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"7 Signs of Commitment"

By Pastor Jason Vinson
Arley First Baptist Church

Text:  Daniel 6:1-28

Introduction:  - All Across America there are people, young and old alike who are uncommitted.

- They have the appearance of commitment.
   -they talk the talk
   -they don't walk the walk

- There actions speak louder than their words telling of half-hearted

    -conditional commitment.

- See if these sound familiar.

-Lord, I'll come to church but only on Sunday Morning at 11:00.
-Lord, I'll come to church every time the doors are open but don't expect me to do outreach, to teach a class, or pray publicly.
-Lord I'll do anything for you as long as it doesn't cost me anything
- I know that I am being a little harsh maybe
- Buy I don't want to be a part of a group of people that has little or no wholehearted commitment to God's purpose and plan.
- I am at a place in my life where I am ready to see people, young and old alike sold out to God.

- Well just what is commitment preacher?

 Commitment is following Jesus. "Commitment demands a choice. Jesus wasted no time getting to the heart of commitment: Either the disciples would be committed to Him and deny their own desires. or they would be determined to go their own ways and deny Him. The choice to commit is the same for all believers - either deny ourselves or deny Him; either go His way or we pursue our way.

Talk about Christ would be meaningless without the walk with Him. The disciples were to take up their crosses. Carrying the cross beam was a public declaration of Tome's authority. Jesus challenged them to put themselves voluntarily under God's authority, doing His will His way. Commitment demands action; it cannot be divorced from responsibility. It extends beyond our relationship to the heavenly Father to other areas of life. Ruth's words of commitment to Naomi did not speak as loudly as did her actions. She left her amily and homeland to return with Naomi to Bethelehem.

Commitment definitely limits choices because it is exclusive. For example, in a commitment to marriage, God's plan is for one woman and one man to commit to each other exclusively and permanently.

Commitment builds up faith and develops character. It is a spiritual discipline requiring time, work and determination." (Woman's Study Bible p.1610)


- Well OK preacher but come on is it really possible to have that kind of commitment?

- I mean give me just one example of that kind of commitment.

    - How about Peter-died crucified upside down.

    -How Paul who during His ministry was so committed to Christ that he was: -jailed, beaten, starved, stoned, ridiculed, run out of town, and eventually killed.

- Yea, yea OK that was then but what about today.

    -Casey Bernall

    -Almost daily in China Christians are imprisoned.

    -Right now in the Middle East if a Muslim becomes a Christian they are marked for death.


- OK, OK you have convinced me now how do I know I am committed?

- Tonight I want us to look at a man named Daniel. As we do I want us to discover 7 signs of commitment found in Daniel 6. In my opinion Daniel is a person who even though he did not know the joy of salvation through Jesus Christ showed more  commitment to God than anyone of his day and than almost anyone of any other generation.


- Daniel's commitment began as a youth and continued throughout his entire life. In Daniel chapter 1 we see a teenage Daniel standing up for his convictions (Daniel 1:8) by choosing not to defile his body with any impure thing. In Daniel 6 we find Daniel is in his 80's and his commitment is stronger than ever.

Theme:   So what are the 7 signs of commitment

People who are commitment to God . . .

I. Possess an extraordinary spirit. (v. 3)

-Debate on how the H.S. worked in the OT in comparison to the NT.

-Do you possess an extraordinary spirit?

-Do you posses the H.S.?

 

II.. Have within them no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption. (v. 4)

    -Daniel what the type of person that the Scripture likes to call "blameless."  There was nothing in his life that could bring guilt upon him.

    -I Tim 3:2 says above reproach

    -Is there anything in your life right now that people can point to that is immoral, contradictory to Scripture, or just plain wrong? Are you guilty? If you look up blameless (free from blame) in dictionary the next word after it is blameworthy (deserving blame).


III. Are faithful (v. 4)

    -faithful - full of faith

    -Faithful - here is only used of Daniel in the entire Bible and means "trusted or believed to be sure" or "to be trustworthy." Daniel was the kind of person God could count on.

    -faith - The assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen

    -Are you full of faith?

    -Is there any part of your life that God is not in complete control of? Have you ever attempted to do something that unless God supernaturally intervened it would never happen? Can God trust you -Hebrews 11:6 "For without faith it is impossible to please God."


IV. Live according to God's Word (v. 5)

    -All Daniel had was the first five books of the OT
    -The law of Moses-
    -Daniel had studied that Scripture and was living it out.
    -What does it mean to live in obedience to God's Word
    -Be completely obedient to it.

 

-Are you doing it?

V. Pray continually despite the consequences. (v. 10)

 

    -Daniel knew what the Kings order said. Daniel knew the penalty for breaking the law. Daniel prayed anyway.

    -Prayer in Schools

    -What is more important?

 

VI. Are under God's hand of protection. (v. 22)

 

    -Does this mean that we will never be hurt? Does this mean that we will never be disappointed? Does this give me the freedom to place myself in positions of danger?

    -It does mean that no matter what happens to us ultimately we will be protected by God.

        -Eternal security

        -It means that good or bad God will ultimately work it all out to the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.


VI. Affect others with their commitment (vv. 26-28)


-Daniel's commitment won the King over.

-Daniel's commitment showed the power of God.

-Daniel's commitment turned the kingdom toward God.

-What can one person do?

-When is the last time someone: came to you and said "I've been watching you and there is something different about you." They ask you "how you can always be so happy and compassionate toward others even those who are not compassionate towards you?" They may have said "they were jealous of you or "they wanted whatever it was that you had?" Their life was changed because of your commitment to God?


Conclusion

  A house church in the former Soviet Union received a copy of the gospel of Luke. Since in was illegal to possess this Scripture they tore it up into little pieces and distributed it among the body of believers. Their plan was to memorize the portion they had been given, then on the next Lord's Day they would meet and redistribute the sections.


On Sunday these believers arrived inconspicuously in small groups throughout the day so as not to arouse the suspicion of KGB informers. By dusk they were all safely inside, windows closed and doors locked. They began by singing a hymn quietly but with deep emotion. Suddenly, the door was pushed open and in walked two soldiers with loaded automatic weapons at the ready. One shouted, "All right - everybody line up against the wall. If you wish to renounce you commitment to Jesus Christ, leave now!"

Two or three quickly left, then another. After a few more seconds, two more.

"This is you last chance. Either turn against your faith in Christ," he ordered, "or stay and suffer the consequences."

Another left. Finally two more in embarrassed silence, their faces covered, slipped out into the night. No one else moved. Parents with small children trembling beside them looked down reassuringly. They fully expected to be gunned down or, at best, to be imprisoned

After a few moments of complete silence, the other soldier closed the door, looked back at those who stood against the wall and said, "Keep you hands up - but this time in praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers and sisters. We, too, are Christians. We were sent to another house church several weeks ago to a group of believers - "

The other soldier interrupted, " . . . but, instead we were converted! We have learned by experience, however, that unless people are willing to die for their faith, they cannot by fully trusted.

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