Summary: Commit your life to God in the new year
Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God- this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good pleasing and perfect will.(TNIV)
There is a store told about a pig and a chicken walking down the road together. As they walked along they read a sign advertising a breakfast to benefit the poor. The Chicken said to the pig “You and I should donate a ham and egg breakfast”, the pig replied “Not so fast for you it would just be a contribution but for me it would be a total commitment. (Encyclopedia of 7700 illustration)
The pig at least understood that it is not possible to offer a partial sacrifice neither is it possible to offer a partial commitment.
We as Christians must understand that when we commit to Christ it is not a half hearted thing. Once we make the decision to follow Christ we must commit to the things that Christ held dear. Christ was completely committed to his role as Savior. When tempted by Satan he stayed committed to his goal. When upon the cross he stayed committed to his goal. Christ was committed to our salvation. Christ was also committed to the growth of his people, teaching his followers how to pray, how to live a life that would be pleasing to God.
Christ tells us that once we have salvation that we should not look back we should stay committed to that which was started in us. Christ promises that if we are faithful that he is faithful and just to complete that work he started in us. So we as Christians need to commit to our personal growth by studying his word. We should always be committed to learn. From the point of Salvation till we see his face we should be about learning. Philippians 3:12-14 Paul states”
not that I have already obtained all this or have already arrived at my goal but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me, Brother and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
It is a life long commitment. To commit ourselves to God means that we are yielding ourselves to him. We are entrusting ourselves to him. We are to relinquish control and allow him to be the guiding force in our life. True commitment is not something you can take back.
Christ was also committed to his Bride (Church)
The local church is the first level of commitment outside of our personal relationship with Christ. The local Church with all its imperfection is still the Lord’s avenue through which he wants to accomplish his work here on earth.
The Church comes together to worship, uplift, teach, fellowship and to gain the power needed to live a God centered life.
Hebrews 10:25 states
Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching.
Members who give up on meeting together forfeit the power of a corporate identity. But some people just do not see church attendance as a necessity. In far too many lives church attendance seems to be relegated to last place of important things to do.
Commitment to church is deeper than just attendance of the worship service but it does start there. Commitment to the church means deciding on a church home and moving in for a permanent stay. It means if you hold a position in the church serve that position with pride and put all you have into it. Commitment to the church means that you give so that the church can meet its obligations. Christ was so committed to the church that he gave his all should we expect any less of ourselves. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 Paul writes
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit distributes them, there are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of works but in all of them and everyone it is the same God at work.(TNIV)
We are told that God has sovereignly places individuals with the various gifts in each of the churches. If the persons with these gifts are not using their gift then those jobs are not being done. We must commit ourselves to the ministry of the local church and use the gift that God has given us.