Commitment is not Bondage - Sunday, May 7th 2017
"So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow."
Paul had taken a Nazarite vow that he would not touch a dead body; he would drink no wine, eat no grapes, eat no raisins, and allow his hair to grow before cutting it off as a sign of purification (see Numbers 6). But wait, you say, "isn't Paul the one who told us that those under grace should not be under bondage?" In Galatians 5:1, he wrote, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." This was not bondage for Paul because it helped him minister to the Jews. It was also profitable in that it gave Paul the opportunity to model service and sacrifice as an example for other Christians.
Friends, I am going to let you in on something that may surprise you, commitment is not bondage. It is by God's grace that we have been given the opportunity to serve Him. How do we serve God? We serve Him by serving others and His church. Is commitment service or sacrifice? It is both. Every Christian should be prepared to sacrifice and to serve. What was the model set forth for us by Jesus? It was one of service and sacrifice. If we are to be "Christ-like" then we must be ready and willing to commit ourselves to live by the example He set for us. We hold ourselves to commitments every day. Commitments we make at our jobs, or with our family and friends. What about our commitment to Jesus and to His church?
Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.
Service or sacrifice, whichever it may be, I'm ready. That is the mindset of a true servant of God.
Life Lesson: We should be committed to God and to the church.
Thank You for Your grace and Your mercy. Help me look for ways I can commit to serving others. Help me to be willing and ready when asked to serve. Lord, when my serving requires sacrifice, please help me not to grumble or complain. Help me to be glad that I can sacrifice my time and effort in serving others, and in turn recognize that I am serving You. Most importantly, thank You Lord that You both serve and sacrifice for us. I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
Cross the Bridge
Scripture quotations marked 'NKJV™' are taken from the New King James Version®.
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Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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