DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT
(Originally By Ben May and reworked by David Riggs)
A. Introduction: Story: "A Flag of Rags"
1. In the final years of our imprisonment, the North Vietnamese
moved us from small cells with one or two prisoners to large
rooms with as many as 30-40 men to a room. We preferred
this situation for the companionship and strength we could
draw from our fellow prisoners. In addition to moving us to
new quarters, our captors also let us receive packages and
letters from home. Many men received word from their
families for the first time in several years. The improved
conditions was a result of public pressure put on the North
Vietnamese by the American public.
2. In our cell was one Navy officer, Lt. Commander Mike
Christian. Over a period of time Mike had gathered bits and
pieces of red and white cloth from various packages. Using a
piece of bamboo he had fashioned into a needle, Mike sewed
a United States flag on the inside of his shirt, one of the
blue pajama tops we all wore.
3. Every night in our cell, Mike would put his shirt on the
wall, and we would say the pledge of allegiance. I know that
the pledge of allegiance may not be the most important
aspect of our day now, but I can tell you that at the time
it was the most important aspect of our lives.
4. This had been going on for some time until one of the guards
came in as we were reciting our pledge. They ripped the flag
off the wall and dragged Mike out. He was beaten for several
hours and then thrown back into the cell.
5. Later that night, as we were settling down to sleep on the
concrete slabs that were our beds, I looked over to the spot
where the guards had thrown Mike. There, under the solitary
light bulb hanging from the ceiling, I saw Mike. Still
bloody and his face swollen beyond recognition, Mike was
gathering bits and pieces of cloth together. He was sewing a
new American flag. (From The files of Leadership, by John
B. We admire the commitment and dedication that Lt. Mike
Christian had to our country.
1. There is a commitment and dedication, though, that is far
a. It is our commitment and dedication to our God.
2. The brief Psalm (Psalm 101) lists some practical things of
dedication and commitment which, hopefully, will be useful
for all of us.
I. The Psalm begins: "I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O
Lord, I will sing praises." Verse 1
A. The small title at the beginning of this Psalm shows that this
is "A Psalm of David."
1. These titles, which are at the beginning of some of the
Psalms, are as old as the manuscripts themselves; thus, we
take them to be accurate.
B. We don't know he wrote this Psalm, but the context seems to
point to the time when he was king.
C. As David often did, he begins this Psalm with praise to God.
1. Our God is worthy of our praise, and He is worthy of our
dedication and commitment.
II. David's commitment to the Lord was strong. Verses 2
A. Some want to do only enough to get by.
1. Often, there is no true dedication and commitment on their
2. Consider this quote: "Fewer than 10 percent of Americans
are deeply committed Christians, says pollster George
Gallup, who adds that these people 'are far, far happier
than the rest of the population.' Committed Christians,
Gallup found, are more tolerant than the average American,
more involved in charitable activities, and are 'absolutely
committed to prayer.' While many more Americans than this
10 percent profess to be Christians, adds Gallup, most
actually know little or nothing of Christian beliefs, and
act no differently than non-Christians." (From Signs of the
Times, Nov. 1991, p. 6)
B. David determined to keep his heart pure. Verse 2b
1. His way of accomplishing this: "I will set nothing wicked
before my eyes." Verse 3
a. We need to guard our eyes regarding what they see.
Psalm 119:37; Isa. 33:15
b. Solomon warned of looking at wine when it sparkles in
the cup. Prov 23:31-32
2. We know that David, who was truly a godly man, failed in
guarding his eyes when he looked upon Bathsheba. 2 Sam
a. Thus, the danger is very real.
b. Jesus warned of the danger. Matt 5:28
(1) We sin when we allow lust to conceive. James 1:15
c. We need to be like Job and make a covenant with our
eyes. Job 31:1
(1) We need to be on guard regarding TV, movies, the
internet, magazines, the beach, swimming, summer
clothes, and such like.
III. "A perverse heart shall depart from me..." Verse 4-5
A. David was committed to staying away from evil doers. Ps
1. "Evil companionships corrupts good morals." 1 Cor. 15:33
2. "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers." 2 Cor. 6:14
3. Let us not associate with evil people. Prov. 22:24-25
B. David, as king, had the power to literally banish evildoers
from his presence.
1. Our commitment to God needs to be strong enough to
oppose evil people. Eph. 5:11; Prov. 17:15; 1 Tim. 5:20
2. Reproving can bring about good. Prov. 25:12
3. Reproving can at times have bad consequences. Luke 3:19-
4. Blessed are those who have the courage to not only turn
from evil, but to condemn it wherever it is found.
5. This is from Charles Stanley: "A woman in our church was
married for only a short time when she found out her
husband was a homosexual. Soon after, he left her. As I
talked with her, she said something I shall never forget.
"After I was divorced, several of my friends came to me and
said they knew he was gay. When I asked them why they
didn't say anything to me, they said, 'We didn't think it
was any of our business.'" Her friends were dead wrong. They
violated a scriptural principle. After hearing her story, I
made up my mind never to stand by quietly and watch a friend
make what I was sure in my heart was a mistake. This
resolution has made me very unpopular at times. People have
left my church over things I have confronted them about."
IV. "My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land..." Verse 6
A. We need to keep company with "those of like precious faith,"
with those who will build us up, and not tear us down. Psalm
1. When we walk with the wise, we will be wise. Prov. 13:20
2. We need to note those who walk according to truth, and
follow them. Phil. 3:15-16
V. "He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house" Verse 7-8
A. As Parents, we must do our very best to raise godly children.
1. We cannot allow bad influences to remain in our homes.
B. How deep is our commitment?
1. Do we have hard, fast rules which are enforced in our
2. God demanded obedience to parents under the Old Law.
3. We, as parents, need to demand obedience in our homes.
C. David said, "He who tells lies shall not continue in my
1. Again, David, as king, would not tolerate evil people being
2. He worked at destroying evil doers. Verse 8
A. Applications from Psalm 101:
1. Let us keep our hearts pure before the Lord.
2. Let us guard what we see.
3. Let us, whenever possible, avoid perverse people.
4. Let us reprove evil doers.
5. Let us keep company with the faithful.
6. Let us not allow deceit and lies within our own homes.