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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Just What Does Complete Commitment to Christ Look Like?

Matthew 10:37-39 (ESV)
37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

I normally believe in the minimum commitment. I pay the minimum each time I buy something. I give them the asking price plus tax.I don't pay more. I guess this applies to following Jesus too.

The minimum commitment for following Jesus is everything. There are no reserves left. Their is no one you love more. There is no one you serve more. There is no one you give more to. All that I have and all that I am is committed to Jesus.

Is that what salvation is? Is this the true measure of knowing Christ? I believe so. Jesus doesn't require perfection for our salvation. He requires commitment without reservation.

That doesn't set well with our easy faith of walking an aisle, verbally professing Christ and being immersed in water baptism. These ought to be an outward sign of our commitment. For many, I'm afraid, it is their total commitment. Their faith in Christ does not touch the rest of their lives. It is like mowing the grass. It is something that has to be done so you might as well get it over with. It isn't intended to ruin your whole Saturday.

Not that a complete commitment to Christ will ruin any Saturday. It may require something that isn't easily sacrificed. Like loving Jesus more than parents or children. Even a lot of Christian leaders want to say that our love for parents and children should extend beyond our love for Christ. Of course this talk is placed under a vale. It says something like, "I don't want to neglect my children so . . . ," but really it is placing Christ lower on the list.

Funny thing: Christ really never sits well at number 2. In fact, He doesn't really make the list at all if He is no longer at the center. He is followed more like a sports team than Lord. Commitment follows game time. You have to be seen supporting the team during game time. But just how much commitment can you give during the off-season? Everyone wants to show up fro after game victory parties. Who wants to be there after the losses? Where are you when continued commitment requires sacrifice?

A total commitment means that I belong to Christ. Everything that has been entrusted into my care belongs to Christ. These things include every member of my family, all of my possessions, every penny I have and all of my time. I will love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. A total commitment means there is nothing left over.

Are there people who are saved who have not made such a commitment? I believe there must be but I have no true evidence. Jesus spoke of the Pearl of Great Price. The one who sought that Pearl paid everything he had to receive it. What does that say of salvation?

What difference would it make if salvation was nothing more than saying, "Jesus is Lord, " publicly and being immersed in water as a sign of a commitment to Christ? This shouldn't limit me when I know that He desires a total commitment to Him.

I guess being His is really nothing more than being His, after all. (How many understand this?)


Anonymous said...

I still is not up to it to put up an article or blog entry like this on my blog-site, directly arguing for giving of our all, solely because I am too far from it, am too conscious of how little I give unto the Lord.  But I appreciate it, and thankful that you write about it to remind us that the Lord wants to see that end.  It would be greater still, if pastors are bold enough to preach it, and NOT fearing his flock would start murmuring and even walking away.

The Lord is gracious, and proper understanding of grace is along this line, that it is His right to demand of us our all, yet he gives us time and room to come to that desired state, yet it is NOT that He can condone the profaning of His grace, and accept irresponsibility and absence of accountability forever; ultimately His love for men is love unto righteousness, meaning His love, ultimately, must foster or maintain righteousness in you and I.

This is grace - God's love for us is max. out; it does not increase or decrease over time, or with what we have done, like if you done good, God would love you more, if you done bad, God would love you less.  No, God's love for you and I is always 100%, complete; God does NOT grow, in love, patience, or whatsoever.  God is arrived, but He extends to us, grace to progress in righteousness, even though He is entitled to demand immediate 100% love and submission from us. But make no mistake, God wants that end.  It is grace to us, that He respects our volition so very often.  And make no mistake that God or God in His love, and therefore including giving of His grace, can foster irresponsibility and absence of accountability.

How do we NOT profane the grace of God?  Not by just basking in grace, like the overly grace preachers are telling us, but by wanting to grow towards the end of giving our all to the Lord; commit to it, and work on it by working with God.  Forget again those overly grace preachers who drum into you that it is staying in grace and not falling out of it, by not making efforts; that is NOT staying in grace, that's profaning grace.  Have you wonder why you and I are always looking for purpose? Because we are created by God and in His image, of One who is purposeful, and His grace extended to you and I are for a purpose or purposes; know it and be mindful of it.

So now, remember God wants to see that end, of you, willing of giving your all; meanwhile He extends His grace to give time and room for you to grow to that.  Your response and my response are to want to grow towards that end, and commit to it, and get on with it, and work on it; words are cheap, and scripture said not to just love (your God, too) by words only!

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my typo mistake: 3rd paragraph and last sentence, it should read as "Make no mistake God ........ CANNOT (not can) foster irresponsibility and absence of accountability."

Anthony Chia