them. We aren’t in this alone. And that makes me believe I can commit myself 100% and He will give me the victory.

Otherwise, I might as well just go home.

Father, I pray for Your children today. Some of us might need to take a step back, to go home for a bit and be strengthened, and encouraged to join the battle. Some of us are ready to get in there and follow Your lead today. May each of us check our commitment level, and may we all make the determination to follow You 100%. You demand no less. You deserve no less. I pray Your Church will be strong, effective, and powerful as we submit ourselves to You, in Jesus’ Name, and for His sake.

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August 25 – Tarry, Lord

Jeremiah 49-50

Sometimes I read the news and think, “Christians are losing this war.” People who love the Lord are being persecuted, targeted, discriminated against, churches are compromising, God is being mocked, and I find myself tempted to pray, “Just come back, Jesus.”

But I read things in the Bible like these chapters in Jeremiah and am reminded Who has the power, and Who has already won the war.

My prayer changes.

God, I’m not ready to give up. I believe you still hear and answer the prayers of your people who humble themselves and repent. I believe you are not willing that anyone die without knowing You. I believe you still have the power to save. So, Lord, I’m asking you to raise up a people who are committed to You and the Gospel. May you find warriors instead of spectators, workers instead of watchers, givers instead of takers. God, may Your people determine that we will not give up without a fight. Then lead us into battle against Satan, our real enemy. Tarry, Lord. Don’t come back today. There are souls that need saving.

July 7 – Commitment Is Personal

2 Kings 12-13, 2 Chronicles 24

Joash’s story always makes me sad. As long as the priest Jehoiada was there, the young king honored God and encouraged the Jews to obey Him. “Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” (2 Chronicles 24:2)

The sad part begins when the priest dies and Joash is left on his own. For the first time in his life he didn’t have that old man looking over his shoulders. Joash didn’t choose well. Read it for yourself in today’s chapters.

I am reminded that faith in God is personal. I am not a Christian because my parents were. I can’t assume my children will follow the Lord just because I am devoted to God. ┬áIt’s a decision everyone must make for themselves.

Have you chosen to follow God because you realize YOU are a sinner before a Holy God? Have you repented of your own sin, and accepted Jesus death on the cross as something He did for YOU?

No one can decide that for you but you.