Commit-Icon

Commitment

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psa 37:5)

Commitment Begins with Desire

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. (Pro 18:1)
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Unknown

It is the desire of the heart that stirs us to separate ourselves unto a great work.

The word “intermeddleth” in the Hebrew means to be obstinate.  If we have the desire, we will be obstinate and determined to learn and apply the wisdom necessary and to accomplish the task.

Commitment Brings Denials

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mat 16:24)
Through desire a man, having separated himself…

If we choose to follow after a person  or accomplish a specific task, we must separate ourselves unto it.

Separation always has two aspects, separating TO and separating FROM.

When we separate (or commit) to one thing or person, it means that by necessity we are going to separate from the things that are in opposition or compete with that commitment. We will deny what hinders us.

To quote the great theologians of the past, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too!”

Commitment Begs Decisions

Desire is one thing, and making the firm decisions to act upon that desire is another.

In any endeavor, whether vocational, spiritual, or otherwise, not deciding to commit is deciding not to commit.

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1Ki 18:21)

Commitment Breeds Daring

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Dan 3:17-18)

Enough said.

Commitment Builds Dependence

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

We cannot do any great thing without HIm, and through Christ, we can do all things.

To what are you committed?


Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

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We’re Losing Our Marbles!

marble-jar

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; …for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (Psa 90:10)

The Bible verse above tells us that in general, the years of our life, are three score and ten.  That means an average life expectancy should be about 70 years.

A Christian man at age 60, put 520 marbles in a clear glass jar.  Each marble represented a week he had left of an expected 70 year life span.

He put the jar on a shelf in the garage where he would see it every day on his way to his car.  Each Saturday, he would take one marble out of the jar and through it away.

At first it made little difference, but soon it was obvious he seemed to be “loosing his marbles” faster all the time.

Finally the day came that he threw out his last marble.  From that time on he realized he was truly living on “borrowed time”.

The next Saturday, he began  to put a marble INTO the jar each week.  As he would watch the number of marbles in the jar grow, he would rejoice and thank the Lord for the gift of another week of life!

We are “losing your marbles” at an alarming rate and we need to make the best use of time.

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:16)

Plan your day

  • Remember the adage, “What does not get scheduled and budgeted does not get done”.
  •  Determine who plans your day.  Let the Holy Spirit and not the devil or the flesh determine your direction or desires for the day.

Prioritize your day – put the big rocks in first

  • Most of us are familiar with the illustration for needing to put the big rocks into a container before the smaller ones to ensure there will be room for the most important (big) things in life.
  • Put in the big rocks every day! Put in the big rock of prayer. Put in the big rock of Bible study. Put in the big rock of church, if there is a service that day or some ministry in which you ought to serve. Schedule time for family.

Profit in your day

  • Invest in the life of someone else
  • Invest in the eternal (lay up treasures in  heaven)
  • Invest in souls – witness to all you can that God brings across your path.

Praise your Day

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psa 118:24)
  • Add a song for the day
  • Add a smile throughout the day
  • Add a shout of joy and victory in the day

Remember, only God knows how many marbles are really in our jar. Let us carefully redeem the time!


Visit us on-line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Raising Tomorrow’s Samuels

samuel

What elements fostered the character of a man of God that served the Lord all his life? (1 Samuel 1-3)

I. His Parents’ Positions

We see again in the Bible the importance of parents in raising the next generation of God’s warriors.  God brings men and women together today to produce godly laborers.

… yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? … And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. …(Mal 2:14-15)

We cannot make our kids turn out right once they leave home, but we can ensure they grow in an environment that fosters godliness and a heart for the Lord.

A. Their conformity was not to the culture.

The people of their nation had gone into idolatry and sin.  Even the House of God had wicked men in leadership positions. (1Sam 2:12-17, 22-25)  Like today, it takes parents that are committed to having a home of godly and not worldly.

Guard your home from the invasion of immorality, perversion, and the corruption of this present world.

B. Their commitment was to the House of God

In that day of idolatry, Samuel’s parents were faithful to the commands of God to go to the temple and offer their annual sacrifices.  The temple leadership was not perfect, the other people were not perfect (and no church is perfect), but God is perfect and we go to His house to serve and worship Him.

II. His Mother’s Prayers (1Sam 1:9-16)

Godly parents will pray for their children if they want them to grow to honor God with their lives.  Make it a habit.  Start today and for the rest of their lives.  Two simple thoughts about her prayers.

A. She prayed passionately

…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jas 5:16)

We must pray.  We must pray earnestly and expectantly.

B. She prayed promising

As we pray, we should be desiring to hear from and to talk to God.  As the Lord burdens our hearts about a matter, respond and obey as He has commanded.  Let us be sincere about our decisions with God and seek His help to fulfill them.

