February 7, 2010
(The LORD said) ". . . I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." Jeremiah 31:3b
Because most people like to think well of themselves, most people believe they are the kind of people who are committed.
Maybe so, but the years have taught me some folks are more committed than others. An example of questionable commitment is the story of the young man who poured out his feelings of love as he wrote to the girl of his dreams. In part, his letter said, "Darling, for you I would climb the highest mountain, swim the widest stream, cross the burning desert. My dearest, I would be willing to die at the stake for you."
After a paragraph or two more of such painful pleas from his heart, the smitten lad concluded, "P.S. I will see you on Saturday -- if it doesn't rain."
It is a sign of the times that many people and companies make most of their commitments exactly this way.
We buy products which we think come with a complete warranty. And they are guaranteed . . . until the product is out of the box and actually used. Once the product is in service, we're pretty much on our own. That's because the company has made a questionable and incomplete commitment.
And, as we all know, a questionable commitment is really no commitment at all.
In contrast to the world's comfortable commitments, those who have been brought to Christ recognize in Jesus they are given a unique and wonderful Savior.
Jesus makes no commitments that are simply comfortable. On the contrary, His commitments are complete. They are so complete He was willing to undergo loneliness, pain, poverty, and betrayal; they are so complete He did not shy away from the cross or the dark grave.
Because Jesus' commitments were both complete and completed, on Resurrection Sunday, the risen Christ announced to all who would see, all who would hear, that the old way of death and damnation was over, God's new way of forgiveness and salvation had come.
Our present hope -- and our future home in heaven -- have been made possible totally because of the Christ's complete commitment.
Because of Jesus' success, we are able to pray that we, by the Holy Spirit's power, may be given the strength to live out our days in total thanks and without any questionable commitments to our loving Lord.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, because of Your unconditional love and gracious sacrifice for me, I give thanks. For Your complete commitment to the cause of my forgiveness and salvation I will always be grateful. May that gratitude be shown in all I do, and say, and think. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries