Plow Straight Ahead

The Plow Is Manual,

Not Remote Or Automatic!

From Expository Files Archives

Warren E. Berkley

“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’,” (Lk. 9:62).

What if your life was somehow submitted to the Lord on paper? After looking over the report, He stamps on the top sheet: “Unfit!” Imagine the disappointment and shame. You have been rejected and you cannot transfer the guilt, deny the content of your life or make any appeal.

In this verse the Lord is telling us that an absence of commitment will cause Him to declare us unfit. The advantage we have is, we can read this now and change the content of the final report. So long as we are alive there is opportunity to put our hands back on the plow and look straight ahead, living daily as a citizen in the Lord’s kingdom.

This is all about commitment!

Attendance is a commitment issue. People want preacher’s and elders to become like truant officers. The problem is not an isolated matter. Reading Heb. 10:25 over and over and over will not suddenly solve the problem – because the issue is not ignorance; it is lack of commitment. Ask the few people who regularly come Sunday evening services why they come back on Sunday evening. The answer will show they are committed! Absence is a symptom. The root cause has always been commitment. [I understand legitimate reasons. Most non-attendees cannot claim they can’t be there for some legitimate reason. Commitment gets people out.]

Giving is a commitment issue. Giving, all through the New Testament, is an expression of the content of one’s heart. Those who give grudgingly, sparingly or merely out of necessity, are in trouble with God. And it is not an issue of pocket. It is directly related to commitment. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver,” (2 Cor. 9:­­6-7). See in this passage where good giving originates: purpose of heart.

Evangelism is a commitment issue. I’ve never heard any Christian argue that we don’t need to talk to people about the Lord or tell them what the Bible says. You don’t hear that because the New Testament is so clear about God’s people being the ones who are charged to preach the gospel. Many of the first Christians “did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ,” (Acts 5:42). They were committed. If we are indifferent, uninvolved and negligent about evangelism, our problem is commitment. We may have touched the plow, but we haven’t stayed on the job.

Responding to the spiritual needs of your brethren is a commitment issue. If you have read Gal. 5:13, “serve one another,” but you just don’t do that, the issue at hand is not your ability to digest what the text says. The problem is not that there are no brethren to serve. You cannot claim you have nothing to give. Dismiss all the excuses and understand the core issue: Commitment of heart to the Lord.

This list could be continued. Whatever the command, the activity, the participation – behind everything God asks us to do and everything provided for our spiritual welfare, there is this basic: Commitment. If you don’t have that right, open your eyes, open your Bible, renew your commitment. That plow the Lord spoke of has no automatic setting or remote control.

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