KEEPING VOWS & FORSAKING THE WORLD

Some say that keeping vows is “not that big of a deal.” We can see by the recent statistics on marriage and divorce that the marriage vows count for little in today’s society. And what about our commitment to Christ when we were immersed in the waters of baptism? Did we promise to lose our lives for Christ and the gospel? Did we agree that Jesus is our king and Lord? If he truly is our Lord, we must do the things he says (Luke 6:46Luke 6:46
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46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  

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). I keep hearing from those who claim to be members of the church that the reason they became Christians was to escape pain and suffering and to go to heaven instead of hell. Their mind (attitude) seems to focus on what they can get from God rather than how they can serve Him. They seem to have forgotten they did not create themselves, but that He created them (Psa. 100:3Psa. 100:3
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3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. and not...: or, and his we are  

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; Rom. 1:21Rom. 1:21
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21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  

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; Mark 8:36-37Mark 8:36-37
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36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  

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Judas Iscariot sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15Matt. 26:15
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15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.  

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). Some today seem quite willing to sell their souls for a high paying job, a new house, a new car, or even prestige or power. Both partners in a household will frequently work seven days a week to lay up treasure here on earth (Luke 12:16-21Luke 12:16-21
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16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? thy...: Gr. do they require thy soul 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.  

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; Matt. 6:26Matt. 6:26
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26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  

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), but they rarely will spend more than an hour on Sunday to “serve the Lord.” Would spending that much time each week make any other commitment prosper? Certainly not, so why do people think it would please their Creator?

Others, claiming to be church brethren, cite family ties or commitments to explain why they have no time to assemble for study or worship or to work for Christ during the week. Maybe they believe they have to spend hours upon hours educating their children or helping them with homework. Perhaps they find it necessary to care for aging or invalid parents, which really should not have to be a choice we are forced to make. Provided we do not let these things stand in the way of our service to the Lord, we can do them with His blessing. Nevertheless, some follow these duties because of a great love for family or because of social pressures put on them. “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37Matt. 10:37
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37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  

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). “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26Luke 14:26
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26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  

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The Scriptures above appear to discourage Christians at times and cause them to want to explain them away rather than to believe and trust them. However, they also need to consider the promises given to those who do trust and obey. “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (Matt. 19:29Matt. 19:29
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29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  

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Christians should remember the account of Hannah in the Old Testament who made a vow to God and kept it. Hannah promised that if God would give her a son, she would lend him to the service of God forever. God heard her prayer, gave her little Samuel and she faithfully kept her promise. Not only did God bless her with a son, but later He gave her three more sons and two daughters (1 Sam. 2:20-211 Sam. 2:20-21
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20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. loan...: or, petition which she asked, etc 21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.  

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). There can be no doubt that the “mother heart” in Hannah made her ponder her choice many times. We know she never forgot Samuel because she made a little coat to give him at the annual feast every year (1 Sam. 2:191 Sam. 2:19
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19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.  

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). She must have had great joy in remembering Samuel as she stitched.

–Beth Johnson

2 thoughts on “KEEPING VOWS & FORSAKING THE WORLD

  1. I truly agree with your statement.. It’s time for Christians to get out into the world.. For we are the light of this world.. Too long have Christians been hiding in the shadows and not being committed to the great commission which is to go out into the world and preach the gospel to all the world with great conviction and love.. To light revival fires around the world we need to go do battle

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