Summary: Just as commitment is required to graduate from the school, so is required commitment to finish our spiritual life: our commitment to Christ Himself, the body of Christ which is church, and the the work of Christ. which is the ministry.
1. Commitment to Christ: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command...” (Matthew 22:37-38)
2. Commitment to the body of Christ: "The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” (Matthew 22:39-40)
3. Commitment to the work of Christ : "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
I graduated from high school 40 years ago. 40 years and 5 months ago to be exact. Can you imagine I lived 40 years since then. Indeed, I do have many suggestions for people like you: I would say, for example, learn to speak fluently Korean and at least one more foreign languages, if your parents say OKay, plan to get married to your first girl or boy friend; I mean get married earlier than you now plan, and so on.
But, for today, I would like to narrow down all my suggestions to one area, your spiritual life in terms of 3 commitments. Why commitment? Because you gonna do and gonna be what you are committed today. We are celebrating your graduation and your graduated from the school because you had committed to do so. (No doubt your parents also had committed to support you to finish the school.) It is the same in our spiritual life, to run all the way to the finish line we need commitment on our part but also we need to commit to help others.
First of all, you need to commit yourself to the Lord.
Why do I say that? Because God commanded it: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command
If you want to truly love the Lord you have to commit yourself to the Lord.
But as you consider to commit yourself, remember He is not simply demanding your commitment to Him, but He committed Himself to you first. Indeed He first loved us and we are supposed to love Him: He demonstrated how much He loves us by sending His own Son.
Going back to my high school years,
I was very active in the church in my last 2 years of the high school years. I thought I loved the Lord, I even went to a bible college after the high school, but I didn’t even know what it means to commit myself to the Lord nor how to commit myself to the Lord. It took about a year after I graduated from the high school that I finally learned what is involved in committing myself to the Lord and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Though you may attend church, may be very active and you may be enrolled even in Bible college, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are committed to Christ. There is a clear cut difference between church goer and Christian If you are not committed to Christ, you may be a church goer but not Christian.
But, thanks to God, I know all of you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior as you committed yourself to Him and were all baptized. I am so grateful for that. Then, why do I emphasize the commitment to the Lord?
Because, our commitment to the Lord is more than one time decision thing and more than one time event. We have to constantly remind ourselves of our commitment to the Lord. In other words we have to remain committed to the Lord. In fact Jesus said, “if you want to follow me, deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow me.” LK 9:23
He is expecting us to daily commit ourselves to Him. To love and follow the Lord is not an event; it requires lifetime commitment. You may say “that’s impossible.” Yes, it is indeed impossible; but, you know what? The thing is He is committed to us always and first. When the bible says, “He first loved me.”, God’s love is more than one time event; His first love is continuing no matter what. You and I may go through ups and downs. But He is faithful and He is the one that always initiates loving relationship: “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Cor 1:9 God’s calling us to have fellowship with our Lord is not an one time event in the past. He continues to call us everyday.