Summary: Growing in the area of commitment
Building a Life of Commitment
Scripture reading (9)
"9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect (fully committed) toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars..."
2 Chr. 16:9
The advise was everywhere this week. You couldn't ignore it. You could read it in the newspaper, hear it on the radio, watch on the television. Everybody was saying the same thing all week: ignore the daily ups and downs and commit to the long term. They were talking about the stock market, but they could have been talking about life. History shows that long term commitments pay off.
The sad thing is that today in our society as technology is speeding up the pace of change people are more and more reluctant to make long term commitments. We don't want to be committed to anything. We don't want to commit to a long term job. We don't want to commit to a long term marriage. We don't want to commit to long term investments. We don't want to commit to a church. We don't want to commit to anything. In fact, if there is any operational attitude today it's "I want to keep my options open. I don't want to be tied down. I don't want to commit to anything because life is a buffet and I don't want to get to the end and say, `Oh, I filled my plate up with the wrong stuff!' Some of you listening to this message are little more than spectators because you will not commit to faithful church attendance, giving consistently, Christian service or anything else. I suspect that some have made up their minds that they are not going to commit themselves to on a "Together We Build" stewardship campaign covenant card because of the challenge of a long term commitment even though we've made it plain that they can revise it, cancel it and no one will ever contact them!
That's tragic because the fact is you can't live without making commitments. You can't buy a house without making a 10, 15 or 30 year commitment. You can't get married without making a commitment get a license, a ring, blood tests, place to live, etc. You can't even get a driver's license without making some kind of commitment like a driver's education course. Nothing great ever happens without making commitments. If we go through life without making any commitments we just drift without any purpose.
So today I want us to look at "Building a Life of Commitment." I want us to look at what the Bible says about the power of commitment, the price of commitment, the pitfalls of commitment and the payoff for commitment. First, let's consider;
I. THE POWER OF COMMITMENT
What does the Bible say about the power of commitment? Although you will not find this word in the Scriptures per se, the Bible does have a lot to say about the principles behind this subject and it says that nothing affects your life more than the commitments that you choose to make. In fact, our commitments have three profound affects on our lives;
A. My commitments show my values
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon
They show what I really think is important. What I really value, what I really love. There is no such thing as love without commitment. Single adult, if someone ever tells you, "I love you" and they're not willing to commit to you, they don't love you. There is no love without commitment. The essence of love is a commitment of oneself to that person, to meeting the needs of that person. That's what love is all about. You can't love without making commitments.
I may say something is important to me, but the way I commit my time and my money shows what is really important. I may say, for instance, that my family is important to me. But if I commit all my time to my work, and none of my time is committed to my family, it shows what's really important. If I say my health is important to me, but I don't commit any of my time to taking care of myself, then it means that my health is not really important to me.
The uncommitted life really means nothing is important to me. That's what it means. If you don't make any commitments in life, you're basically saying, "The only thing that's important to me, is me." The uncommitted life in its essence is pure selfishness. It's saying, "I don't consider any one, or any thing, or any cause in life worthy of commitment. I am only committed to me." That's called selfishness.