Our family loves the PBS television show Arthur. It's just a classic! The show has been around for a long time, has great story lines and memorable episodes (DW's snowball for instance). Perhaps it's "The Brady Bunch" for my kid's generation? Anyway, our youngest was watching the one about having a TV free week. After the characters had a big school assembly promoting TV free week, and were promised a prize and signed their names, one character had a melt-down because he didn't realize that he was actually committed to not watch television!
I wonder sometimes how often we forget our commitments and promises. Big and small. We forget appointments, we forget our diets or exercise, sometimes we forget our wedding vows and sometimes we forget the day we became a Christian. We're excited in the beginning, lots of attention, we get caught up in that. With marriage, there is the wedding planning, the dress, reception, honeymoon, first home, etc. After the party is over, we have a marriage that needs more work than the wedding ever did. Even with becoming a parent, there is so much hoopla that it's easy to get caught up in that, but then the sleepless nights come, or the colicy baby. We get excited about a special deal at the gym, but then comes the fact that we have to go and do the workout.
Joshua told the Israelites in Joshua 24:15 to "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve ... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The Israelite people in the very next verse said "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods." but it didn't take very long for them to forget that commitment.
Daniel purposed in his heart (Daniel 1:8) to not defile himself. Though faced with favor, fine food and drink, power and probably much more, Daniel is shown to have remained strong in that commitment. In the book of Joel, the Lord said to His people "Turn to Me with all your heart. Rend your heart, and not your garments" (Joel 2:12-13). God wants our commitment. He wants all of us, not an outward show, but every ounce of us.
Jesus warned that "no one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62). That looking back is showing a desire for the old life. Perhaps we're looking back towards those single days or the days when there were no children, or even the days when we could eat whatever we wanted and not gain an ounce. Earlier in Luke 9:23, Jesus says that we are to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily, following Christ. This is that daily commitment. Before our feet hit the floor in the morning, we are commited to live Christ-like, we are commited to our husbands and children.
What pulls you from your commitments? For the character in the Arthur cartoon, it was the fact that he was going to miss a brand new Bionic Bunny show on television. For some it might be the lure of chocolate cake, or perhaps a flattering tongue of a coworker or the advice of someone that the children will be fine without your daily influence.
Our eyes must remain on the goal. For the characters in Arthur, it was a gold medal, shaped like a television. I have a goal poster hanging on my office wall of things I would like to accomplish in the next few months and year. Goals for our family may be short term such as paying off debt, getting good grades, etc. As a Christian, our focus is to "press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14. True success (as said by Glenn & Cindy Colley) is living our lives and going to heaven.
What pulls you from your goal? For the character in the Arthur cartoon, it was the fact that he was going to miss a brand new Bionic Bunny show on television. For some it might be the lure of chocolate cake, or perhaps a flattering tongue of a coworker or the advice of someone that the children will be fine without your daily influence.
Colossians 3:23 reminds us "whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men." Whatever actions were are doing in our lives needs to show our love, our fear, our respect and our service to God. Our daily actions with our husband, children, friends, strangers, show our commitment as a Christian, wife, mother.
The eternal commitment Christ made for us is found in Romans 8:38-39. "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things presnet nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Hebrews 13:5-6 "For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
Jesus is not going to back out of His commitment. Are we?