1 Samuel 10 – Commitment

have you ever known someone who had difficulty committing to something or someone? Have you ever known someone who says, “I’m in!” but still seems to have one foot out? Have you ever known someone who makes a decision, yet still hesitates to follow through with that decision?

Saul was this type of person, according to 1 Samuel chapter 10. Despite the prophet’s direction and all the confirmation he receives, Saul is still not complete in. You see this in how he stops short of telling his uncle about being anointed as king, and in how he hides when Samuel is trying to make him king. Saul has commitment issues.

Perhaps it was fear. When Saul encounters his uncle, he was in a town where their enemies (the Philistines) had an established garrison. Perhaps his difficulty with commitment was because he didn’t see himself as being worthy or able to do what he needed to do.

As you continue to read about Saul, he seems to wrestle with both fear and a lack of confidence. Yet, Scripture deals with both our fear and our lack of self confidence.

What about you? Where is it you have trouble committing to what God wants you to do? Is your hesitancy related to fear, or to a low view of yourself…or both.

God has already addressed our fear in 2 Tim. 1:7. And God has already addressed our lack of confidence in 2 Peter 1:3.

Always remember…we don’t have to hesitate in committing to what God wants us to do, because… “God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful” (1 Thes. 5:24.)

Ruth 1 – Commitment

These days, absolute and total commitment is more of an ideal than a reality. Employees jump from company to company. Employers lay off workers, then give their jobs to others for less pay. Marriage vows state “till death do us part” but are translated “I hope this works out and we’re lucky enough to stay together.”

The book of Ruth is about commitment. There you see the  commitment of a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law, the commitment of a relative to another relative, the commitment of a man to a woman, and the commitment of God to His people.

Chapter one of Ruth sets the theme of the book by focusing on Ruth herself. After her husband dies, Ruth has every reason to cut ties with her mother-in-law (Naomi). Ruth is a foreigner with no cultural obligation to Naomi, Naomi’s people, or Naomi’s God. As a young widow, it would be perfectly understandable for Ruth to pursue a new marriage and family at home, rather than caring for an old woman to whom she has no further ties, in a foreign land where she knows no one.

Yet, in Ruth 1:16-17, Ruth expresses an unwavering commitment to Naomi, surrendering her life for the good of Naomi. And, as we see later in the book, this commitment changed not only these two women, but the course of history.

This is the type of commitment God wants the readers of Ruth to see. It is the type of commitment he desires from us, because it is the type of commitment He has made to us…though He was under no obligation to do so.

The book of Ruth is our call to be people of commitment…first to God, and then to those around us.

Deuteronomy 26 – Things That Go Together

There are things that naturally go together. Think of bacon and eggs, peanut butter and jelly, Abbott and Costello, and Batman and Robin. When it comes to these pairings, one would seem incomplete without the other.

Deuteronomy chapter 26, reminds us of another inseparable pair: commitment and generosity. These are inseparable, because when you’re committed to something, you generously give yourself and your resources to it. And without generosity, your commitment is called into question.

The same is true when it comes to relationships. Your commitment to someone can be seen in how freely you give yourself and your resources to them. The greater your commitment, the greater your generosity, and the greater your generosity the greater the evidence of your commitment.

Nowhere is this inseparable pairing seen more (or at least it should be) than in marriage. Marriage calls for the ultimate in human commitment and giving. The more freely you give to your spouse, the more committed you are to them. And the more committed you are to your spouse, the more freely you give to them. Many a shaky marriage could be ignited and strengthened by pouring efforts into commitment and generosity. (In fact, Deuteronomy 26:16-19 sound a lot like a marriage ceremony.)

Deuteronomy chapter 26 reminds us that the same is true when it comes to our relationship with God. Our commitment to Him will be seen in our generosity to Him, and to others. (Matt. 25:40) (Matt. 22:36-39) And our generosity to God and others shows our commitment to Him and to others. Just like marriage, our relationship with God is to be characterized by a commitment to generously give ourselves and our resources to Him and others. May God help us to make these two concepts inseparable in our lives.

Deuteronomy 17 – No One is Above the Law

“No one is above the law.” This statement is cliché and almost laughable in this day and age. High officials regularly navigate around the law, gang members seem to do whatever they choose, ministers sexually abuse women and children…the list goes on and on. Some are caught and tried, but a large majority of people will continue to violate the law, seemingly undetected.

Deuteronomy chapter 17 stresses the importance of careful and complete adherence to God’s law; whether you’re a lowly citizen or a high official.

Read moreDeuteronomy 17 – No One is Above the Law

Marital Drift and How to Stop It.

Have you ever had the experience of looking at your spouse in thinking, “We use to be so close. How did we drift apart? What happened?” If you have, you are not alone. I think that thought crosses the mind of nearly every spouse at one time or another.

Marriage can be like a boat without an anchor. It has a tendency to drift. In the beginning, when you’re close to shore, it doesn’t seem like a problem. But the further you get from shore the more prominent and problematic the drift can be. You start to experience things like:

Read moreMarital Drift and How to Stop It.

Are You A Good Lover?

How am I suppose to find the answer to the question, “Are you a good lover?”

If I ask myself that question, my pride and ego would give a resounding “YES!” But if I’m honest, after thirty-seven years of marriage, I still feel awkward and clueless at times.

If I ask my wife that question, she would probably assure me that I’m a good lover. But how do I know she’s not just sparing my feelings. What if, after I go to sleep, she’s shaking her head in sad disbelief?

Read moreAre You A Good Lover?

Bull Riding and Marriage

I often tell people that marriage can be like a bull ride. Here’s what I mean by that…

In the beginning, when the bull rider gets on the bull, they look good, feel confident, and are surrounded by a lot of supporters. Those supporters speak words of encouragement, slap them on the back, and tell them, “You can do this!”

All this is like a bride and groom on their wedding day.

Read moreBull Riding and Marriage

A Dry Run At Eternity

Sometimes you read thing something that makes you stop and evaluate your marriage, your faith and your life. This guest post from my friend Connie Plummer did that to me, and I wanted to share it with you.

They are like a man who builds a house. He digs down deep and sets it on solid rock. When a flood comes, the river rushes against the house. But the water can’t shake it. The house is well built. – Luke 6:48

In this life, we practice for the important events.

  • A trial run to the hospital before it is time to have the baby.
  • A ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ graduation walk through.
  • A wedding rehearsal.
  • That song you are going to sing
  • That speech you are going to make.

Read moreA Dry Run At Eternity

Is Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity? – Part 2

Gravity is an essential part of life. Without it, things would drift away into space. Likewise, gravity is an essential part of marriage. Without marital gravity, spouses begin to drift apart. And if they drift too far apart, it can bring an end to the marriage.

In my last post, I talked about four things you needed to increase your marital gravity. They were four things that would help draw you closer to one another and keep you from drifting apart. (Check out my last post, “Is Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity – Part 1.”)

Read moreIs Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity? – Part 2

Would You Lay Down Your Life For Your Spouse?

When asked, “What would you be willing to do for your spouse?” most of us are quick to profess how we would lay down our life for our spouse. We would step in front of a gunman’s bullet. We would shield them from the blast of a terrorist’s pipe bomb. We would put ourselves between them and an angry herd of parent eating toddlers. (Ok, maybe not that last one.)

Read moreWould You Lay Down Your Life For Your Spouse?