April 15, 2008

Is our commitment to Christ in focus?

Billy Graham stated that “it takes 5% effort to win a person to Christ and 95% effort to keep him in Christ and growing to maturity”. There are two reasons for this, the first reason being that sometimes as Christians we fail to count the cost that was paid in order for our salvation. We fail to understand the commitment involved in our relationship with Christ. (Luke 14:26-33) The second issue is the fact that we fail to recognize how our attitudes or social calendar pertain to the Kingdom of God and eternity. Because of this, Christians can remain immature and shallow in their faith and never move on to the “solid food” that leads to spiritual maturity in our faith in Christ. We think that attending Sunday service and Sunday school is enough for the truth of God’s word to take root in our heart when in fact it’s not. Our lives become so full due to our interests and activities that we neglect to prioritize correctly and so the most important relationship in our life, that with Christ, is neglected. Our minds become focused on too many things and we begin to push Him to the side and off the throne of our lives.

Our generation lives such a fast pace life that it makes our commitment to Christ incredibly difficult. We live in a time when we have been taught that our days belongs to us and that our calendars should be filled with activities and events. We are taught by the secular world that if our children are not involved in every extra curricular activity out there that they are being deprived and will suffer as adults. How many of us have bought into that lie?

We rush through life trying to please ourselves and earn our worth and significance. Consequently, like every other day, we are all guilty of hurrying through Sunday morning services, quiet times, bible study groups, God appointed conversations etc because we have birthday parties to attend, games to watch, a road trip to start, kids to put down for a nap, lawns to groom or special lunch dates. We check the Sunday service off the list and keep moving. Do we really think that is how God intended for His day to go? There is someone who is thrilled with our busyness and checklist commitment to Christ. He has filled our head with the satisfaction of productivity and our focus is then taken off of the One who gave us life and the time that we try so meticulously to manage/budget. To think that the system our Creator designed to bring Him glory ends up being the system we end up serving! It’s the system we use with good intentions but becomes the obstacle that places us back on the throne. Please understand that we’re not saying that extra curricular activities are bad. We should be involved in them, and use them to serve and honor God in the way in which He has called each of us. We are to be good stewards of everything in which the Lord entrusts us. However, we are cautioning against over commitment and/or misaligned priorities ….. busyness that keeps us too tied up to hear when the Lord is speaking to us.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of His great love for us God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 2:1-5

We are indebted to God for all He has done for us and our commitment to Him should not be distracted or overshadowed by the things of this world. We should not be swept up into the rhythm of this world which leads us serving the ruler of this earth. Before Christ entered our lives we were self-centered people who craved sinful and ugly things. We lived our lives for ourselves and focused on our own happiness. Once Christ came into our lives, He gave us life and peace when we chose Him over all else. When we finally understand this commitment and personally accept it, our lives change. Then, we have a sense of devotion and longing to follow Him and commit every part of our lives to Him. Once we have found this there is a peace and calm in our spirit, and we are able to be still before Him.

Where does your commitment stand? Do you place your relationship and commitment with Christ on the same level as that of your spouse, your children, your friends, your work, your obligations? How does God fit into your social calendar? Or is there even any room? If it were possible to take a picture of your life what would be in the front and focused and what would be in the background out of focus? Would your commitment to Christ clearly be the focus of your life?


"Father, I pray for discernment in our lives. Help us to see the difference between what’s of You and what is for our own gain.. Help us to seek holiness and obedience in all that we do and never settle for anything less. Let us not fill our living with good things and good tasks that lead us to neglect what You have set before us. I pray that our hearts long after You and that we become consumed with an unadulterated commitment to You and Your purpose for us. In that choosing let us not be self righteous, prideful or legalistic, but humble, gentle and true. Show us the true importance of the life You’ve given us and make clear those things that hinders us from being obedient. And, in our doing (however big or small it may be), I pray that our lives be a reflection of You to the world around us."

Written by Nicole

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