Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, September 19th. Be honest. Are you willing to follow Jesus regardless of the consequences? Let's begin by answering yes to the call to commitment. Most of you have already trusted Jesus Christ as your personal savior. No doubt in your mind about that. You're sure of it.
But let me ask you one question. Has there ever been a time in your life where you evaluated your life and you made a personal commitment of your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ whereby you said, I deliberately and willfully surrender and yield and acknowledge and make available my life to him for his purpose, whatever God may require of me, leaving the consequences of that decision to him. That is what we are talking about when we talk about true genuine commitment. Well, there are about 10 Greek words in the New Testament that relate to commitment. Most of them relate to a commit sin or commit this act and so forth.
But about four of them relate to the whole idea of committing oneself. And in essence, here's what it means. It is a deliberate, willful laying down of oneself before someone or for something. That is, it is the surrender. It is the yielding of oneself or in one of the other words, it is entrusting oneself, depositing oneself at someone else's disposal.
That is, as Paul says in Romans Chapter 12, I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your body. It was a technical term used for sacrifice, that you present yourself a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Now, when a man presents a sacrifice, he took his hands off of it. He surrendered it to or entrusted it to someone else.
And from that point on, it belonged to someone else. To whom do you belong today? Has there ever been a time when you surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ in your life? There are levels of commitment that all of us grow into. For example, you can be totally committed to Jesus Christ right now. And a week later, God challenge you to a higher level. That is, He may challenge you to a task like you've never seen before, like you've never been challenged with before. All of a sudden, your commitment level will have to rise.
And either you will be committed to Him on that level or you will not. So you can be totally committed today, but not committed tomorrow. So there are many, many people who are saved but not committed to Jesus Christ. They have their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life, but they're doing their own thing. And I want to tell you, that isn't even a scriptural term. There's no such thing scriptural as do your own thing. The only thing scriptural there is, is to do His thing.
Jesus said He came to do the will of the Father. Let me ask you this. What is governing your life today? What pleases you?
What brings you pleasure? Doing your own thing? Or is the guiding principle of your life to do His thing? That is, to walk in obedience to Him. So if you'll turn to Exodus chapter 3. And with this one, we will deal with the life of Moses because God challenged him to what seemingly was an impossible commitment in his life. God called Moses. That is, He had His hand upon Moses. Moses was around 40 years of age when he saw one of the Israelites being mistreated. So he killed an Egyptian soldier. So for 40 years now, as the King James Bible puts it, he's been on the backside or the west side of the desert. The backside of the desert is a good example, a good illustration and a good phraseology for where Moses was, because he came from the affluence and the prominence and the position of power and influence in Pharaoh's household to become a sheep herder. One day, it's just a normal natural day like Monday morning.
You get up and you do what you normally do on Monday. Only this days, he's walking along with the sheep. All of a sudden, he sees something. Wasn't the first time he'd ever seen it, but he had never seen it like this. The scripture says that Moses saw a bush that was burning and he looked at it. He saw it, but the bush was not consumed.
It just kept on burning and kept on burning, but it somehow wasn't consumed. And notice what God says in this fourth verse of Exodus 3. When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the burning bush.
Now listen to me carefully. There are many times God speaks to you and me. One of the reasons we don't hear him is on our way, as we say, doing our thing. We don't take time to listen to God when he comes so clearly, so plainly to us to speak to us in some unusual situation. We're in such a hurry doing our own thing.
We just pass right on by. The Bible says that when God saw that Moses turned aside to observe the burning bush, then God spoke to him. And he said to Moses, Moses, he said, Here am I. The scripture says that God said to him, Don't come near.
Don't come in near to this burning bush. Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. And God began a conversation that would eventually lead Moses to make a lifetime commitment to Almighty God. Now, I want you to listen to me very carefully, because there are four basic questions that are essential for all of us who intend to live obediently before God, to honor his lordship, to live a life committed to Jesus Christ.
If I don't answer these, I won't understand the foundation of what commitment is all about. And all of these are found in this passage, the third chapter in the fourth chapter of Exodus, as God deals and as he calls Moses. Now, listen, in this particular passage, he is calling Moses to commit himself to be the leader, the statesman, the savior, the guide, the counselor, the judge. He is giving him a tremendous responsibility under God's authority to rescue a people whom God will make into a nation through whom the Messiah, who would bring about the possibility of all men's salvation. He would bring it out through this nation. So he's choosing, calling Moses for a commitment to go back to Egypt, speak to the Pharaoh from whom he ran out of fear, and challenge him to release the nation of Israel.
That was an absolutely impossible task. Three million rebellious Israelites. He's going to have to lead through a desert without food and water up to a promised land, which God has already ordained. How in the world could God expect anybody to do it?
But here's I want you to see something. Why is it there are so many church members, so many Christians, so many churches, so many resources, so much money, so many people all over America, and for all practical purposes, we are making a very poor showing in our influence and impact on the society. One ultimate reason, and that is we are not committed to the God of this book, nor are we committed to the great commission which the God of this book has given to each one of us personally. Now, why are we not committed? And I believe there are four questions here we need to answer that bring all of that into focus. If I'm going to be committed to Jesus Christ, I mean truly committed. Lay myself down before him, acknowledge his headship, his lordship, his governorship, his control, his rightful place, his authority, supreme, final authority in my life. I need to answer these four questions.
And the first question is this. Who is this God? Who is this God who is challenging you and me to live in submission to his divine authority? It's interesting when God began to speak to Moses, what he said to him there at the burning bush, when he said to him, don't come any further. I want you to notice what he said as he said to him, you're standing on holy ground.
Look in verse six. He said also to him, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Then Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look at God. God got his attention and the first thing he did, having gotten his attention, was to identify himself. God knew, listen, God knew that it was very important for Moses to know the God that is the person who was calling him. One of the reasons so many people are so uncommitted is they don't know this God.
Who is this God who requires final authority in my life and your life? And so it's interesting in this passage that four times God identifies himself the same way to Moses. Listen, verse six, I'm the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Then Moses hid his face and he was afraid. And so God is very, very specific here.
Four times he identifies himself. So he said to him, verse 14, Moses, when they ask you the name of the God who sent you, you tell them I am who I am. And he said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I am has sent you. And God furthermore said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob has sent me to you. This is my name forever.
And this is my memorial name to all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together. Say to them, listen, he says the same thing. The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob has appeared to me saying, I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt. He says, You make it clear who sent you.
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. You tell them he's the one. And this is who you tell them I am. You tell them I am that I am.
I am who I am. That is the everlasting God. I want you to notice something in your Bible in verse 15.
In Genesis 1, 1, when the Bible says, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The word is Elohim, infinite in power, absolute in faithfulness. Notice in this 15th verse the two words and God Elohim furthermore said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel. Notice how this word is spelt, Lord.
It is a big capital L, but it is also three little capital letters. L-O-R-D. That word in the Hebrew is a word which they wouldn't even pronounce later on. And the word in the Hebrew is Yahweh. So he says, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, the Elohim of Jacob. He's the one who has sent you. Let there be no mistake the everlasting and eternal God, the self existent creator of the ends of the earth, the maker of all things, the sovereign of the universe, the one who is infinite in power and absolute in faithfulness. He is the one who has sent you. This is your authority. I, who am the true God, I am your authority. Now, my friend, it was very important to God that Moses explain to them who their God was. Why should they commit themselves to follow Moses? 40 years, a shepherd.
What kind of military experience did he have? What was his strategy for rescuing three million Hebrews? Where were they going to get the food?
Who said they'd ever be able to be released? Why would Pharaoh do it? Where would they get water?
What would they do in the middle of a desert that was nothing but pure sand? Whom shall I say sent me? Do you know why God calls so many of us to do so much and so often we make reservations and we draw circles around our commitment and lines at our commitment? We say, God, you can trust me up to this point.
I will give you so much out you can have my life. Just don't invade the inner circle of my right to do what I choose when I choose after I have done what you have chosen me to do. And I want to tell you that is not commitment. And the reason, my friend, listen, that God does not use us any more than he does is because we've drawn a circle around our commitment. When you committed yourself to Jesus Christ, when you trusted him as your savior, whether you were instructed or not, you forfeited your rights. When you became a child of God, you were born into a new family. You became a part of the living God. Christ Jesus became your life.
It was no longer your right to make choices about your life, except under the final authority of the person of Jesus Christ. It is the fact that we have forgotten who God is. He isn't a grandfather sitting up in heaven just watching us do our thing and turning a deaf ear to our language. Closing and winking his eyes through our sinfulness. God almighty is the final authority in our life.
Now, let me ask you a question. Do you believe that your God is the God of Holy Scripture, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God who sent through that family his only begotten son, Jesus Christ? Do you believe that the God whom you worship is that God?
Say Amen. Then let me ask you another question. How could you ever reserve any portion of yourself, your possessions, your time, if this is the God of this universe and he's the God of your life, my friend, what right do you have to exercise authority in your life that is in opposition to, rebellion to the God of this world?
The truth is, we have no right. The second question you and I need to ask is the very question that Moses asked. Listen to what he said. Verse 11, after God said to him, come now, Moses said to God, but who am I? Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?
Who am I? Listen to God's answer to Moses. He said to him, he didn't say now, Moses, look, you're one of them. And he didn't say that.
Notice what he said. God said to Moses, certainly I will be with you and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you when you have brought the people out of Egypt. You shall worship God at this mountain. Who am I? God said to him, first of all, here's who you are.
You are in relationship to me. I'm your God. I'm the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
And Moses, I am your God. Now, listen to me carefully. You will never understand your true identity. You will never understand nor grasp who you really are. You will never be able to feel the sum total of your true self until you are able to identify yourself with the person of Jesus Christ, with the God who created you.
You see, God wants us to see that we are somebody. Listen, if you have ever placed your trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, let me tell you who you are. Let me tell you who you are from God's point of view. You are a redeemed child of the living God, having been redeemed by the blood of his son, Jesus Christ at Calvary.
That's who you are. You are a sealed saint. The Holy Spirit sealed you unto the day of redemption and has indwelt you and marked you as a child of the living God.
You are a disciple, a follower of Jesus Christ, whether you follow afar off in sin or whether you follow close up. You are a servant of the living God, whether you serve well or poorly. You are accepted in the beloved. You have been forgiven of your sin.
Listen. You have been redeemed by the grace of God. You've been justified, declared righteous. You've been pardoned from your sin by his blood. You've been reconciled to God through his son, Jesus. You've been sanctified, set apart unto God and for God. You have been glorified as a child of God. The Bible says that God Almighty has set you apart for the future that in the ages to come that God Almighty will point to you and to me as his children and say to the angels, look at the demonstration of my eternal grace. These are my beloved whom my son's blood bought at Calvary.
That's who you are. Thank you for listening to The Call to Commitment. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 21:36:07 / 2023-01-25 21:43:25 / 7