"Surface Strength or Deep Integrity?"

The Lord searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely (“who are fully committed” NIV) to Him. He wants to make them strong.” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NLT) “Fully devoted – Fully Committed” – that is the divine standard set by God in being a genuine follower of His Son, Jesus. Set forth for the First Century Christian Church, that same standard remains unchanged today for every believer of the 21st Century Church. Yet it seems that depth of commitment for many in the Christian community has become a rarity in our day and time – many just want to be “partially committed / devoted,” that is if they even care to be committed / devoted at all! I recall a devotion that I read last year which detailed the tenacious resolve one young pastor in Zimbabwe, Africa held in being a “fully committed follower” of Jesus Christ. From this pastor’s personal journal, he once wrote, “The die has been cast. I have (now) stepped over the line. The decision has been made – I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still (i.e. be inactive / lazy.) My past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, position, promotions, plaudits (i.e. applause / recognition) or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, depending on His presence, walking by patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor with (His) power.” Now that’s the kind of servant’s heart which the Lord says in today’s text that He is looking to strengthen – a believer who is wholeheartedly (fully) committed to following God’s Will God’s Way. Sadly, this young pastor would later go on to be martyred for His uncompromising faith in following Christ in the very land to which He was called to carry the living Gospel! This does not mean that all of us who choose to become a fully committed Christ follower will suffer the same fate – but it also does not rule that out. After his saving conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), the Apostle Paul demonstrated his depth of commitment when he declared, “For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity].” (Philippians 1:21, Amplified Bible) Paul said that no matter what ever happened to him while living out his life for Christ, that he would be a winner (also read 2 Corinthians 11:23-33)! What a powerful attitude and even greater witness of a servant’s love and commitment to Christ and His kingdom work. What is YOUR personal level of commitment today to following Jesus Christ in lieu of 1 Kings 8:61 which declares, “Your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by His decrees and obey His commands.” Take a few moments today and ask God to examine your heart and to reveal to you exactly where your commitment to Him stands – is there great spiritual depth in your faith life in Him so that He can enable you to persevere the many trials and challenges in this journey of life, or does your faith just hold a surface strength which looks good to others, but really has no longevity ('no persevering power;’ Matthew 7:21-27)? Let’s start this new week with a renewed commitment to give our “ALL” to Him! …Selah!
Today's Spirit-led video by CCM artists Phillips, Craig & Dean and can be viewed by clicking on the on their classic song, "Crucified with Christ."

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