Many times when one leaves a job, there is an interest in how the person did/does who follows the one who left. How many times have you heard someone boast that when they left a certain job, “three people had to be hired to replace me”? A variant of that statement may be used, but we get the point. The truth is that when we leave a position, the company usually survives and does fine.
Not so with Joshua. When he died at age 110 after serving as an aide to Moses for many years and fighting for Jehovah God for many more, the Israelites sank into vile depravity, violence, drunkenness and idolatry. The book in the Bible which describes this slide into the abyss is the book of Judges in your Bible wherein we read that after the death of Joshua, the Israelites lost their commitment to God and His Word. It is, arguably, the saddest book in all of the sacred Scriptures.
If I was asked to put my finger on the biggest problem the church faces, it would be this: a lack of firm commitment on the part of those who name the Name.
Monday…Douglas Hyde was a Communist for many years. He served the Party with his whole heart devoting time, money and influence by the bucket load. When he turned his life over to Christ, he could not believe the difference he experienced as he observed the followers of Christ and compared them with the followers of Marx and Lenin. You can read all about it in his book, “Leadership.” Hyde wanted to be able to say with the great Apostle, “for me, to live is Christ.”
Tuesday…Many years ago, when elephants were an integral part of the circus (as I write this, these magnificent animals are being phased out of the cruel circus life), they were trained to stay in one place by shackling them as young animals to a large stake driven in the ground. When they were older, even a small stick would hold them because they had learned that it was futile to pull against the rope/shackle which held them. Even though they could easily pull away, they had learned to stop trying. How like many people! Read Hebrews 12:1
Wednesday…What are you committed to? Each of us should have a list of things for which we would give our lives. For most of us, that list would include faith, family and friends. None of us would die for our possessions, yet sometimes those are the very things that we think are important. Let’s remember what Jesus said: Matthew 6:33
Thursday…Commitment is the key to success! Athletics, business, family life, personal satisfaction and especially matters of faith need commitment. Firm commitment with one’s eyes on the goal always translates into success regardless of the yardstick used. Philippians 4:13 should be every Christian’s mantra.
Friday…Fish which are constantly swimming, are incredibly strong for their size. When I fish in a river or creek as opposed to a lake or pond, I am immediately struck by the power of the fish in the flowing water. Most of the time, the fish are forced to swim against the current for obvious reasons. Commitment involves some difficult times as opposition is encountered. No matter. “The trying of your faith works patience…” See James 1:2-4