Definition: To stay faithful even in times of trials and troubles.
Synonyms: Faithful, Dedicated, Loyal
“You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him” (Deuteronomy 30:20 NLT).
Nearing the end of his life, Moses addresses the Israelites. Because of disobedience Moses (and his generation) would not claim the Promised Land. Moses knew after his death the people would enter their new home, and was preparing the Israelites for Joshua’s leadership.
In his final speeches to the people, Moses emphasized being committed to God. Knowing God was not enough, people must obey. Notice that God didn’t force himself on the Israelites or us either. Commitment to our God and Savior is our choice.
Moses reminded the Israelites how merciful and compassionate God was to his people. When wandering in the desert, God fed them; even their sandals and clothes didn’t wear out. The people witnessed many miracles during those forty years.
No different today, we need to commit to learning about God and obeying. Reflect on all God has done, and when we realize his mercy and compassion, it is easy to commit our future to him.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Remind yourself how much God has done in your life.
“Be sure to fear the LORD and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24).
Samuel warned the people that a king was not in their best interest. Just because other nations had kings didn’t mean it was right for Israel. After all, they were God’s chosen, and therefore different from all other countries.
Verse 12:24 is part of Samuel’s farewell speech as the last judge to rule Israel. Giving the people a king was difficult for Samuel; however, he could not convince them to change their minds.
Just as Moses reminded the people of God’s mercy and compassion, Samuel tells the Israelites to reflect on the wonderful things God has done for them. In verses 7—12 Samuel recites some of God’s many blessings on the people. 1 Samuel 12:25 includes a warning about continued idol worship and sin. “But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away” (1 Samuel 12: 25). He is warning the people to stay committed to the one and only true God. The God of Abraham.
Samuel’s concern regarding idol worship was understandable since the Israelites often worshipped the idols of the nations surrounding them, which often were statues made of wood, gold, and silver. This seems silly and unsophisticated in our intellectual minds, yet we worship idols too.
Fun, celebrity, power, money, and work are some of our idols. Although more subtle, our idols are just as offensive to God. Reverting to fake gods for security or comfort is sin. A temptation most of us struggle with in our daily lives.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: What are your idols?
The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war (2 Chronicles 16:9).
The first king was Saul, which didn’t work out so well. Then David was king, followed by his son Solomon. David and Solomon had their issues, but they kept the country united.
Even though Solomon’s kingdom was impressive, he often didn’t obey God’s laws and burdened the people to maintain his extravagant reign. This led to the Israelites fighting about who should be king at Solomon’s death, which resulted in a divided nation: Israel (Northern Israel) and Judah (Southern Israel).
When Asa ruled Judah, the northern kingdom of Israel attacked them. Afraid that the north might overcome Judah, Asa made a treaty with the King of Aram to gain protection. Turning to a man for protection showed Asa’s lack of commitment to God, and this angered the Almighty.
God planned to give Aram to Judah, but Asa lost this land because he was unfaithful to God, and the remainder of Asa’s reign was riddled with war.
Neither Solomon nor Asa, stayed committed to God, and the results were devastating.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Commit to God and not to people or the things of this world.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer (Acts 2:42).
Peter preached, and the result was a slew of new believers, and the first order of business was forming a community. This verse tells us they learned, fellowshipped, and prayed together.
The new believers continued to attend services at the Temple and synagogues, but were also committed to learning about Jesus and participating in the Lord’s Supper.
Commitment to the community is essential to a vibrant and growing faith. Learning from one another, giving and receiving support and encouragement, and celebrating victories together, are all benefits of a Christian community.
Our community should be an example to the outside world, so they see committed Christians loving each other and living exemplary lives. A community of believers is a great witness and should draw others to Jesus.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Participate in a Christ-centered community.
DAY 5 or WEEKEND REFLECTIONS
Commit everything you do to the Lord (Psalm 37:5).
David suffered under King Saul, who wanted to kill him out of jealousy and paranoia. Running and hiding from Saul created a time of misery, yet the Psalms David wrote during this time of his life shows that his commitment to God never wavered.
Bold in his prayers, even challenging God at times, David always returned to full commitment to God. He acknowledged (finally) that his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba, and all the violence and death, was a grave sin. The child conceived from this relationship died, but David stayed committed to God. (2 Samuel 12: 13—22)
Stay committed by reflecting on what God has done in your life, resisting the temptation to worship idols, putting your faith in God, not men, and getting involved in a Christ-centered community.
Meditate on and pray Psalm 34 this weekend.