Pliny the Elder, was a Roman writer who lived during the same time period as Jesus. He told a story of the setting of an obelisk, which when erect would stand 99 feet tall. Twenty thousand workers were chosen to pull on the ropes and activate the hoisting apparatus.
There was great responsibility and risk in the operation. Just one error could cause the obelisk to fall, ruining years of work. The King demanded one act which insured the complete attention of the engineer.
He ordered the engineer’s own son to be strapped to the apex of the obelisk, so that his heart as well as his head would be committed to the task.
The Bible doesn’t use the word commitment, but definitely speaks of the virtue and value of Christian commitment. Consider some of Jesus’ exhortations regarding commitment.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matt 6:24) Commitment!
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matt 10:37) Commitment!
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (LK. 9:23) Commitment!
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (MK. 8:35) Commitment!
“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (LK. 9:62). Commitment!
Being a Christian involves more than just “joining a church,” attending some services, or contributing money when the collection plate is passed. In fact, Christianity is more about “being” than “doing.” Yes, I know, we must obey. We are commanded “to do” His will. Yet, if our actions are not driven by our commitment to Christ, they are in vain.
Commitment has to do dedication. Devotion. And loyalty. Commitment requires persistence. Patience. And prioritizing. Commitment demands self-sacrifice. Self discipline. And self-improvement.
Neil Strauss wrote, “Without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything, whether it’s a relationship, a business or a hobby.” It’s true spiritually, as well.
Commitment begins in the heart. The heart is the source of life’s issues (Prov. 4:23). The Bible “heart” is the whole of man. Conscience. Intellect. Emotions. And the Will.
Commitment is induced by our conscience. Those on Pentecost were “cut to the heart” The saw a need to change. For a new commitment. And they dedicated themselves to Christ.
Commitment is established by intellect. It is a decision. A choice. There is a song that says, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” Decisions are made as we process information and through reasoning make a commitment.”
Commitment is fueled by passion. One cannot be truly committed without a fervent desire. The object of our commitment is the focus of faith, hope and love. Feel the passion in Paul’s words!
“I Fight..” 1 Cor 9:26
“I Run…” 1 Cor 9:26
“I Press…” Phil 3:14
“I Labor…” Col 1:29
“I Suffer…” 2 Tim 2:9
“I Strive…” Ax 24:16
“I Persuade…” Gal. 1:10
“I Commit…” 1 Tim 1:18
Commitment is sustained by will or volition. When Barnabas came to Antioch he encouraged the brethren “that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord” (Ac 11:23).
Art Turock was right when he wrote, “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstanceS permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”
Christ calls for Commitment. To His mission. To His ministry. To His message. Will you answer the call? Will I?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman