Summary: Commitment is the key to discovering the blessings of God
The Power of Commitment
July 9, 2005
A certain man wanted to sell his house in Haiti for two thousand dollars and another man wanted badly to purchase the house. The problem was that the man who wanted to purchase the house could not come up with enough money to buy the house. After a great deal of negotiating the owner of the house agree to sell the house for half of the original amount under one condition. He would still own one nail that hung over the home’s front door. The agreement was made and the sale of the house was completed.
After a few years the original owner of the house wanted to buy the house back but the new owner refused to sell. So the first owner went out and found the carcass of a dead dog and hung it on the nail that he still owned in the house. Before long the house became so unliveable that the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail.
The sad reality is that the same is true of those who leave just one area of their life uncommitted to Christ. The one small unowned nail can have some rotting garbage hung on it and devastate our spiritual life. Our most desperate need as Christians is to have every area of our lives committed to walking with Christ.
Our culture is one that does not see commitment as something of importance any more. Here are just a few statistics to prove my point.
Signs of Reduced Commitments in Life (America 1990)
1. The divorce rate is climbing: half of all new marriages end in divorce
2. Adults feel that they have fewer close friends than did adults in past decades
3. Brand loyalty in consumer purchasing studies has dropped in most product categories, and by as much as 60% in some categories.
4. The proportion of people willing to join an organization is declining in relation to churches, labor unions, political parties, clubs and community associations.
5. Book clubs and record clubs are less likely to attract new members when multiple year or multi-product commitments were required.
6. The percentage of adults who sense a duty to fight for their country, regardless of the cause, has dropped.
7. The percentage of people who commit to attend events but fail to show is on the rise
8. Today’s parents are less likely to believe that it is important to remain in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the children than they were 20 years ago.
Cited from The Frog in the Kettle by George Barna
Jesus is on a great search for people who will make an unswerving commitment to follow Him. This morning open your bibles to Luke 9:57-62.
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 59 He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." 61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." 62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
I. There is a problem with mere involvement
The first man in this passage makes a very powerful and profound promise to Jesus that he would follow Him wherever he went. I believe that the man was sincere, he wanted to follow Jesus, he wanted to be a part of what Jesus was doing, and he wanted to make a difference. All of these things are good things that might motivate some of us here this morning but I want you to understand something extremely clear the desire to serve must also be coupled with the right reason for serving.
It would seem that the man described here was willing to be involved with the ministry of Jesus and there was nothing wrong with that other than the fact that Jesus was looking for something more. Jesus was looking for a total and full commitment.
The difference between involvement and commitment is like an eggs and ham breakfast - the chicken was involved but the pig was committed. - Unknown
The sad reality is that most people settle for being involved without ever making a commitment. The pun about the chicken and the pig is funny but how close to home does that hit when we honestly look at the commitments we have made in our lives.