Way back in 1978, I had an encounter with almighty God. It seems our maker had been dealing with me for some time, but I failed to recognize his labors. It took a number of troubling events for him to get my attention mostly in the form of decisions to be made and the fact that I was probably not on the coveted dean’s list at Clemson University, but perhaps on another list for those who might be seeking an additional semester of study. In other words, I was getting a masters in trying to get my undergraduate degree … something I wasn’t mastering at the time.
God had my full attention as I found myself in my pastor’s office unloading and even whining about my dilemma. It was in the midst of this confusing time that God made it perfectly clear that he had a job for me to do. He was calling and I was ready to listen due to the circumstances. I then made the statement that would change my life…”God, if you will get me out of Clemson with a degree… I will go to seminary and prepare to do your work!”
I found it rather strange that my pastor told me that he expected me to share this with the congregation on Sunday. I later discovered that the proclamation to the congregation sealed my commitment. I was gonna do this! I believe it was after I told the Cherokee Avenue Baptist congregation of my calling from God that the terror set in…”What have I done ?” The answer was simple. I was called and committed.
There is something about that word “committed,” that strikes fear in the hearts of those who decide to take it seriously. Commitment means you are going to do you part to work toward a goal or it means you decide to take a certain path and accept the consequences that come with the decision. In the life of the follower of Christ, it means the spirit of God has spoken to you and you are responding with…
“Yes, God , I will follow you and I will trust you to strengthen and empower me to accomplish this commitment.” That takes faith and trust because it will not always be easy. As my seminary president Dr. Randall Lolley once said: Sometimes the call of God is all that will keep you committed.
On Sunday April the 18th we will be celebrating an exciting, joyous, and at times, fearful time of commitment. We will be asking those who have been dealing with the decisions associated with following Christ to respond to His call and commit! Currently there are those who have made professions of faith in Jesus as the forgiver of sins, the strengthener of weary souls, and the provider of life forever with Him in heaven. For those we will celebrate the ordinance of baptism. There are others who have felt God telling them this is the place where He will use them in worship and service and for those we will provide the opportunity to become a part of God’s church at Poplar Springs. If either of these commitments seem appropriate to you and God at this time, please contact your church staff and we will make arrangements to recognize, support, and celebrate your commitment in our Sunday morning service on April 18th. I look forward to hearing from you.