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Our Conviction And Commitment To God
By Ron Boatwright

     As Christians we must be both convicted and committed to the Lord if we are to be pleasing to Him. Paul says, "For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12). We must be convicted by Godís word and never compromise our conviction. We are to be "fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Romans 4:21).

     Conviction is a strong belief of being fully persuaded by evidence, which causes one to have faith and confidence in the Lord. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Conviction and commitment go together. You canít have commitment without conviction. In our conviction, we are to set our "mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2) and "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts" (1 Peter 3:15). If we are truly convicted we will be completely committed. In our commitment we must "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). If we are convicted and committed, God and Christ will be first in our lives. Jesus says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind" (Matthew 22:37). How do we show our love to God and Christ? Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). One who says he loves God but does not keep His commandments is not telling the truth.

     In our commitment to God we should do as the Macedonians did who "first gave themselves to the Lord" (2 Corinthians 8:5). In doing this we should present our "bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed" (Romans 12:1-2). In living our lives for God, we must be different from the world. In our sacrifice of ourselves to God we should do as Paul told Timothy to "meditate upon these things, give yourself entirely to them" (1 Timothy 4:15). In our commitment to the Lord, we should never look back to our old life. Jesus says, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). We cannot put anyone or anything ahead of Christ. Jesus says, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:37).

     Our living sacrifice to the Lord does require us to make sacrifices. It is not a free ride. "And anyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My nameís sake, shall receive a hundred fold, and inherit eternal life" (Matthew 9:29). There can be no reservations in our commitment to the Lord. Jesus tells us that in becoming a living sacrifice, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). Notice our sacrifice is to be a daily sacrifice, not just when it is convenient. But Governor Felix told Paul to, "Go away for now, when I have a convenient time I will call for you" (Acts 24:25). We cannot wait on a convenient season to obey or work for the Lord for, "the night is coming when no man can work" (John 9:4). It will be too late then.

     In our commitment to the Lord we have the world trying to pull us away. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). But we should "lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:20).

     In our commitment to the Lord we will face opposition. We are told that, "All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). But as persecution comes our way, "Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator" (1 Peter 4:19).

     If we are convicted and committed to God and Christ, "we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age" (Titus 2:13) and "be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).