Message of the Month: A Resolution That Lasts Forever
 
World Evangel Monthly Newsletter (January 2019 Edition)
 
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January 2019 Newsletter

Message of the Month:
A Resolution That Lasts Forever

 
 
 
 
 

1. PREAMBLE

 

Every year many people make New Year resolutions (often including ones that had been broken almost immediately after they were made in previous years).

The reason human beings cannot keep to their promises is rooted in the Fall
(Rom 7).

But do we really need to be making yearly resolutions when only one resolution is necessary and sufficient throughout one's life?
What is that resolution?

Repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. ¹

The question then becomes, why is it that many who have accepted Jesus Christ as both Lord and Saviour have continued to sin and to live like those who have not yet repented?

The answer is rather simple: They did not make a radical commitment to that same Lord and Saviour. Their acceptance of Christ was in mouth only: it did not reach the heart. Therefore, their hearts remained hardened.

 
 
 
 
 

 

2 THE PARABLE OF THE SOILS

Remember the Parable of the Soils (Matt 13:3-8; 18-23)? The first three soils did not yield fruit. The devil was able to deceive those in the first group (they could be active members in large church gatherings) because they did not pay attention and or understand what was required of them. Their hearts (soils) remained hardened (the seeds did not enter the soil and the devil took them away).

Those in the second group (they could even be leaders of large congregations like pastors and general overseers) willingly embraced doctrines of human beings and demons and lost their way because they failed to study the Scriptures meditatively. Their hearts (soils) remained hardened (the seeds entered the soils but lacked nourishment and so the seedlings died).  

Those in the third group were committed for a period. Then, they became unproductive when they embraced doctrines that put money (prosperity) over God and began to live like unbelievers. In effect, they returned to their vomit. Their hearts (soils) hardened after a period (the seeds entered the soils but the soils received weeds too-the weeds sprouted and crowded out the seedlings, which then died).

The fourth group were faithful throughout their stay in the world. They studied the Scriptures, and lived as pilgrims on earth as evidenced by their words, deeds and lifestyles. In addition to their hearts receiving the seeds and nourishing the seedlings (meditative study of the Scriptures and prayers), they prevented weeds from germinating. Hence the seedlings grew into trees that yielded so much fruit.

 
 
 
 
 

3. DEFINITIONS


RADICAL:
A change that is extreme and comprehensive.

COMMITMENT:
A pledge or a firm decision to do something. Without devotion of time and energy, many go back on their pledges.

RADICAL COMMITMENT TO CHRIST:
Making a U-turn from a life of sin to a life in Christ Jesus and shunning the world and its ways, pledging to follow and obey the Lord Jesus Christ in ALL MATTERS. ²

 
 
 
 
 

 

4. RADICAL COMMITMENT—THE PATHWAY TO RADICAL OBEDIENCE

The fourth group in the Parable of the Soils yielded much fruit because they were radically committed to God in same way that Moses, Daniel and his friends, Joseph, the Prophets of Old, Christ's apostles (minus Judas Iscariot), Stephen and martyrs of the early church were radically committed to God.

Moses chose to be a slave with the people of God over being a prince in Egypt (the world).³ Daniel and his three friends chose vegetables and water over delicacies and fine wine (trappings of the world). Joseph chose prison over having an amorous relationship with the Boss's wife (one of the ways some people advance in the world).  Stephen preached and contended for the gospel; he was not afraid to speak truth to power (the High Priest and leaders of the highest Jewish council). Many other believers in the early church (including Paul and ten of the  apostles) paid with their lives in the course of preaching and contending for the gospel once for all delivered to the saints.   

In this Church age, those in the fourth group have not only accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, they also have made a radical commitment to follow Him, and Him alone. They have taken the yoke of the Lord and the Lord has rewarded them by taking on their burdens.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" — (Matt 11:28-29).

Having shunned the world, they esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt (the world).

When one is radically committed to Christ, God's grace is more than sufficient as God becomes that person's sufficiency. It is God's grace that enables a believer to radically obey God's commands.

"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God" — (2 Cor 3:5).

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all   sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work" — (2 Cor 9:8).

 
 
 
 
 

 

5. RADICAL OBEDIENCE DEMONSTRATED

OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR:

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross
— (Phil 2:6-8 NLT).

ABRAHAM:
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you. (Gen 12:1 NLT).

So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran (Gen 12:4 NLT).

and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— ...because you have obeyed My           voice" (Gen 22:16-18).

ALL WHO HAVE DIED FOR THEIR FAITH IN GOD:

Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation        because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised
— (Heb. 11:36-39 NLT).

 
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6. REFLECTION


Many believers want God's best but are unwilling to pay the price—a price so insignificant when compared to the examples above or the price many are paying today in many parts of the world where it is death to openly declare you are a follower of Christ and or own a Bible.

To know if truly you are a follower of Christ, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why did I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour?
  2. Have I really made a U-turn from sin and the world?
  3. Do I stand up for the gospel of Christ wherever I go or am I ashamed to admit I am follower of Christ?
  4. Am I ready to die for my Lord and Saviour if the occasion was to arise?

It is not too late to made that radical commitment if you find yourself unsure of your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember radical commitment begets radical obedience. If you truly commit yourself to Him, rest assured God's grace is more than sufficient for you to obey Him in all matters.

 
 
 
 
 

PRAYER:

Dear God, I have given your children your word. I pray, Oh God, that You will visit them in their closets and that Your countenance will shine upon them as they make that radical commitment to follow You and only You. Dear Father, let them know that indeed You are present in their lives and that Your grace is more than sufficient for them to run this race. Envelope them in Your hands and preserve them from this day until they see Your Face in glory. All this I ask in the precious Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, Amen..


FOOTNOTES:

[1] John 1:12-13; 3:16.
[2] (2 Cor 5:17; 2 Cor 6:14-18).
[3] Exod 2:10-15
[4] Dan 1: 6-16
[5] Gen 39: 1-20
[6] Acts 6:12-Acts 7:1-60
[7] Heb 11:26


(All Scripture quotations have been taken from the New King James Version unless where otherwise indicated).

 
 
 
 
 

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