Have you decided to make commitments in this New Year that will affect your life forever? Each of us would be wise to put God first in all things; Christ centered living means ‘life is good’! Committing ourselves to God wholeheartedly will bring peace and joy to our hearts. Hurdles and heartaches will not go away, but God will help us get through all things when we fully trust and obey Him. Christ centered living includes committing our souls, our way, our cause, and our work. Are there areas where you need to renew your commitment to the Creator who gives His best to His children each and every day?
Committing our souls to God ensures an invitation from the Savior to enjoy a heavenly banquet when our time here is done. In 1 Peter 4:19 we are told those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to be doers of the Word. Never procrastinate or question accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Keeping this commitment secures happiness here and in heaven.
Committing our Way is important too. How do we handle things throughout the seasons of our years? Psalm 37:5 shares a message we should meditate and make happen, especially when we think our way is the only way, the right way, the best way. The psalmist’s words tell us to commit our way to the Lord and trust in him. We can’t commit and continue to do things our way. The commitment to listen to God and follow in faith overpowers any stubborn, ‘set in our ways’ mindsets we possess, when we truly trust and obey.
Committing our cause to God can be difficult, while living in a world where judging our fellow man and taking offense often takes precedence over forgiving and letting bygones be bygones. Our cause is powerful and passionate in our hearts, but others do not always embrace what we believe, stand for, and what we’re all about. That’s what Jesus faced. Many of his friends and family did not understand his cause. Jesus was human, so he hurt just as we do when people jeer or just pay no attention to our cause. He felt the frustration of not being welcomed or understood in his own hometown. Surely, he would have been happy to have shared His cause in a greater way at home, to see more miracles happening, more people believing and happy with a commitment to God, while accepting Jesus as His Son. Yet, they couldn’t get over the fact that he was just a carpenter’s son with a cause that seemed to good to be true. The law ruled their hearts. Jesus came to change all that by giving the gift of love and everlasting life by accepting him as Lord and Savior. His sadness didn’t make him judge. Instead he lived by the words in 1 Peter 2:23: When they hurled their insults at him, he didn’t retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to his Father who judges justly. Let us stay true to our cause and our commitment to God, never becoming burdened with judging and justifying what we do or don’t do according to the standards of the world. It’s better to be real and wait on the Lord as we stay true to him and our cause.
At Tim’s Gift Inc. we strive to keep focused on the cause of the ministry… giving help and hope to people in need. Those reading are thinking of your own cause, work, mission, knowing your desire to do what you are called or hired to do. Every teacher understands this well. How many teachers sadly proclaim at the end of a demanding day, ‘if I could just teach…’! All good intentions sometimes get redirected when time restraints, demanding schedules, and increasing expectations pile higher and higher. Even in our churches and ministries, staying focused on the cause in “Mary Mode” should take precedence over all the ‘stuff’ that drives the “Martha Madness” and sweeps away the sweet, sweet spirit of the Lord.
Our works should also be committed to God. An effective ad proclaims that we are what we eat. A powerful witness is when our works reflect what we claim to be, showing we are real and ready to be doers of the Word, not just talkers or takers. The Rev. Sam Gore reflects this profoundly in seminars he conducts to help non profits seeking success in their cause. He reminds us to saturate our cause and share with the community what we are doing here at Tim’s Gift. It’s not about us, but about what God has planned. We are just the vessels He is using to give people help and hope in their times of need. Is God using you to do good works? One thing is for sure, whatever we are doing, God knows all about it. People can be fooled, not God. Our works should reflect humility and honesty, kindness and love per Jesus’ example.
Proverbs 16:3 ensures good things for all who work with commitment to God. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” What a wonderful New Year’s resolution! When we work in one accord, keeping God first, then everything else will fall into place with peace and promise. I ask each of you to be in prayer for Rise Up, Recount Love, the all day Christian Conference at the Expo Center on February 4th. May God touch peoples’ hearts to come to one or all of the events planned throughout the day. It will be a time to renew commitments with Christ while rejoicing and refreshing yourself with praise and worship, teaching, preaching, testimonies, good food, shopping, door prizes and down home fellowship that will rejuvenate you from head to toe. I pray this event will glorify God and restore right relationships for those who come. God is first as we step in faith and believe!
Writing this story took up most of my Saturday before Christmas, when piles of things waited to be done and everything inside me screamed, ‘ go-go, go- run- run- run’! Then, I read the first sentence of this story, remembering how long I meant to get back to it and knowing we mean to keep Christ the center of our lives. Good intentions don’t count for much when we meet our Master.
I sat in our sun room and wrote to my heart’s content, doing the work He has called me to do. The ending of this story is the beginning of a new season. Yesterday is gone, today is where we enjoy Christ centered living and making a difference in peoples’ lives, and tomorrow is what we hope for but are not promised. The insurance logo Tim chose to print on his business cards reminded customers to “Protect your Tomorrows Today”! God instructs us to do the same thing. If you do not know Jesus, ask Him into your heart today. He protects our tomorrows, blesses today, and forgets our past.
As Mr. Bobby Matthis would tell us, ‘last year is like a piece of notebook paper showing things you’ve done, including many mistakes. God wads up that piece of paper, throws it in the trash, and forgets those mistakes-sins.”
A new year is a new piece of paper with new opportunities awaiting us. At the end of each day, we can crawl up in the Master’s lap and have a little talk with Him. We can tear up our piece of notebook paper each day, repent, throw away that paper with our sins written on it and start anew the next day. When connected to Christ, He forgives and forgets.
Are you committed to God; is He the center of your life? He loves it when we keep Him first and keep it real. I am blessed as God has smiled and sent blessings I never imagined coming my way in this new season. That’s the way it is with God; He is ready and willing to bless bountifully when we commit to Him. Keep God in the center of all things in this New Year; commit to him and you will have a faithful, forever Friend, with happiness and blessings that will never end.