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Our Commitment to Christ

Elaine Reed

President, ARP Women’s Ministries

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).

This verse, tucked away in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, is a simple, but accurate litmus test. There is no denying we demonstrate our passions in how we invest our time, money, and talents.

For Judas Iscariot, it only took 30 pieces of silver—one month’s wages—to betray Christ (Matthew 26:14- 16, 47-49). His eyes were focused on money. In contrast, just a few days earlier in the home of Lazarus, Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with a perfume with a value equal to a year’s wages (John 12:1-7). Her eyes were focused on the eternal as she demonstrated her dedication to Jesus.

Does our commitment to Christ display more of the characteristics of Judas Iscariot or Lazarus’ sister Mary? Do we focus our time on eternal pur- poses—Bible study, prayer, encouraging fellow saints, evangelism, etc—or does our time look very similar to how Judas spent his time?

Judas’ reputation was one that of a thief (John 12:6). How many Christians go through the pretense of a life devoted to Christ, but in reality steal from Him? God commands us not to have any other gods before him. But still the pursuit of money or power is like a god to many Christians.

The Bible tells us not to forsake the gathering of the saints. But for many Christians, the beach or a round of golf has greater appeal on Sunday morning than worshiping God in the company of their church family. In several of Paul’s letters he instructs the reader to share their gifts with the church, but instead of having an abundance of God’s people seeking out ways to serve, they seek out ways to hide and not participate in the church’s calling.

A Great Sacrifice

Without hesitation, Mary took something of great value and did what many would consider lavish or wasteful—she poured the expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. Have you ever reached out in faith without hesitation? Does your legacy resemble Mary’s? – that of a faithful follower of Jesus, who sits at His feet, hanging on every word? – and when the ap- pointed time comes, giving to him in service sacrificially and without hesitation?

In the previous issue of The Associate Reformed Presbyterian, I wrote about God’s purpose for our lives. In his sovereign plan, He equips us for the path He has designed for us. Our commitment to fulfill God’s calling for our lives is a reflection of our ma- turity in the faith.

Is this level of commitment hard? Yes. Jesus predicted his death short- ly after the feeding of the 5,000, and then said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

Here, we learn we are called to seasons of hardship, but we also know our rest is in the Lord. We take refuge in Jesus’ words, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Reflection

Recently, someone asked me if my year of serving as ARP Women’s Ministries’ president has been what I expected. In many ways it has, but in other ways it has not. But when this same person asked if I could travel back in time would I still say yes? With unwavering certainty I responded, “Yes!” The Lord has revealed many things to me through this season and as a result blessed me with an incredible experience.

I would like to challenge you to reread the article “Why Women’s Ministries?” published in the May/June issue of The Associate Reformed Presbyterian. Does the Women’s Ministries program in your church resemble what is described in this article?

This year, the Women’s Ministries Executive Committee’s focus has been guided by the devotion given last August, which was the basis for this article. May God use it to clearly center your life on him and the lives of the women in your congregation.

As my term of representing you ends, I would like to leave you with the words from Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

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