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Are You Committed to GOD? Tanner Stepp

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Commitment to the Creator, to God our Father

 

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. Matthew 6: 9-13

Almost a decade ago, when I played high school basketball, our team would circle up in the locker room before each game.  We would bow our heads and close our eyes.  One of my teammates would lead this prayer.  He would say one section at a time and then the rest of the team would follow suit.  As it neared the end, he would get a little bit louder, as would we.  After it was over, we would line up and head through the tunnel of fans and cheerleaders to the court.  The game would be played and more times than not, our team was on the losing end.  

At this time in my life, I was the opposite of being committed to God.  No matter how many games we played, or how many times we recited this prayer, it had no bearing on how I actually lived my life.  I thought at the time, “Saying this prayer might give us enough favor in God’s eyes that we might win tonight.”  As selfish as that sounds, this is the person that I was.

A couple of years later, at a Wednesday night church service, I dedicated my life to God, to Jesus, and to the church.  I no longer wanted to be held down by my selfish attitudes.  I no longer wanted to walk through this life bargaining with our Creator in hopes I would get something in return.  I wanted to be fully committed to God.

I now read this passage in Matthew 6 and see exactly what Jesus saw about our Lord: everything in our life belongs to God; everything we do here is for Him and hopefully to His liking; He is able to provide us with all of our needs; He is the example when it comes to forgiveness; and He has all the power to help us overcome our biggest struggles.

There comes a point in everyone’s life where they will either commit their life to this world or to the One who created us, loves us, and gave up His son for us.  Proverbs 16:3 says that if we commit our work to the Lord, our plans will be established.  That is a guarantee to all who obey Him.  The world does not offer such a guarantee.  No matter what is stacked against you, being committed to God puts you on His team, the winning team.  Take my story and compare it your own life.  Are you constantly bargaining with God in hopes that something will just miraculously happen?    Are you committed to someone or something other than the One who knows us best?  Be the person who dedicates their life to serving God, and in return He will draw near to you (James 4:8).   

Are You Committed to Jesus? by Jason Durrett

Sunday, July 19, 2015

 

Everyday, our lives and daily schedules are consumed by commitments. Commitments such as our jobs, spouses, children, upkeep of our homes, athletics, and the list continues to grow as we become busier.  Have we ever taken the time to slow down and analyze just what all our commitments are?  Do our commitments distract us and keep us from what is really important like worshiping on Sunday, and attending Wednesday evening Bible study?   Are we really committed to Jesus the way we should be?

Matthew 4:18-22 demonstrates the commitment that ordinary men had for Jesus. While walking by the Sea of Galilee, two brothers, Simon and Andrew, were casting their nets into the sea. Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. Both men immediately threw their nets into the water and followed Him.  Two other brothers, James and John, were mending nets with their father when Jesus called them and immediately they left and followed Him.  These men left their families, their businesses, the lives they knew, for a chance to follow the Messiah.    Then we have the example of those in a Samaritan village not as eager to commit to the Lord.   Before they could follow Him, they first needed to tend to burying the dead, and saying farewell to their loved ones (Luke 9:59-62). Which is the better example of commitment?

Jesus says in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” He continues in John 14:21 “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.   And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”    Christ shows His long lasting love, and will never depart from us if we commit to a life of love, service, faith and trust in Him.   We must serve Him and separate ourselves from the temptations of the world.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having responsibilities and obligations in life, and being committed to them shows our dedication and loyalty.  It’s when those commitments become our priorities, and hinder us from committing fully to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.   Let us never fall into that trap where our everyday lives take away from the One whose blood was shed for us.  God does not promise us that a life of commitment to Him will always be an easy journey, but He does promise an eternal reward for our faithfulness and service to Him.   How sweet it will be when one day we stand before Him, and hear the words   “Well done, good and faithful servant…….enter into the joy of your master.”   Matt 25:23  

 

Commit today to serve the Lord!

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If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

Are You Commited to the Holy Spirit? by Mark Pape

Sunday, July 12, 2015

 

If so, how? Someone might say they are committed to the Holy Spirit by claiming to possess His supernatural gifts or personal indwelling, when the fact is, the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit that we read about among believers in the New Testament no longer exist. So then, how may a person be committed to the Holy Spirit?

Commitment in a relationship carries with it the idea of love for, devotion to, admiration of,  respect for, and ultimately submission to. All of these should characterize the person who claims to be committed to the Holy Spirit. I would like for us to consider,….. submission to the Holy Spirit.

