by E. Lockhart

Commitment is the state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons, a pledge, vow, dedication, devotion, duty, loyalty, responsibility.            

                 A pig and a chicken were walking by a church where a charity event was taking place. Getting caught up in the spirit, the pig suggested to the chicken that they each make a contribution.  “Great idea!” the chicken cried. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs?”  “Not so fast,” said the pig. “For you, that’s a contribution. For me, it’s a total commitment.”  Ask Yourself, “Am I just getting involved, like the chicken Or, am I ready to commit and sacrifice  my all for the service of the Lord?”

               Before I can be committed to Christ, I must first be a believer.  My love should grow for Him more and  more!

George Mueller said:
                        “At last I saw Christ as my Saviour. I believed in Him and gave myself to Him. The burden rolled from off me, and a great love for Christ filled my soul. That was more than fifty years ago. I loved Jesus Christ then, but I  loved Him more the year after, and more the year after that, and more  every year since.”

           As we mature in the Lord we need to teach others, new Christians, our children and our grandchildren how to be committed Christians. In  Deut. 6 it says:   “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

           Live daily by the Word of God only?  Set your priorities by the Word of God.   Get wisdom and  understanding from God’s Word.   “He taught me also, and   said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get  understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the  words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and  receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall  be many.” (Pr 4:4-10)  (Get all you can, can all you get and share all you can.)

            Practice Romans 12:1-2?  “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”            

                      Give yourself to Prayer?  “Pray without ceasing.” (1Th 5:17)   The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous  man availeth much.” (Jas 5:16) 

  Delight yourself in the law of God and as the Psalmist says meditating on it day and night? Hide God’s Word in your heart that you might not sin against Him?

                        Love your neighbor as yourself  Tell your neighbors about the Lord Jesus?   Have compassion  on others.  And Jesus went  forth, and saw a great  multitude, and was moved with  compassion toward  them, Mt 14:13-14 

                 “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on  him,” (Lu 10:33)  In the midst of my own trials and burdens, my own schedule, can I still think about and care for others?

                    Walk in the Spirit. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. …. If  we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Ga 5:16&25)

                   Set your affections on things above.  “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your  affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col 3:1-2)

              Commit your ways unto the Lord.   Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Ps 37:4-5 AV)   “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”  (Pr 16:3) 

          Learn from Biblical examples:  Here are a few on the positive side:

Abraham –  obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” (Heb 11:8)                                                                                            

Joseph-  “how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Ge 39:9)                                                                                                       

Moses-   Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (Heb 11:24-25)                          Joshua –  : but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Jos 24:15)                                                                                                  

Ruth – “thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” (Ru 1:16)                                                                 

Esther –  and if I perish, I perish.” (Es 4:16)                                                                                                                                      
Isaiah – “Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Isa 6:8)                                                                   

Daniel and three Hebrew children – “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself (Da 1:8)                                               

Paul – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Php 1:21)

Here are a few on the negative side:

Lot   “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:” (2Pe 2:7)

Achan  , took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.” (Jos 7:1)

Jonah   “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, .” (Jon 1:3)

Demas   “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, (2Ti 4:10)

Pharisees  outwardly committed, but not in the heart!  “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Mt 15:8)

Commitment is simply loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and your neighbor as yourself.   This is the greatest commandment, therefore would be total commitment.

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” (Lu 9:23-25)  Let us lose our lives in Christ!

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1Jo 5:3)

The Lord wants us to have abundant life and a life full of joy.  Being committed to Him should not be a daily drudgery, but a daily joy. 

Frances Ridley Havergal, a woman of great commitment to her Lord!

Her love to the Lord Jesus was a passion, it was so intense and strong. In her love there was the lowliest adoration, and also the highest worship. She says: “There are times when I feel such intensity of love to Jesus that I have not words to express it. I rejoice in Him as my Master and my King, but I want to come nearer still and have His promise in St. John 14:21 fulfilled to me, ‘I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.'”

God’s Holy Word was her constant companion. She “read” it. Her sister says: “At her study table she read her Bible by seven o’clock in the summer, and eight o’clock in winter; her Hebrew Bible, Greek Testament, and lexicons being at hand.” She “marked ” it. “In the memoir of her life there are two specimen pages from her Bible — one showing the way in which she underlined and marked the verses; the other is full of notes, the results of her diligent searchings. She “learned” it. She knew by heart the whole of the four Gospels, the Epistles, the Revelation, and all the Psalms. In later years she learned Isaiah and the Minor Prophets.
Her Habit of Prayer. — No one ever, I suppose, prayed more earnestly and regularly and systematically than she did. It was her joy to pray “three times a day.” She kept a paper in her Bible, on which were arranged the subjects of her prayers.

For Daily Morning Prayer.

Watchfulness. Guard over temper. Consistency. Faithfulness to opportunities. For the Holy Spirit. For a vivid love to Christ.

Midday Prayer.

Earnestness of spirit in desire, in prayer, and in all work. Faith, hope, love.

Evening Prayer.

Forgiveness. To see my sinfulness in its true light. Growth in grace. Against morning sleepiness as hindrance to time for prayer.

This song was true of her in every line. Mind, hands, feet, money, influence, love, her very self, were all devoted to the service of her Master and her King.

Miss Havergal had copies printed of her Consecration Hymn which she gave sometimes at the end of a meeting, asking those who really meant it to sign their names on the blank line at the bottom of the paper, when alone, and on their knees before God, as a pledge of their resolve to be “Ever, only, all for Jesus.”

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee

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