Category Archives: commitment

Are You Lying to Yourself?

liesHave you ever told a lie?  I know; what a ridiculous question because you have.  Have you noticed what happens the more you tell it?  You begin to believe it too.  Many times our own lies begin to convince us and our perception of reality is changed because what we say happened, actually never did.  Yet, its how we’ve begun to remember it and somehow the lie we tell becomes the truth we believe in.  Unfortunately, there’s no truth to be found at all.

Luke 13:24-30 is one of those passages which disturbs me the most because it reveals how the truth we believe can actually be based on a self-manufactured lie.  If you have this concern too after reading this passage, let me give you one clear directive which will guarantee you won’t live in a false reality where your relationship with the LORD is concerned.

One phrase Jesus says which stands out to me in vs. 24 is to “Make every effort….”…. What a game-changer.  I think many of us would have to admit there have been too many times where we did not make every effort and we expected an impossible outcome.  It was impossible because we gave an effort which can be stated as “good enough.”  The “good enough” mentality somehow lulls me into expecting more while giving less effort.  For instance, we may settle for a marriage which is not ideal because it is “good enough” and so we never work to make it stronger.  Our lack of effort is realized when it crumbles under the weight of the pressure of life because in reality, it wasn’t “good enough.”

We will sacrifice eternity if we think we can live some sort of “good enough” in relation to the LORD.  First, the problem with this thinking is no one is “good enough,” so how could you even think such a ridiculous thought.  Actually, it is easy when the lie becomes the truth.  See, I look at myself and think what is good about me outweighs what is wrong with me, so I’m now “good enough.”

When you dedicate yourself to “make every effort” there is little room to miss the mark.  Jesus knew the most important goal for any of our lives was to find salvation in Him through our repentance of sins within His forgiveness for those sins.  Nothing less will move us to the other side of the threshold except for His grace.

The reality is this….if your life were to end now and you were on the wrong side of that threshold, you would be desperate to get through this door called salvation, but it will be too late.  The decision has to be made in this life.  Rather than be desperate later, make every effort now to ensure you are saved.

Don’t shut out God’s voice to your life, and His direction.  Find joy in His Word of life rather than in things or even people which only last or stay for a time.  Trust in Him, so you will not allow the worries of life or the temptation to gain great riches draw you from His presence.  In other words, keep your priorities straight by making sure He is your first priority…your first love….the One you serve first…….your All in All!

There’s no sense in gaining the world and losing your soul.  If you will make every effort, you will undoubtedly enjoy a fullness in your life which only comes from Him and cannot be duplicated by anything or anyone else.

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Commit or Quit?

quitWe all have some projects, ambitions, dreams which we’ve not completed.  For everything you have ever thrown up your hands and said, “ENOUGH!,” you have your reasons for giving up.  That’s right…..you gave up.  You quit!  You said it wasn’t worth your time anymore, so you decided to invest your time somewhere else.  You didn’t see value and whatever you don’t value you throw in the trash.

What’s interesting is why you even started in the first place.  Chances are you decided to quit when you were in a state of mind which did not consider why you even were involved to start with.  What was the reason behind starting that project, committing to marriage, choosing a college major or career, or taking that job?  I believe if you remembered the reasons why you started you would be more committed to what you started.  Why?  Because there were good reasons, well thought out reasons, for starting, committing and investing at the start.  Let’s be honest, when we want to quit, our reasoning is lame at best.  We’ve reached a point where we’ve had enough, and we want out so badly that we will justify our exit plan.

What have you recently given up on because it isn’t what you thought it would be?  Did you consider how it can’t be what you thought it would be if you haven’t finished it yet?  Honestly, you don’t start building a house and halfway through walk in and get discouraged because its so incomplete.  The walls and roof have been framed, but there’s no sheetrock, and you can’t easily distinguish from one room to the other.  You wouldn’t say, “This isn’t what I imagined it would be, so let’s forget it.”  Well, of course it isn’t what you expected because its still in the process of being.  It isn’t yet, but it will be if you will see it through.  One of the reasons we quit so easily is we aren’t committed.  When you’re committed, you are determined to see it through.  You are determined to overcome.  You are determined to finish and finish well.  Much in life is a process, and there’s no sense quitting when the work, your work, isn’t even finished.

What have you recently given up on because its harder than you thought it would be or should be?  The problem here is you didn’t count the cost.  There’s nothing like getting excited, ambitious, even full of faith and not taking the time to consider the cost.  You can’t go into everything in life and think it should be easy, predictable, and follow your pre-defined plan.  In everything there will be struggles and difficulties which need to be overcome, and those same hurdles don’t necessarily mean you’re in the wrong line of work, the wrong marriage, chose the wrong major, or that you’re going the wrong direction in life.  Did you really think the person you married was going to be perfect and it was all going to be for the better and never worse?  Marriage is a challenge; are you going to commit or quit? Did you think just because you were voted ‘Most likely to succeed’ in your High School yearbook that your life would be full of continual greatness?  You’ll have to work hard like anyone else, so are you going to commit or quit?  When something becomes more of a challenge than you anticipated; do you commit or quit?  Do you think your life should be so much easier because you are a child of God?  In everything, we have a choice to make – commit or quit.

In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul says this:  “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

There’s a truth in this passage and its this:  The troubles faced are working God’s purpose in His children.  That’s not to say your struggle isn’t real, but it is saying you need to set your eyes on the One who is unseen rather than what you can physically see.  If you make decisions based on mere feelings, emotions, and expectations then you will never commit your life to Him as He commands.  Nothing worthwhile will be attained.  God’s faithfulness will never be witnessed.  The power of faith will be a testimony for someone else.  Yet, if you will fix your eyes on God and commit to what He has told you to commit to, and follow His Will in your life, you will find there is little to quit when God has called you to it.  It will be worth it because God said so.  Your marriage will be worth fighting for because God said He hates divorce.  Your commitments will be worth your effort because God gave you the burden, and you’re accountable to Him.  Let’s be as committed to all God has entrusted to us as He has been so committed to us.