Summary: This sermon calls for four areas of committment. 1. Commitment to FELLOWSHIP. (Membership) 2. Commitment to LEARNING. (Discipleship) 3. Commitment to MINISTRY. 4. Commitment to OUTREACH.
[Note: Our church has a discipleship program known as CLASS. Christian Life And Service Seminars. This is a four step process to help Christians grow. Here are the courses:
CLASS 101 - Discovering My Membership (Fellowship)
CLASS 201 - Discovering Maturity (Discipleship)
CLASS 301 - Discovering My Ministry (Ministry)
CLASS 401 - Discovering My Mission (Outreach)
This sermon is designed to get our people to sign up and get involved. This sermon can still be used even if you don’t have a "CLASS" program in your church.]
Called To Commitment
Today I want to talk about making commitments.
Are you aware that there is a huge difference between making a decision and making a commitment? Let me give you an example of making a decision. When I go out to a restaurant and I am handed a menu – I have to make a decision about what I am going to eat. Depending on the restaurant – I have dozen of items to choose from. Sometimes I have made a decision and that is the end of it. Other times I make a decision and change my mind at the last minute with no adverse outcome. There have even been a few rare occasions when the order had been sent to kitchen and I have asked to have the order changed. I changed my mind – I decided on something else – no problem the order can be adjusted.
Making a commitment is somewhat different. There is no such thing as partial commitment when it comes to flying a plane. When the pilot of a giant airliner is speeding down the runway, there is a certain point on the runway where he cannot decide to remain on the ground. When he crosses that line, he is committed to getting that plane in the air – or the plane will crash. That pilot cannot change his mind when the plane is two-thirds of the way down the runway. He MUST get the plane off the ground. At that point a total commitment is called for. A total commitment must be made.
Webster’s Dictionary defines commitment as: “a decision that can not be recalled”
Jesus understood this concept when he entered the garden the night before he was to be crucified. He knew what was before Him. He knew what the future was to hold. He was on the runway. Time was passing – not only must a decision be made – but a commitment had to be made as well. A commitment was made:
“Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me — nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42 (HCSB)
Jesus made a 100% commitment that night to the Father. That commitment led Jesus to the cross. That commitment led Jesus to His crucifixion.
I will not kid you – here is a FACT:
Commitment Is COSTLY.
To the Boxer, it’s getting up off the mat one more time after you have been knocked down so many times you can’t even keep track of them. To the marathoner, it’s running another ten miles when you don’t think you can take another step. To the soldier, it’s going over the hill when you don’t know what’s waiting on the other side. To the missionary, it’s saying good-bye to your own comfort so that you can bring the good news to others. To the Christian, it’s putting Christ in charge of your life – even when you don’t know what He is going to expect from you or where He is going to lead you. Commitment may mean – getting up one more time – going ten miles more – or going over a hill into the unknown. Commitment is saying "yes" when you haven’t even heard the question. Jesus calls us to commitment. Look at our text for today:
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Mark 1:17-18 (NKJV)
I believe that the call Jesus gave to his first disciples – He also gives to us. “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” A problem we have today in God’s church today is that some people have made a decision about Jesus...but have never made a commitment to Jesus. Today I want you to make a commitment to Jesus. Today I want you to say that in 2008 I am going to deepen my commitment to Jesus. I am going to follow Him 100%. I am going to commit to follow Him - wherever He leads.
I believe that in following Christ there are layers of commitment. The first layer is asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. It is asking Jesus to come into your heart for forgiveness. That commitment leads to salvation. That is the beginning of your Christian walk. I also believe that there are calls of commitment beyond the call to salvation. Today I want us to examine four clear calls of commitment that every believer must face.