Accompanying Ray Stedman sermon: The New Resolve
Stedman has this to say about our passage and it's application in our lives today....
The Israelites committed themselves to six things in this passage:
First, they committed themselves to avoid the unequal yoke in their marriages. Second, they promised to observe anew the seventh day (the Sabbath), and the seventh year, (the Sabbatical). Third, they promised to provide money, grain and animals for the offerings of the temple. Fourth, they promised to bring the first fruits of their crops, their herds, their flocks, and their firstborn sons, to God. Fifth, they promised to pay ten per cent (the tithe,) of all their income, their crops and wealth to the temple. Sixth, they promised to attend faithfully the house of God.
These commitments translate into very applicable goals for us today:
Marry in the faith. Do not choose a mate who does not know the Lord. Learn to work and live out of rest. Learn that God will pick up what you do and use it far greater than you were able to do. Expect him to do so and rest on that fact. Do not strain or worry, and feel it all depends on you to produce success in a ministry. Frequently remind yourself of the cost of your redemption. Do not forget the precious blood of Jesus. We are all sinners by nature. We have not done anything that can make us acceptable to God, but we have acceptance because of the blood of Jesus. We are all sinners by nature. We have not done anything that can make us acceptable to God, but we have acceptance because of the blood of Jesus. Daily remember that you are not your own. We are responsible to the Lord to follow his guidelines, to obey his words, and to honor him. Support the ministry out of gratitude -- do so out of a sense of blessing and thanksgiving. And, finally, do not neglect meeting with others for mutual support, worship and prayer. That is the way to make a success of the Christian life. How wonderfully practical it is!
This does, of course, require discipline. But Stedman has one very important reminder....
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 KJV)
Monday's scripture focus: Nehemiah 11
Sunday's passage: Zephaniah 1-3
Monday's passage: Haggai 1-2, Revelation 16