Summary: Commitment is a cornerstone of discipleship and it is actually the cornerstone of any endeavor in life that holds meaning.
Four Calls To Discipleship Series
The Call To Commit
In October we are talking about Four Calls to Discipleship. Last week we spent time with the Call to Love - to love God which leads us to love others. The call of Discipleship for today is the Call To Commit.
Commitment is a cornerstone of discipleship and it is actually the cornerstone of any endeavor in life that holds meaning. Education, Marriage, Career, Recreation - all demand.
Vince Lombardi: “I would say that the quality of each man’s life is the full measure of that man’s commitment of excellence and victory – whether it be football, whether it be business, whether it be politics or government or what have you.”
Rick Warren: Nothing Shapes Your Life More Than The Commitments You Choose To Make.
Our commitment to be disciples of Jesus is the same.
1. The Bible Encourages Commitment
Psalm 39:5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him…
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
1 Timothy 4:14-16 Don’t neglect the gift that is in you … Practice these things; be committed to them…Pay close
attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Mark 8:34-35 Calling the crowd along with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the gospel will save it.
Someone defined commitment this way: Commitment is courage to change. Commitment speaks ‘YES’ over and over. There is no room for ‘NO’. Commitment is loyalty. Commitment is reliability. Commitment is devotedness. Commitment is not quitting when it’s getting boring, challenging or discouraging. (Kathryn)
2. A Great Example of Commitment: Ruth
Ruth’s story takes place in the times of the judges. Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted.
The story of Ruth is told around the plight of her mother in law, Naomi. Naomi was married to Elimelech and they
had two sons: Mahlon and Chilion.
They moved to Moab. Sons married Moabite women: Ruth and Orpah.
Sadly, Naomi’s husband died and also her two sons.
There were limited options for widow in ancient Israel.
Widowed / childless, Naomi had no one to care for her.
This is worst fate an Israelite woman could experience.
Naomi prepares to go back to her home in Bethlehem, she urges daughters in law to return to their families.
Through tears, Orpah says goodbye and heads home.
Ruth’s Famous Reply: Ruth 1:16-18
This well-known statement is a demonstration of great commitment. Ruth’s Commitments:
Your people will be my people - Naomi didn’t have any people waiting on her in Bethlehem, but whatever her plight, Ruth was with her.
Your God will be my God. Ruth was committed to Israel’s God as her Lord.
Where you die I will die and be buried. Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi would not be “until death”but transcend it.
Ruth abandons all primary markers of her identity as a Moabite -putting Naomi’s needs above her own.
Our commitment to Jesus must be the same: we will be His people, we will serve His Father, and we will give our lives to Him.
3. Discipleship: The Decision to be His People (MK 3:31-35)
Commit to God - whoever does the will of God. What is different about your life now that you have given it to God?
Discipleship is the decision that doing God’s will is of supreme importance. Not just a partial interest.
Vance Havner: A Wife Who Is 85 Percent Faithful To Her Husband Is Not Faithful At All. There Is No Such Thing As Part-Time Loyalty To Jesus Christ.
Commit to the people of God. - is my brother and sister and mother. Discipleship is not an individual journey in every way - it is also a team journey, taken with others who love God. Loving and serving others on the way,
John 13:34-35 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Commit to a new way of life. When we do the will of God with the people of God, we are entering into a new life. Just as Ruth joined with Naomi in her new life, we commit to God and one another to live differently than the world.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
What must we get rid of that belonged to the old life?