Psalm 37:3-6 (NLT)
Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.
There is a total lack of commitment in the world today. People do not like to feel obligated especially in relationships. Marriage has given way to partnerships that lack the covenant God intended for them to be. God loves covenant relationships. The basis of such a union is a commitment of body, mind and soul. He desires such a relationship with all of His People. The Lord is fully invested in you as evidenced by His Spirit living in the heart of those who choose to call His Name and accept Jesus Christ by faith. Have you made the same commitment to the Lord? A commitment requires trust. It is the basis of human relationships as well, but as sin has divided us from God it effectively separates people as well. Sin divides but love unites. While people do not have trouble with the words “trust the Lord”, there is a struggle when it comes to the other side of the conjunction “do good.” Doesn’t grace exempt us from such a commitment to live a good life because Jesus paid the price for the sin of mankind? Grace allows us to be who we are and still establish a relationship with God, right? Not so fast. Grace will never be an excuse to sin. God hates sin. Why not? It required the death of His Precious Son. Sin is like cancer. Cancer has threatened the life of my son not once but twice. It is safe to say that I HATE cancer. The preliminary reports of the doctors indicate that cancer is no longer in his body. Does that mean that I hate this disease any less? Absolutely not!
I met a man waiting for my son in the radiology department of the hospital who had throat cancer three times. He told me that he did not believe it was related to smoking or he would be dead. All I could do was shake my head as this man was experiencing the effects of a dangerous, life-threatening habit yet lived in denial and continued to smoke every single day. Many believers live in the same denial as the Lord has set them free from sin and the death sentence associated from such behavior but live in the under the lie of the enemy that God accepts us sin and all which is not true. The gentleman in the Cancer Center continued to experience the negative effects of his “sin” yet continued to do it and pay the price. If he had made the commitment to stop doing what could potentially kill him, I wonder what his outcome might be. Trust is a commitment just as to doing good is a commitment. Our sinful nature is not interested in either one so we must make a every effort to engage in the new life promised by the Lord to those who would repent AND turn from evil once and for all. To be committed is to give trust or charge. It means bind and obligate. Salvation is not grace provided to exempt you from obedience and righteousness. It is a voluntary admission of sin and to place our life in the custodial care of God. It is a turning from evil to do good. It is the midst of such commitment that we learn by faith to trust the Lord with every single aspect of our life. Now that we have made a commitment to Jesus Christ, believers are to become involved and engaged to Him. It is a commitment that is required to have all that God has promised, be all He said that you could be and enter Eternity forever.
Deuteronomy 6:1-3 (NLT)
“These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the LORD your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.”
Grace is not an exemption from the Law but a fulfillment thereof. The Law pointed out the insufficiency of man and the underlying sin issue that makes it impossible for us to abide by God’s Commands. (Romans 3:20) Grace did not erase the Law of God. It came behind us and cleaned up our mess enabling us to live free from sin and be obedient and righteous Followers of God. (Romans 8:3-4) Grace does not exempt but enables faithfulness, righteousness and obedience by the Power of God and His Spirit who lives inside of us. (I John 3:4) It is important that believers understand the mission of Grace and apply it accordingly to their life. It does not open the door for us to return to our old life unharmed, but allows us to enter God’s Presence even though we are unclean. The Blood of Jesus covers our transgressions so we may be empowered by His Spirit to make the commitment to “do good” and actually be somewhat successful in our endeavor to follow the Lord and remain faithful to our first love.
Proverbs 16:1-6 (NLT)
We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives. Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. The LORD has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster. The LORD detests the proud; they will surely be punished. Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the LORD, people avoid evil.
A commitment to Jesus Christ means a change of direction. It should alter your plans as your life gives way to God’s Way. Too often, we decide how we interpret what the Bible says which makes it a philosophy open to interpretation and human reasoning. The Bible is not a theory but the truth. It is not up for speculation but must be deciphered and understood by His People. Too often we decide how His Word applies to our life, when God is waiting for us to open our life to His Interpretation. God wrote His Plan for your life in detail. (Jeremiah 29:11-14) It is a good plan. It requires a lifetime commitment. You cannot remain true to your sinful nature which includes pride and selfishness AND be committed to God’s Will for your life. God will not accept willful sin from His People because of grace but expects you to separate from the evil that once permeated your soul requiring death for its deeds. “Trust the Lord AND do good THEN you will lives safely in the land and prosper.” (Psalm 37:3) We want the Blessings of the Kingdom of God with no commitment. In the words of many mothers, “We don’t want to buy the cow but want the milk for free.” To show our commitment to the Lord, we must avoid ALL evil at ALL costs. Just because your choice of sin is socially acceptable until you become a resident of God’s Kingdom leaving sin behind, you will not experience the provision, prosperity or peace of His Land. God is looking for unfailing love and faithfulness from His People. This is what satisfies the Lord. This is why Jesus atoned or satisfied the penalty of your sin so that you could live in His Presence forever.
I Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
The Grace of God cleanses us from all unrighteousness including the long list of designated sins in I Corinthians 6. (Romans 5:17) Not many preachers will share this scripture with their congregation today because it might be viewed as hatred. It is not hatred but demonstrates God’s Grace and Love for His People who willfully sin against their Creator yet God provides a means to escape sin and live in the Light of His Glory and Grace. Salvation is not for everyone. Jesus provided as an opportunity for everyone, but not everyone will take advantage of God’s Grace appropriately. Those who do wrong WILL NOT INHERIT the Kingdom of God. An inheritance is valuable and tangible goodness that is unavailable to those who continue to sin. You can ask God to bless you. You can call on His Name. You can be religious. You can go to church every single Sunday and sing in the choir. You can treat others well and always be a good person. BUT…you must be cleansed by the Blood of Jesus AND made holy turning from sin AND remain right or righteous in rightstanding with God apart from the sin of your past AND allow His Spirit to lead you in life as to never return to those sins that have been paid in full by His Grace. Grace is for the intentional Christian who chooses to live such a life although falls short but continues to strive. It is not for uncommitted thieves attempting to rob God of His Grace and Blessings with no intention of ever leaving sin behind to pursue good! You cannot continue to live in sin and experience God’s Promises – they are the inheritance of His Children who are residents of Heaven striving to live sin behind them.
Titus 2:11-14 (NLT)
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
God’s Grace has been revealed and it brings salvation to all people. It is up to you whether or not you accept God’s Grace and Mercy applying it to your life. He has given those who Call on the Name of Jesus the Holy Spirit to guide their steps and clear the way of righteousness. God invites you to live in His Presence and experience every blessing He intended for your life. You must turn from evil and do good. It will require a commitment and it is not up to debate. God hates sin. It is not welcome in His Kingdom and grace did not change that. You must repent and turn your life by faith over to Jesus Christ. You must follow His Lead and avoid all sin even socially acceptable, gray area, little white lie, seemingly harmless ones. God hates them all. They are not part of your new life including the provision, prosperity and peace there. If you are having trouble receiving from God, the number one barrier is usually sin and a hard-callous, non-responsive, selfish heart not willing to exchange its way for God’s Plan. It is totally up to you! Jesus gave you the freedom to choose life or death but there is no middle of the road. Again to quote the mamas, “It’s My Way or the highway!” Don’t you want God’s Very Best for your life? It requires trusting Him with your whole life. Make a commitment to trust God and never settle for less than His Best. Work to remove the shackles of sin and claim your freedom in Christ to live victoriously. You can do it! God said you can! Make the commitment to trust the Lord AND do good! You will prosper in the land today and forevermore!
Psalm 37: 25-28 (NLT)
Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the LORD loves justice and he will never abandon the godly.