To understand how we commit ourselves to the Holy Spirit by submission, we must first recognize the role of the Holy Spirit in the relationship we can have with Him. The Holy Spirit’s role in God’s divine enterprise is one of being His Revelator; He reveals the mind of God to the creation. After establishing that it had not entered into the heart of man the things that God has in mind for him, Paul states, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Cor 2:10) God, through or by the Holy Spirit revealed those unsearchable riches to inspired men such as Paul. They wrote them down – we call it the Bible. Jesus promised to use the Holy Spirit as the revealing agent when He stated,

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26) The Father did exactly that just a few days after Jesus’ ascension, when Peter and the eleven, being filled with the Holy Spirit stood up and spoke “…as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) The message to be preached was from Christ and was delivered through and by the Holy Spirit. When those who heard the message decided to obey it, they were making a commitment to Christ, by making a commitment to the Holy Spirit’s revealed message.

We must understand that our commitment to the Holy Spirit is our commitment to the revealed message that God and Christ commissioned Him to reveal. It must be an unbending commitment that accepts the fact that revelation from God through the Holy Spirit is complete. There are no further modern day revelations needed. The introduction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago by the Holy Spirit was God’s final revelation to man. The Holy Spirit is only active through that inspired message. When we commit ourselves to obey and live by the Gospel, we have committed ourselves to all three personalities of Godhead – The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit. To reject the Gospel message, not only demonstrates contempt for God and Christ, but also a clear lack of commitment to the Holy Spirit.

Are you committed to the Holy Spirit? Open your Bible, read it, study it, commit yourself to live by the message of Christ that the Father sent the Holy Spirit to share. Only then will you be committed to the Holy Spirit. Think about it.

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

Are You Committed to the Bible? by Jason Dickey

Sunday, July 05, 2015

We live in the “postmodern” era. This simply means that our society and culture promote an idea of fluid truth. There is no absolute right and absolute wrong. The irony of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s words ring in our ears “Only Sith deal in absolutes”. This statement is at once self-condemnatory but also condemning of any ideology that believes in an unequivocal truth. Our culture has worked hard to make us all think that all opinions are equally valid, that there is nothing for certain and that any idea can mean anything to anyone. Do you see the danger in this? If we allow our culture to tell us that by believing in an absolute standard we are no better than the face of evil then we have absolutely nothing to be grounded in. This starts and ends with morality. Homosexuality is okay, prostitution is okay, drug use is okay, killing unborn children is okay, and no matter how wicked a thing might be, it is okay as long as “you don’t hurt someone”. This is a tempting idea because it is associated with an apathy that you cannot argue with. Postmodernism does not care. You cannot win a debate against someone that does not care. Do not confuse this apathy with truth. Just because you cannot convince someone that this ideology is wrong does not mean it is true at all.
It gets worse though. The ending point of this ideology is well beyond a standard of “not harming others”. It grows into violence against the innocent and the persecution of the undeserving. If you look at any culture from around the world, once this sort of immorality becomes prominent, pain and suffering follow. Notice the cycle of sin in the book of Judges, loss of morality leads to the exact sort suffering we are discussing. And look at world history: Israel, Rome, Babylon, Assyria, and most recently Germany and Russia. The loss of morality in these sorts of “social issues” is just a beginning. This is why it is so important for us to cling to a standard, to a guide, to something that can help us navigate through right and wrong. This is why the Bible is necessary.

 

The Bible is the only standard that we can have (Gal. 1:8). It is from God. There are any number of ways to demonstrate that there is something divine in the words that are preserved for us within scripture, but maybe the most convincing proof is the power and consistency of the message inside. In the Bible we see a thorough and complete picture of a uniform God that demands righteousness but accepts devotion through His plan for redemption. A God that is full of love from beginning to end (despite what people say) and has done everything possible for us to have a relationship with/in Him. This God has laid out a plan for morality; a standard for us to keep and follow in our lives. The truth of the word of God is something that can at once conform us to the hope of the calling of His son and also fill us with the power to withstand the trials of this world (I Cor. 10:13). No longer do we wander through the world seeking some ethereal enlightenment like some far eastern mysticism. Truth and enlightenment are ever before us (Ps. 119:105). We have the opportunity to know and understand God and if we commit ourselves to this standard then we can have a hope and a promise that can transform our present into a world full of the peace of God (Phil. 4:8-9). The impending violence and corruption that comes with a lack of morality is overcome by the truth of the word of God (Phil. 4:11-13). Are you committed to the standard that overcomes the world (I Jhn. 5:4)? Are you committed to truth or some fluid and floundering ideology of variability and constant change? Fix your gaze on the rock of ages, the word of God, and commit yourself to the standard (Ps. 61:1-4).

