Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Wholehearted Commitment

“Wholehearted Commitment”
By Zach Wood
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NLT
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

It seems we live in a culture where commitment is very hard to come by.  People so often become as fickle as the weather.  It seems everywhere we turn, people are giving us promises or guarantees, only to turn around and break our hearts moments later.  It saddens me how little commitment people have these days toward things.  People don’t want to commit to many things because of the hard effort involved when things get tough.  People seem to want the convenience of walking away from any commitments when times get tough.

Now, before we start nodding our head in complete agreement about all of those people, here is the harsh reality.  Christians are often the worst at keeping commitments.  We talk a good talk, but so often we fail at matching that talk with a life of commitment.  This is a tough pill to swallow, but it is a reality.  And, I will admit that I have been terrible at keeping commitments in my life.  Not all of them, but many. There are so many times I fail at keeping my commitments to friends and family.  I say that I will do something and then I turn around and break that commitment because life gets tough and I use excuses. 

We not only break commitments to others, but we also break our commitments to God as well.  Why are we so flippant when it comes to committing to things in life?  What we often do is plead with God to do more in our lives, but then we don’t even give ourselves wholeheartedly to Him.  It is like we expect Him to move mountains in our lives, but then we don’t want to hold up our commitments to Him because life gets tough.

I want to live my life better.  I want to live with wholehearted commitment to Him.  I don’t want my devotion to Him to be fickle.  I desire to serve Him and give my best.  I really want to live for and serve God, but I get so distracted by my selfish desires and I fail miserably. 

Instead of looking at others around me in this world and shaking my head in disappointment because of the lack of commitment, I need to look at my own life and see where I am failing and how much I need to improve my commitment.

Do we have wholehearted commitment to God?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Make The Time To Be Still

“Make The Time To Be Still”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 46:10 NIV
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

This past weekend, my wife and I had a weekend date while the girls were away.  My wife worked for a couple hours Saturday night and I was home alone for 2 hours.  When she left, I sat on the couch and read, with no TV or music on.  It was completely quiet.  And, I have to be honest, it was really weird.  I sat there reading in complete silence and it just bothered me.  Why?  Because I am not used to having much quiet time to myself. 

I am so used to being on the go and doing things all day long, whether at work or at home with my family.  I am not good with being still.  I just don’t sit down long.  And, if I do, I’m usually wiggling my feet or bouncing my knee (which drives my wife nuts!)  I don’t know why, but I just have the hardest time sitting still and being quiet.  I guess I don’t feel productive when I’m not moving or doing anything. 

This passage is probably one of the hardest passages in all of Scripture.  It is hard for many people.  We have become accustomed to always being on the go and not slowing down.  It is hard for so many of us to make time to just be still.  Well, God has a problem with that.  We need time to slow down and just be still before Him.  We need that quiet, that stillness.  As uncomfortable as it might be, we desperately need it.  We truly need that stillness in our lives, often.  And, we actually need it daily.  I know, many of you are probably thinking, “Yeah, right!  I don’t have time to slow down!”

Plain and simple, we need to quiet our day somehow and take time to just be still and be in the presence of God.  During that two hours I was home by myself reading a book, I kept thinking about how quiet it was and how uncomfortable that felt.  I just am not used to it and I know that I need more of that.  I just needed the time and quiet to clear my mind and focus on what God wanted to communicate to me while reading. 

I realize that we are all very busy people.  We seem to pride ourselves with being busy because busy equals productivity, right?  Well…..to some degree, but not always.  I want to encourage all of us to really consider how much stillness we are putting into our day to spend with God.  We absolutely must make the time to be still.  Wherever you have to go and just have some moments along and in quiet, do it!  Make it a habit everyday if you can. 

Make the time to be still!