Have you ever made a commitment to do something only to rethink it later and decide not to follow through? One of the challenges we face today is keeping our word, being who we say we are. Sometimes the reality of keeping our commitments requires great sacrifice. Are we willing to follow through? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As we prepare for the Celebration of the Resurrection, Easter Sunday, we first have to realize that Jesus had to be willing to follow through with the plan. He made a commitment to his Father that he would follow through. When it came time for the plan to be complete, the cost was high, the suffering was great, the road was difficult to walk. I am thankful that Jesus fulfilled the plan.
Luke 22:42; NLT; “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Loyalty is a component of follow through. Do we have the courage, wisdom and strength to remain true to our commitment? In a small way we see the lack of loyalty played out in the world of sports as it relates to teams and players. For the sake of money, wins and egos, players, teams and franchises change location. I still do not think the Indianapolis Colts should be allowed to use that name. And what about the NBA, the Lakers in LA? Do you know they were called the Lakers because they were located in Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes? And don’t get me started on the Dodgers or Braves!
There are many examples of franchises switching horses midstream for the sake of a better deal. Don’t get me wrong, I think we all need to make the changes necessary for us to be the best we can be, but let’s not just jump ship when sacrifice is required. God has put a plan in place for our lives and if we deviate from the course because the going gets rough then we will miss the blessing that perseverance brings.
Charles Schultz once wrote, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence until you get over there and discover it is artificial turf.”
One of the things that I miss, and I am sure I am not alone, are things you can count on. Things that will always be there no matter what tomorrow brings. I am a big fan of those who have stood by their commitments, allowed themselves to be held accountable to the promises they made and persevere through the challenges to reap the blessings that come from a hard road traveled. Jesus would be the one I turn to for that example.
Philippians 2:3-11; Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In today’s world if the going gets tough, we change direction. We take the path of least resistance. We don’t stand up for what is right and just in the eyes of God. We just let things happen. We call it being politically correct, when, in fact, it is tearing the world we live in apart.
We have lost something very valuable in our society, our word. A contract, written or spoken, means nothing. If the tables turn and things are not going in our favor, we just walk away. There is much to be said for those who persevere through the challenges; they will see the blessings of God.
Think about Christ and the plan for his life. Jesus, the one who possesses all power and authority, through Him all things were made, must set that aside, come into the world as a baby, allow himself to be raised by a family and when he was thirty-three to die a horrific death at the hands of the people he came to save. I am reminded of the poem, One Solitary Life;
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was 30. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn’t go to college.
He never traveled more than 200 miles from the place He was born.
He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but Himself.
He was only 33 when public opinion turned against Him.
His friends deserted Him.
He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
When He was dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing, the only property He had.. . . on earth.
When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure of the human race, the leader of mankind’s progress.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on earth as much as that One Solitary Life.
Jesus fulfilled the plan of His Father, He persevered through the challenges; physical, mental and spiritual, He ran the good race, He finished the course, and He is seated at the right hand of God. He intercedes for us for the forgiveness of our sins. He is our Hope and Salvation.
As we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection remember that before there could be a resurrection someone had to walk through the valley of death. Someone had to persevere through the challenges. Someone had to follow through despite the road that led to death, death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5-8; NLT;
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 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,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.