Sunday, January 17, 2016

Journey 2016 - Commitment (1/17/16)

Today was the third sermon in the series "Journey 2016".  The word for today is Commitment.  In commitment we are called to accountability, integrity, and personal discipline.  

Most people would rather bail out than to stay committed.  A lack of commitment is a detriment to one's spiritual life.  The text for today is from Psalm 37:5:  Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.
1.  Commitment to Jesus is Essential

Luke 9:57-62 - The Cost of Following Jesus
As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
These men all showed a willingness to get involved to follow Jesus, but without making a commitment to totally follow Him.  Other things were more important to them.  

Story:  A chicken and a hog were walking along the street and saw the following marquee on the church sign:  "Feed The Poor".  The chicken said to the hog, "We should feed breakfast to the poor."  The hog said back to the chicken, "That's easy for you to say.  You only have to make a contribution, but for me it is a total commitment."  (ham and eggs)  For Brother Hog it was a complete sacrifice, as in Romans 12:1:
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
A commitment to follow Jesus is 24/7/365.

2.  Jesus Exemplifies Commitment

Jesus gave His life for us.
Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3.  Jesus' Sacrifice Demands My Commitment

In His journey, Jesus became a living sacrifice so that we can follow His example.
I Peter 2:21
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

Peter had a three year journey with Jesus, but ended up denying Him.  He failed Jesus.  After Jesus died, Peter went back to fishing, his former life.  After the resurrection, Jesus went to the Sea of Tiberius to find Peter.  He reminded Peter of his calling to follow Jesus.  
John 21:15-17
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep."

Jesus had not given up on Peter.  He offered Peter His forgiveness, and reminded him of his calling to total commitment.  On our journey we may mess up, but the love of God compels us to repent and go forward in our commitment.

No comments: