“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him,‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” Mark 12:28-30.
We speak much about commitment. Couples are committed to their marriages. Parents are committed to their children. Men are committed to their jobs. Of course, as Christians, our primary commitment is to Jesus as our Savior and our Lord. He is our top priority,
transcending all other priorities and commitments. At least, He is supposed to be. The truth is, however, that with so many other competing claims on our time, talent, and treasure, fulfilling our commitment to Jesus can be somewhat of a challenge; not in word, but in deed. In fact, words alone do not a commitment make. A couple may claim to be committed to their marriage, yet, if they are unfaithful to one another, are they truly committed? Parents may claim to be committed to their children, yet, if they spend little time with them, are they truly committed? A man may claim to be committed to his job, but if he fails to show up at work, is he truly committed?
Of course, there are various levels of commitment in our lives. Our commitment to work is not the same as our commitment to family; and rightly so, as our family is of more importance
than our work. Which is precisely why Jesus is to be our top priority; He is of more importance than even our family. The question is, does our life truly reflect our commitment? In other words, do we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; not only in word, but also in deed?
The old story is told of a pig and a hen discussing their respective levels of commitment to their master. Both were very committed to providing for the farmer’s needs, but as the pig pointed out, his commitment was a lot greater than the hen’s. The hen had only to provide the eggs, whereas, he had to provide the bacon! The point, of course, is simple – without action there is no true commitment. As with faith, so also with commitment; without works, it is dead. What then is the evidence of a heart truly committed to Christ and His Church; giving, worshiping, praying, witnessing, and ministering, of such as these are the fruit of true commitment to Christ. For of such as these are the work of His Kingdom. And of such fruit do we desperately need an increase at such a time as this.
Every member of our congregation is called to be faithful in giving their tithes and offerings. Every member of our congregation is called to be faithful in attending worship. Every member of our congregation is called to be faithful in supporting the various events, programs, and ministries. Every member of our congregation is called upon to be a faithful witness to the lost, the least, and the lonely. Every member of our congregation is to be faithful in prayer both personally and corporately. This was the covenant commitment made by each of us when we joined this congregation. It is a reflection and manifestation of our commitment to Christ and the work of His Kingdom. It is only as all of us rise up in unity and fulfill our commitment that we will be the Church God has called us to be, and do the work God has called us to do. Remember we are a Flagship for Christ; a battleship, not a cruise ship. We need all hands on deck. Praise God for all His faithful ones whose commitment is strong and steady. May it be true of all of us at such a time as this: a time of great challenge, yet a time of great opportunity.This is our duty; this is our destiny. For God has raised us up for such a time as this.