Rev. Jon Schell: Commitments worth making

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2023

Bible verse: Luke 2:39-52

New years often bring new commitments. Some last and some don’t. We need to ask ourselves: What commitments in my life are worth making? Here are two that were important to Jesus and his earthly family.

A commitment to obedience — “Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord,” Luke 2:39. The heart of Joseph and Mary was to fully obey the Lord in all their ways. The Bible describes obedience as:

A sign of our love — Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” — John 14:15

A way to know God at a deeper level — “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” — John 14:21

A way to victory — “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:31-32

Some people want to do just enough to get by in their Christian faith. Mary and Joseph wanted to obey Him completely. Which are you?

A commitment to God’s presence – Longing for communion with the Father was normal for Jesus. It was His routine and our example.

He was with the Father:

Before creation, “Father you loved me before the creation of the world.” — John 17:24

As a child — “I had to be in my Father’s house,” Luke 2:49.

At the beginning of day — “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” — Mark 1:35.

At the end of day — “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.” — Mark 6:45-46.

When in grief — “John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” — Matthew 14:12-13.

When overwhelmed — “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.” — Matthew 26:36-37.

Jesus longed for communion with His Father. He came here often to be with Him and to receive strength from Him. The Father’s presence was His delight. Do you spend consistent quality time with your Heavenly Father as Jesus did? We are often committed to things that aren’t worth our time. I encourage you this year to be committed to follow the example of Mary and Joseph and be committed to obeying the Lord. And follow the example of Jesus, committing yourself to spend quality time with the Father. These are commitments worth making. 

Rev. Jon Schell is pastor of St. Luke’s Church in Granite Quarry.

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