A PATTERN FOR COMMITMENT

Nehemiah 9:32 - 10:39

    The general tone of American commitment to Christianity could be described as trivial, blas?, casual, and shallow at best. Today, Christianity seems to be less a matter of commitment and more a matter of convenience. 
People will commit themselves to monthly payments of $300-$400 for a new vehicle stretching over 5 years. But, when it comes Christianity, the average American could be identified as "Mr. or Mrs. Uncommitted." Most Americans are like those the prophet Elijah challenged when he said, "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him NOT A WORD" (1 Kings 18:21). They refused to commit themselves one way or the other. 
    COMMITMENT (Webster- 1828): 1. The act of committing [Delivered in trust; given in charge; deposited]; a putting into prison; imprisonment. 2. The act of pledging or engaging. And with the reciprocal pronoun, to commit ones self, is to do some act, or make some declaration, which may bind the person in honor, good faith, or consistency, to pursue a certain course of conduct, or to adhere to the tenor of that declaration. 
    We would say a committed person is one who is "sold-out;" "dedicated;" "devoted;" "loyal;" "going all-out, full tilt, full blast, whole hog, to the max, on all cylinders;" "for all one is worth." "Glory-bound with the hammer down." 
    The following true story illustrates REAL COMMITMENT:  During the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia in 1964 a group of Gurkhas from Nepal were asked if they would be willing to jump from transport planes into combat if the need arose. The Gurkhas had the right to turn down the request because they had never been trained as paratroopers. 
    The Gurkhas usually agreed to anything, but on this occasion they rejected the plan. However, the next day they sought out the British officer who made the request and said they had reconsidered and were prepared to jump under the following conditions: The ground was marshy or reasonably soft with no rocky outcrops and they wanted the plane to fly slowly as possible at no more that 100 feet high.
    The British officer assured the Gurkhas that all these conditions could be met except one. To jump from only 100 was impossible, because the parachutes would not open in time from that height. 
    Then the Gurkhas said, "Oh, will we be wearing parachutes? You didn't mention parachutes before. In that case we'll jump anywhere with parachutes!" Not many people today fit that description when it comes to the Church of Jesus Christ.

    The background of our text is the confession of the Jews over their lack of commitment to the Lord that resulted in their captivity. They conclude by making a commitment to prevent that from happening again. It was a written commitment and was signed by those who made it (10:1-28). It is a pattern of the kind of commitment we need in the church today.

I. Commitment to Scriptural FIDELITY (10:29). Committed to do what the Bible says. We must have a pre-disposition to submit to it's demands.
    A. We must concede to the Bible's authority. 
    B. We must be convinced of it's answers. The Bible works. 

II. Commitment to a Separated FAMILY (10:30). 
    A. Involves separation-- Commitment to the family unit means separation from whatever would threaten that unit. We must commit everything to God, and leave nothing for Satan to use against our family.

    B. It involves education. We must teach our family.
    C. It involves conviction. Conviction that divorce is not an option.

III. Commitment to Sanctified FINANCES (10:32, 37, 38). 

IV. Commitment to Serving FAITHFULLY (10:39 cf. Heb. 10:25)
    A. Do not forsake it in prayer.
    B. Do not forsake it in promotion.
    C. Do not forsake it in participation.

CONCLUSION: Will you make the following commitments:
1. I will make the Bible the final authority in my life. You need to read it!
2. I will raise my children for Jesus Christ. 
3. I will never seek a divorce from my spouse. 
4. I will give God at least a tithe and offering of all He gives to me.
5. I will attend all church services unless providentially hindered.