III. His Mother’s Parenting

A. Her cradling of the child (1Sam 1:20-24)

            Hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

Hannah gave herself to the caring and training of the child, Samuel. Parents, it is work to raise a good child, but it is a worthwhile investment.

B. Her consecration and the child (1Sam 1:21-28)

  • She consecrated herself to the godly raising of the small child.

Mothers, as much as is possible, try to be the primary care giver for your young child.  Those early ones are most formative as seen as in the life of Samuel.  When as a young child given to Eli, he was ready to hear and obey the Lord.

  • She consecrated Samuel to godly living.  She did this by training and by vicariously providing expectations. (1Sam 1:11, 28)

Let’s give God every opportunity to use and bless our children by following Elkanah’s and Hanna’s parental examples to provide the environment to raise godly seed.


Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Gambling is ok for Christians. “Wanta bet?”

online-gambling

Today with lottery, church sponsored bingo, and office football pools, Christians have begun to accept gambling as an acceptable pastime.   Let’s take an honest biblical view of this activity.

There are only four biblical methods to gain wealth.

  • Work  (Gen 3:17-19, 2Thes 3:10)
  • Investing (Matt 25:27)
  • Gifts (Matt 19:21)
  • Inheritance (Pro 13:22)
“Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall increase.”  (Pro 13:11)

Certainly wealth by gambling is gained by vanity.  The new conscious soothing expression for gambling is “gaming”. Regardless how you spell it, gambling is not a Bible principle for gaining wealth.

Troubling issues associated with gambling

An issue of faith –  If I am not sure it is ok with God, it is best I do not.

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Rom 14:23)

An issue of greed

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. (Pro 28:20)

An issue of trust – Are we looking to lady luck or God for provisions and blessings?

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Mat 6:30)

Issue of stewardship – is it what God wants done with His money?  All our money is His.

For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. (Psa 50:10-12)
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1Co 4:2)

An issue of wisdom – is it a wise investment?  Look a the odds and you tell me.

An issue of addiction – many become addicted to gambling every year

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1Co 6:12)

An issue of being a stumbling block

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (1Co 8:9)
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. (Rom 14:13)

An issue of covetousness –  certainly a root of the desire to gamble

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (Col 3:5)     

An issue of testimony

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1Th 5:22)

Just a glance at the atmosphere and activities associated with gambling should frighten any Christian from the world of “gaming”. The many fruits of gambling are equally distressing; stealing (attempting to get personal gain at the loss of others), lying, addiction, pornography, and poverty.

Let’s make money God’s way to gain God’s blessing.


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Gethsemane – A Garden of Prepeartion

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And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. (Mar 14:32)

The Garden of Gethsemane was the place where Jesus often resorted to pray.  This night, however, it was a very special place.  The night before His Crucifixion, it was a Garden of Preparation.

As we take up our cross and follow Jesus, we may find ourselves approaching our own Calvary, an extreme trial or sacrifice for Christ. Before we get to our Calvary, we must also be prepared by entering our own Gethsemane.

Jesus leads the way by showing us how Gethsemane will help us endure our cross.

Gethsemane – A Garden that Prepares

Gethsemane – A Garden of solitude

We can take along others to pray with us only so far.  Jesus found that He had to leave all others behind and come to the place where it was just Him and the Father.

We also must learn to get alone with God.  To know Him better.  To be strengthened by Him.  We must come to the place, that in our trials, it is OK for it to be just us and God.

Gethsemane – A Garden of Supplication

As we learn to “pray through,” we find the strength and joy necessary for our trials.

Gethsemane – A Garden of Submission and Surrender

Submission is a military term meaning we voluntarily place ourselves under the authority of another.   Submission is one thing, but being happy about it and giving ourselves over to it is quite another.

Jesus, after struggling in His spirit, comes out of the garden with a peace that only comes from the complete surrender to the will of God.  Can we honestly sing in our trials, “I Surrender All”?

Gethsemane – A Garden of Sodality

Sodality means a sense of fellowship; comradeship.

 As we suffer and go through our own Garden of Preparation, we begin to understand the words of Paul where he reveals his desire, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

We can only know the fellowship of His suffering if we suffer and we can only be made conformable to His death when we die to self.

Gethsemane is a garden of that propels

Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.(Mat 26:46)

 Wow!  Not only did Jesus submit to the will of God, not only did He surrender to the will of God, but He found a holy unction and excitement to “get on with” the will of God.

Only after coming out of our Gethsemane can we look great trials in the face and say, “…let us be going!”


Watch the entire service  – Two Gardens and One Cross

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay