Commit to the Lord!
LUKE 9:23-26 – …and He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as my disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to my example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for my sake, he is the one who will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the [heavenly] Father and of the holy angels.
- the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
Shun Fujimoto was a member of the team that competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics. He won a gold medal and competed in the team gymnastics competition for Japan. He suffered a broken right knee one week before he competed, but this injury did not stop him. Because of that, he won the gold medal.
- Here is a man who was devoted to both his sport and his country.
- This man was so committed that he would let nothing stand in his way of achieving his goal.
- We need this same type of commitment today in the Lord’s church!
1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27 – 24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
I.OUR GOAL: CHRISTLIKENESS
- LUKE 9:23 – …and He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as my disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to my example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].
- What is a disciple?
- PHILIPPIANS 3:10 – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death,
- Paul followed the Lord’s example of commitment in sacrifice and service. Even to the point of death, Paul never gave up. He served God even to his last breath.
- The question here is, can we say that we have a commitment like Paul?
- ROMANS 8:18 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
II.WHAT IS THE REASON WHY MANY CHRISTIANS ARE NOT COMMITTED TO THE LORD?
- Example: The story of chicken and pig
- Many people today are unwilling to be totally committed to the Lord because it demands too much of them.
- 1. Excuses
- LUKE 14:15-20 – 15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!” 16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ 18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
- 2. Lack of love for God.
- MATTHEW 19:16-21 – 16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
- 3. Lack of love for God.
- MATTHEW 19:16-21 – 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
- MATTHEW 19:16-21
- a. This young man was not completely committed financially; he was more concerned with his money than with the Lord.
- b. Totally “committed” means totally committed
- c. We must be completely committed to putting God above all other people and things.
- 4. They won’t leave their comfort zone.
- 5. Offended
- This is what Moses did…
- Who am I? … What shall I say unto them? …
- I am not eloquent,” (Exodus 3:11, 13, 4:10)
- Do we use these excuses?
- This is what Jeremiah did…
- 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. JEREMIAH 1:6-7
- Are we refusing to be committed to the Lord because we are poor or do not belong to the social elite?
- It is too difficult.
- Not seeing the need.
III.THIS IS WHY HE WANTS US TO COMMIT OUR LIVES TO HIM
- The GREAT COMMISSION
- MATTHEW 28:19-20 – 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
- He chose us to proclaim His goodness.
- 1 PETER 2:9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
- God chose us to commit to Him so that we could be God’s hands and feet and His mouth in a sinful world.
- We have work to do and God expects us to do it.
- ROMANS 10:14:15 – But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
- ISAIAH 6:8 – Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”