Fully Committed

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”—2 Chronicles 16:9.

God is constantly looking for people who are fully committed to him. Some doubt God’s existence. Others actively oppose God. But most of the people you know probably would say that they are on God’s side. Many of these would fall woefully short in the commitment department. Yet that is what God is looking for—men, women and young people who are fully committed to him.

How would you describe the lives of people who are fully committed to God? I think you could safely say that they regularly gather together with other believers for the purpose of worship (Hebrews 10:25). They take prayer seriously (1 Thessalonians 5:17). They not only study the Bible, they put its teachings into practice (James 1:22). They put God’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) and do their best to practice the golden rule (Matthew 7:12). The evidence of the Holy Spirit is abundant in their lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

There are many other ways that a person could show that they are fully committed to God. What would you add to the above list?

Let’s always keep in mind that God is looking for people who are fully committed to him.

Does he see such a person when he looks at you?

 

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Rest for the Soul

I think that Labor Day weekend is an appropriate time to take a break from writing this blog. I appreciate all of you who read so faithfully. I enjoy helping people think about God.

However, even a labor of love can become wearisome at times. Jesus rested from his work from time to time, and so must we. I hope that by taking some time off—perhaps a week or two—I can come back refreshed and ready to refresh others.

I hope you have a restful and joyful holiday weekend.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”—Matthew 11:28-30

 

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Stop!

A state trooper pulled over a driver who was speeding. Hoping to get off with a warning, the driver tried to appear shocked when the trooper approached her car.

“I’ve never been stopped like this before,” she told the officer.

“What do they usually do, ma’am?” he asked. “Shoot the tires out?”

Sometimes it takes drastic measures to make us stop, or even slow down. Thankfully, we have the opportunity to take communion every week. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to stop and give thanks for the salvation that we have through Jesus!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”—Matthew 11:28

 

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Greener Grass

A story is told of a farmer who had lived on the same farm all his life. It was a good farm, but with the passing years, the farmer began to tire of it. He longed for a change—for something “better.” Every day he found a new reason for criticizing some feature of the old place. Finally he decided to sell, and listed the farm with a real estate broker who promptly prepared a sales advertisement. As one might expect, it emphasized all the farm’s advantages: ideal location, modern equipment, healthy livestock, acres of fertile ground, etc. Before placing the ad in the newspaper, the realtor called the farmer and read the copy to him for his approval. When he had finished, the farmer exclaimed, “Hold everything! I’ve changed my mind. I am not going to sell. I’ve been looking for a place like that all my life.”

The grass seems greener on the other side of the fence. But with a little perspective we can learn to better appreciate what we have.

“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”—Philippians 4:11

 

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Another Disappointment

A group of soldiers were training for their first parachute jump. Their instructions were: Jump when you are told to jump. Count to ten, then pull the ripcord. If the first chute doesn’t open, pull the second ripcord. When you land, a truck will take you back to the post.

When the plane got over the landing zone, a young soldier jumped when it was his turn. He counted to ten, then pulled the ripcord. Nothing happened. He pulled the second ripcord. Nothing happened.

“Oh great,” he complained to himself. “I’ll bet the truck won’t be waiting for us, either.”

Sometimes we do everything we are supposed to do, yet things still don’t work out the way we expected. Life is filled with disappointments, but we can always trust that our hope in Jesus will never let us down.

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”—Romans 5:5-8

 

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Bigger Picture

Fisk pleads with the ball to stay fair

One of the classic baseball television shots comes from the 1975 World Series, in which NBC captured Carlton Fisk, jumping up and down, waving his arms, trying to coax his hit to stay fair. It did—for a home run.

The iconic close-up would have been missed had the cameraman followed the ball with his camera, as he was supposed to do. But the cameraman inside the Fenway Park scoreboard had one eye on a rat that was circling him. So instead of focusing the camera on the ball, he left it on Fisk.

Sometimes we encounter problems like that rat. We have no idea how they will be resolved, but because of them, we may see God work in a way we never would have without the problems.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”—Romans 8:28

 

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What Did You Say?

Pat Tornatore relates the following story:

It was a typical noisy dinner at my parent’s home, and Dad was having trouble following the conversations. He kept jumping in with off-topic comments and asking for things to be repeated. I finally told him he needed to get a hearing aid. Looking at me as if I were crazy, he said, “What would I do with a hand grenade?”

In his Word, God speaks to us clearly and distinctly. We must be careful to listen to what he says.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches…”—Revelation 2:7

 

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Thoughtful Conversation

Carol Burks relates this story:

After finishing our Chinese food, my husband and I cracked open our fortune cookies. Mine read, “Be quiet for a little while.” His read, “Talk while you have a chance.”

The art of conversation is difficult to master. Even spouses who have been together for a long time still need to work at having thoughtful discussions where listening is just as important as speaking. May we always be striving to become better listeners.

“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”—Proverbs 17:27-28.

 

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Only the Best

A friend of mine used to get great cell phone service at his house. This was to be expected since he could literally stand in his yard and see the tower that provided his service.

Then he noticed that his service wasn’t as good as it used to be. Instead of getting full bars, he only had two bars on his cell phone. He wondered why, so he called the company that provided his service and asked if they could explain the change.

The customer service representative told my friend that vandals had broken in and stolen some of their equipment. He replied that they must have replaced the equipment, or else he would have no service at all. He was informed that they had indeed replaced the stolen equipment. However, thinking that they would probably be robbed again, the company decided to use lesser quality equipment to replace what had been stolen.

God doesn’t use inferior materials to build his church. He only uses people who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and empowered by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit!

“For in him you have been enriched in every way…Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift…”—1 Corinthians 1:5-7.

 

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Raising Children

A man was at the airport waiting to board his flight. He observed a mother who was travelling with three young children, all of whom were running around yelling and annoying the other passengers. The mother tried to calm down her children and get them to behave, but she was having little or no success.

The man asked the lady, “If you had it to do all over again, would you have children?”

She thought for a moment and then replied, “Yes, I would. I just wouldn’t have these!”

Raising children can be difficult. It requires much prayer and patience. But it can be a very rewarding experience when they grow up to live for the Lord.

“It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.”—2 John 4.

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