Charles Stanley in his book, "Confronting Casual Christianity" makes the following statements regarding commitment:
"Why do you suppose that there are close to 100 million church members in America, yet they are not making more of a moral and spiritual impact? Why is that on Sunday morning thousands of churches have more empty pews than full? Why is that the average SS in America has less than 66 in attendance and the average worship service has 84? Why is that only 50% of the number on any church membership roll can be expected to attend? The answer to all of these questions is tragically simple! God's people have made a decision about Jesus, but never made a commitment to Him"
When a pilot of a giant airline is speeding down the runway, there is a certain point where staying on the ground is no longer an option. When he crosses that line, he is committed to the air! If he decides not to take off there is a possibility of a disastrous crash.
In Romans 12:1-2 there is a very serious challenge for all of us to "get off the ground". Paul writes saying, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service, and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (NKJV)
There are three clear calls to commitment that every believer has to face. This is based on the fact that you have made more than a decision about Christ and that you already made a personal commitment to Christ.
1. There must be a commitment to personal growth.
We are to make a commitment to grow spiritually. This includes reading your Bible on a daily basis! You must pray (and more than just a few minutes during the day). Read good Christain literature. I have found that it is best for me to do this early in the morning! I have found that if I don't begin the day with scripture and communing with Christ, I rarely never get around to practicing this daily spiritual discipline.
2. Commitment to the Local Body.
The local church is the first level of commitment outside of our personal relationship with the Lord. Yes, the local church has imperfections, but it is still the Lord's primary avenue through which he accomplishes His work. There are a lot of Christians that see other things in their life as necessary, such as recreation, yardwork, entertainment, and sporting events. Unfortunately, there are many that don't find coming together every week with the local body of believers as being necessary. Commitment to the local church really demands loyalty. I thought that perhaps after the COVID pandemic came to an end, we would find that people who use to come regularly would continue being a part of the local church. Sadly, this isn't the case in some of the churches that I have heard about. I find it a joy in my life to be together with other believers on Sundays and other times during the week to serve, grow, and minister alongside the other believers in the local church. I have heard some people say that I don't have to attend church every week, I can just spend my time by myself with God. We do need to spend time alone with God, but I know personally that I need to be around other Christians for fellowship and encouragement and experience the joy of serving and ministering in the local community with fellow believers.
3. Commitment to Ministry
Commitment to the local church means that we are actively using our talents and gifts to serve in the church's various ministries. Paul reminds us in Romans 12:6 that "we have different gifts according to the grace given us". Ministry means putting those gifts to work. We need to be a part of what the church is doing, not just spectators.
I challenge every believer to make a commitment in each of these areas. We will never reach a lost and dying world if we just casually live out our life as a Christian! We are to daily present our bodies as a living sacrifice which means dying to self. We are not to be conformed to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed through the renewing of our minds and we do this by a daily commitment to spending time with the Lord and being committed to the local church!
It's time we get off of the ground and COMMIT!
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