Faith Covenant Church

Faith Covenant Church

From The Desk of the Bishop...

"To Death"

 

Commitment: "To Death"
 
 
Today I want to share from a pastoral "E-pistle" that I wrote some years ago. I hope you are challenged and blessed by these musings from a pastor's heart...
 

 

When I was growing up, it was fairly common to hear people say something like this: "I love you to death." It was a figurative way of expressing deep and abiding affection, a way of saying, "I really mean it, when I tell you that I love you." Like many popular expressions that fall into disuse, you don't hear those words as much any more. Maybe that is a reflection of the world in which we live. People love, but not quite that deeply. Few people love anything or anybody "to death" anymore. In fact most marriages are entered into with no thought of permanence. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next few years the words, "Till Death Do Us Part" are dropped from the wedding vows entirely.

 

 

Anymore, loyalty has become a lost concept. Most people nowadays go through a parade of jobs, homes, cars, relationships, and even churches in a lifetime. We have become so "consumer minded" that we evaluate everything we are involved in strictly in terms of "what is in it for me?" And if we determine that the return doesn't justify the investment, we are "out of there" in a flash -- whether it is a job, a relationship, or a church. We tend to evaluate people on the basis of what they "bring to the table." And so our own worth is also measured in the "currency" of our talent and ability more than our loyalty or stability.

 

 

Unfortunately, as I have already implied, this mentality often bleeds over into our relationship with God. We have an attitude that says, "Wherever God guides, He provides," which sounds good to our modern ears. The flip-side of the statement is, "If His isn't providing, He must not have been guiding." This in turn gives us an out when things become difficult in our lives of serving Him.

 

 

But is that statement really true? The life and testimony of St. Paul who writes about suffering lack and hardship in the service of the Lord, would cause me to doubt the truth of that expression. Just a look at Paul's life and struggle seems to indicate that sometimes it is possible to be in the will of God and yet suffer hunger and deprivation, even shipwreck. The witness of the martyrs in Hebrews 11 also seems to undermine that thought. For the record shows that these were people some of whom were destitute and even naked, but perfectly in the will of God..."To Death."

 

 

Yes, where the Lord guides, He does provide...but not always in the ways in which we expect or even desire Him to provide. He refuses to be locked into a strictly transactional relationship in which we say, "Here is what I am bringing to the ministry, Lord...by the way, what have You done for me lately?" Believe it or not, He is not impressed by our talent, intelligence or anything else you or I have to offer Him. He is impressed by one all important thing -- our loyalty, our decision to be faithful to Him and to His cause no matter what, even when it doesn't seem to be paying off in rich dividends. He is looking for folks who love Him..."to death."

 

 

And that brings me to the word that He placed in my spirit to share with you. I heard the Word of the Lord whispering in my ear, "Be ye faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life." We may not all be able to sing or preach or touch the masses. We may not all be "five talent" people. We may not all be in the public limelight. But we can all choose to prove our love for Him by being faithful. That means placing His agenda above my expectations, putting His purposes at the top of my priorities, and placing His cause above my own comfort. As long as I am seeking to save my life or placing the American Dream above the Vision of the Cross, I don't get it.

 

 

The question we must ask ourselves is this: "Do I really love Him? Do I love Him with all my heart? Do I love Him to Death?" If I do, there is only one way to prove it. I must take up my cross and be "faithful unto death."

 

He loved you..."To Death."

 

 
Thoughts for your journal:
 
 
1. On a scale of 1-10 (and this is totally between you and God) rate your commitment level to God? What is the basis of your score?
 
2. Reflection: in what areas do you most need to step up your commitment to God?
 
 
Prayer Focus:
  • Pray for the Holy Ghost to give you a fresh revelation of the kind of commitment that God is calling for in your life in 2012
  • Pray for a corporate revelation of the level of commitment that God is calling for.
  • Pray for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Ghost with signs following this week at church.
Prayer and Worship Opportunities:
 
 
M - F: 12 Noon Prayer
Tonight: City-Wide Monday Night Prayer and Praise with Special Guest: Min. Eric Vance! 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday - Morning Glory Prayer - 5:30 a.m.
Thursday/Friday: Impact Crusade Revival - Bishop Kevin Legette & Bishop Marc House
Saturday - Noon Prayer and Healing Service
 
 
Final Thought:
 
 
Often as I reflect on the kind of commitment that God is calling for from us, my eyes fill with tears. I am moved to weeping when I reflect on what the church as a whole has lost -- even in the short 38 years that I have been saved -- in terms of real old-fashioned commitment to God. Everyone seems to want to be an overnight wonder. Many aspire to greatness in God's Church, but are unwilling to pay the cost of sold out lives. Commitment isn't real unless it cuts into your flesh. It isn't real unless it pushes you to the point of exhaustion and beyond. It isn't real unless it results in sacrifices of time, talent, and treasure that seem to be imprudent and outrageous. I hear the Lord speaking in my spirit that only those who are willing to make that kind of commitment will experience the Supernatural in their lives.
 
 
My heart is so full. I have so much to say to you that time and space won't allow. Tune in tomorrow...But in the meantime, can I count on you to pray for me as I pray for you? I pray that I will see you tonight!
 
 
Love and Blessings,
 
 
Pastor Mark Moore, Sr.

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