Freedom House Church and Healing Centre

EARS TO HEAR - Wendy Tolmie

I love to spend time with Jesus, getting to know Him more and listening to what He has to say and I would like to share some of it with you in this blog.  So, As I share what God puts on my heart, I hope and pray you will laugh, cry, be encouraged and maybe even convicted and challenged, but most of all I hope and pray that you will fall in love with Jesus!

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    Say “YES” to God!

    January 16, 2023

    Say “YES” to God!

     

    Jesus is our perfect example of commitment!

    At the beginning of each New Year many people make goals for the year.  Many also look back at the previous year to see what has been accomplished.  Have you ever asked yourself, “How committed was I to accomplishing those goals?” 

    There are many commitments we make throughout our lifetime.  Marriage commitments.  Commitments to family, children, friends, coworkers.  Commitments to ourselves.  Have you ever asked yourself, “Is this a commitment God wants me to make or am I partnering with the world or the devil?”, “Have I counted the costs?”, “How committed am I?”  I don’t know about you but these questions really cause me to pause and ask myself, “How committed am I to God?”

    The most important commitment we will ever make is to love, serve and follow Jesus!

    Let’s look into the Word of God, to Jesus, our perfect example of commitment.  What does the bible say about commitment and what does it really look like?  I think you will be surprised!

    who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. (1 Peter 2:23 NKJV)

    Committed in this scripture is the Greek word Paradidomi which means to hand over, to give or deliver over, to commend, to surrender. 

    Jesus’s commitment on earth was to give His life for the sins of man because it was the will of His Father and because He loved us.  He committed to suffering, enduring the cross (Heb 12:2) and dying on the cross to take away our sins.  His commitment was to death.  When Jesus suffered, He gave Himself over to His Father.  His last words before He took His last breath were, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ (Lk 23:46 NKJV)  John 19:30 says, ‘He gave up His spirit’. 

    Here are a couple more scriptures:

    And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (Eph 5:2 NKJV)

    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, (Eph 5:25 NKJV)

    Did you catch all that?  I encourage you to read the scriptures again-really read them, meditate on them, and receive them into your heart.  Jesus gave His life, committed to suffering, endured the cross, gave up His spirit, gave Himself for us, a sacrifice to God, and gave Himself for His church.  He did this because He was committed to His Father and His will.  He gave Himself over to His Father.  This is a deep, personal commitment motivated by love.

    Jesus is a perfect example to us of commitment!

    So ask yourself, as I have asked myself, “Do I have this same level of commitment to God?”  “Am I willing to give myself, my life over to Jesus?”  “Am I committed to love, serve and follow Jesus even to death?”  “Do I love Jesus more than my very life?” 

    And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Rev 12:11 NKJV)

    As followers of Jesus we must be willing to die physically for Jesus and we must, like Paul, be committed to ‘die daily’ (1 Co 15:31).  We must commit to die to self, die to sin, die to our old life and give ourselves over to Jesus.  This must be motivated by our love for Him.  This is not possible in our own strength!  Remember we have the same power that rose Jesus from the dead in us-Holy Spirit! (Ro 8:11)

    I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20 NKJV)

    For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, (Ro 6:5-8 NKJV)

    Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” (Rev 2:10-11 NKJV)

    Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mt 16:24-26 NKJV)

    I call myself a follower of Jesus so I must ask myself-what is my commitment to Him?  Does my manner of life reflect having died to sin?  Am I committed to die for Jesus? I encourage you to ask yourself the same questions.

    I thank God that He has brought me further and deeper in my commitment to Him over the years however, I know that I still have a ways to go!

     

    Now let’s go deeper!  The level of commitment the scriptures talk about requires knowing, trusting and loving Jesus.  Think about relationships you have with people and if you are honest with yourself, the truth is, that the more you love that person the more committed you are to them.  That is why God commands us in His Word to love Him above all else.  It is out of our deep love for Jesus that we can commit our lives to Him and that we can love others in the way He loves us.

    Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Mt 22:37-39 NKJV)

    Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 Jn 4:11 NKJV)

     It’s astounding to me that even my love for God comes only because He loved me first!

    We love Him because He first loved us. (1 Jn 4:19 NKJV)

    We must return to our first love-Jesus!

    Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (Rev 2:4 NKJV)

    Like Jesus, commitment to God means making sacrifices-our very lives.  Saying yes to God means that we must say no to a lot of other things which appeal to us.  It means doing certain things on a regular basis, being intentional, loyal-committed!  We can recognize how dedicated someone is to another person or thing by how much importance they give them in their lives.  How much importance do we give to God-is He our all in all?  How much time do we spend with Him, getting to know Him, loving Him and trusting Him alone?

    Our commitment to God must be sustained-lifelong!

    Our obedience to following the commands of Jesus  demonstrates our commitment to Him (see the commandments of Jesus)  .  Knowing Him, loving Him, living in Him are demonstrated by obeying His commandments-living our lives as Jesus did!

    And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (1 Jn 2:3-6 NLT)

    Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. (Ps 37:5 NKJV)

    Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.” (1 Ki 8:61 NLT)

    To me, saying ‘yes’ to God, committing to Him involves giving everything I have-my body as a living and holy sacrifice.  This level of commitment helps me to persevere through life challenges, trials, affliction, suffering and persecution.  It helps me to not compromise.  It helps me to be intentional to continue to get to know Jesus, obey Him, serve Him, fulfill my calling, and use the gift He has given me. It helps me to overcome temptation.  This involves choosing to submit myself to Him daily for the rest of my life!

    Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Co 6:19-20 NKJV)

    And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Ro 12:1-2 NLT)

    What about you?  Have you said ‘yes’ to God?

    Make vows to the Lord your God, and keep them.  Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One. (Ps 76:11 NLT)

    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV)

     

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