By Glenn Metts
Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Seymour
It’s hard to believe that we have entered 2020! A new year brings a pause as we remember the year we are leaving behind. It brings anticipation as we look forward to a new year. Twenty years ago we entered a new millennium. Now, here we are 20 years later. It’s true what they say, “Time stands still for no one.”
The beginning of a new year is a good time to stop and reflect on God’s faithfulness to us over the past year. It is also a good time to reflect on our faithfulness to Him and to renew our commitment to the Lord as we move forward into a new year. Our lesson this week in Numbers 32:20-32 reminds us that God expects His people to keep their promises and commitments.
As we come to Numbers 32:20-32, we find Moses responding to the request of the Gadites and Reubenites to settle east of the Jordan river. It was a land that was fertile and would be conducive for their livestock as well as their people.
Moses responded by reminding them of their commitment to the Lord first and foremost. He also reminded them of their commitment to all of God’s people. Our lesson points out that verses 20-24 are covenant or contract language. Moses stipulated certain expectations from these two tribes before granting their request to permanently dwell east of the Jordan. Their commitment to the Lord was expected as well as their commitment to God’s people.
God’s Word also reminds us of our commitment to the Lord. Here at the beginning of a new year is a good time for us to examine our own walk with the Lord. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).”
What is the motivation behind the way we live our lives daily? Is our commitment to the Lord a priority? Do we remember that we are in a relationship with our Savior and Lord? I love what Jesus said in Luke 9:23. He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Our commitment to the Lord is not just a list of rules to check off. No, our commitment to the Lord is based on a loving relationship with our Heavenly Father. He has been faithful to us. May we be reminded that He expects our faithfulness to Him.
Moses reminded the Gadites and Reubenites that they had a covenant as God’s people to each other as well. Although they would be allowed to possess the land east of the Jordan, the fighting men were responsible to cross the Jordan and help possess the land.
As God’s people, we, too, are responsible to steward our resources, talents and gifts to help and encourage the body of Christ. Jesus reminded us in John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” We show that love by being faithful to God and to each other.
A new year brings new challenges as well as new opportunities. Remember as God’s people we are called to be faithful to our promises and commitments to the Lord and to each other. Henry Blackaby said this of commitment, “Some spiritual leaders try to be more committed. What they need is to be more submitted.” Let’s submit ourselves afresh to the Lord and to each other as we move into a brand new year. God bless!