I. Commitment to God commanded
“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 a Address zI appeal to you therefore, brothers,1 by the mercies of God, ato present your bodies bas a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,
b Characterization which is your spiritual worship.2
2 a Command cDo not be conformed to this world,3
b Command but be transformed by dthe renewal of your mind,
c Purpose that by testing you may ediscern what is the will of God,
d Characterization what is good and acceptable and perfect.4
And he charged them: “Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart:
Jeremiah said, “You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the LORD in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared.
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
II. Commitment is proof of complete love & obedience
Possess or Possessed?
We seek religion that is real rather than a sham. Charles Kingsley remarked, “What I want is not to possess religion but to have a religion that shall possess me.”
And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
The Christ equates obedience with love:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
III. Commitment is hallmarked by pleasing worship
VI. Commitment to God brings blessings
loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Commit your work to the LORD,
and your plans will be established.
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
3 Examples of commitment to God
I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Nevertheless, for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem, because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
“Now, O LORD, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God.
A lady once asked John Wesley that suppose he were to know that he would die at 12:00 midnight tomorrow, how would he spend the intervening time. His reply: “Why madam, just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at five tomorrow morning; after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Rev. Martin’s house, who expects to entertain me, talk and pray with the family as usual, retire to my room at 10 o’clock, commend myself to my heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in Glory.”
V. God’s commitment to His people
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
The Baltimore Sun conducted a contest, and the following poem received a prize for the best answer to the question, “What would you do if you had one more year to live?”
“If I had but one year to live;
One year to help; one year to give;
One year to love; one year to bless;
One year of better things to stress;
One year to sing; one year to smile;
To brighten earth a little while;
One year to sing my Maker’s praise;
One year to fill with work my days;
One year to strive for a reward
When I should stand before my Lord,
I think that I would spend each day,
In just the very self-same way
That I do now. For from afar
The call may come across the bar
At any time, and I must be
Prepared to meet eternity.
So if I have a year to live,
Or just one day in which to give
A pleasant smile, a helping hand,
A mind that tries to understand
A fellow-creature when in need;
’Tis one with me—I take no heed.
But try to live each day He sends
To serve my gracious Master’s ends.”
—Mary Davis Reed