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

Immeasurable Grace by Daniel Broyles

Sunday, June 28, 2015

 

Grace has been defined as “unmerited favor,” and from my childhood, I was able to quote this definition.  As I have grown, the concept of grace has grown with me as I am sure it will continue throughout my life. Reflecting, I can see how grace has been there, every step of the way, through the care and actions of those around me.  It all started with my parents and grandparents.  I can look back and see all of the wonderful things they did and gave to me knowing now that I did not deserve a single one.    I really thought that I was getting grasp on seeing grace in my daily life.   And, yet again, I learned yet a more profound meaning of grace.  In March of 2014, my wife and I brought our son home.  I was overwhelmed with love and gratefulness.  What an amazing gracious gift that God has now entrusted into our hands.  This most precious blessing has completely changed what I thought I knew of grace. 

Our son is now a year old, and I cannot imagine life without him.  Every day, I look forward to our time together, and I want to ensure that no harm ever comes to him.  For the most part, with the exception of a few tumbles, my wife and I make sure this happens.  Following one of those near-miss incidents, I had another epiphany.  I still did not comprehend the totality of the concept of grace.  The idea of knowingly letting something happen to my son is inconceivable.  There is no way I could ever let that happen.   But that this is exactly what God did – for the greater good of mankind.  He showed us the greatest gesture of grace — He gave us His son.

We can see in John 1:1, 14 that God sent His son from Heaven to live on earth as a man and to suffer on the cross for our sins.  He made the choice to save us through His son rather than to let us have no option to be with Him in Heaven.  As a father, I cannot even begin to imagine this choice; however, God knew that this was necessary and loved us enough to make this decision.  The bible tells us that we all sin against God (Romans 3:23).  I have sinned against God, and in turn, He has given us His son.  What a very heavy thought!  I am the reason God chose to send His son. 

What an immeasurable gift and sacrifice!  God has so richly blessed us!  He gave me the opportunity to have an eternal relationship with Him through the selfless gift of His son (Ephesians 2:8-9).  He wants so much to share this grace with you, too.  Please let us help you.

Additional Resources
Immeasurable Grace- Bible Study Guide 
Joy in Heaven-Sermon by Curtis Pope 
I Sing the Mighty Power of God - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

A Youthful Perspective

Grace to Me

By Makenzie Belcher

  We hear the word Grace a lot, but do we know what it truly means? Grace can be defined as many things. But the most commonly used definition is, "unmerited or undeserving favor of God." That describes it pretty well! The ultimate Grace example is God giving his son to die for us. It is by the Grace of God that we can be saved. ”For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV) God decided to give his son to die on the cross for us. He didn't have to, but he wanted to, we didn't deserve it, but he thought we needed it. Because of this sacrifice we are able to be baptized. Our sins are able to be washed away.
  Mercy plays a pretty big role in this example also. Jesus wanted God to give mercy to the ones who were sacrificing him. "There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots." (Luke 23:32-34 NKJV) This is something I don't think I could have done. I would not be able to say that if that was happening to me. I am sure most of us couldn't. That just shows how extraordinary Jesus was. He went through all that pain for us. He suffered on that cross so we could be saved and forgiven. He could've quit and said he wasn't going to do it anymore, but he stayed for us. For that I am forever grateful. This example of God's Grace is something we all know, & have heard of before, but it really is the greatest example.
  You may be wondering about Grace in our daily lives. It is all around us. Here are a few examples. You may have received a gift from someone who really may have not had a lot. But out of the goodness of their heart, they gave it to you. You probably didn't necessarily deserve the gift, but they wanted to give it to you. We may know of someone who had a sickness but is now healed, someone who may have been severely injured but has now made a full recovery. It could have not resulted very well, but instead things got better for them. Those are other great examples.
 Grace can be shown through Random Acts of Kindness. Things you may not think would go a long way, really does. Always act your best. You never know whose life you can effect. "Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." (
Hebrews 13:1-2 NKJV)
  We should always try to be a better Christian. We can never go wrong with trying to improve ourselves. We should work up to where this could be our rightful attitude as a Christian. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (I Corinthians 15:10 NKJV)
  Love is always the answer. If we have love, we will be filled with Grace and Mercy for others that we encounter in our daily lives.

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