Last Thrusday, I spoke to a dorm fellowship on the topic of commitment. I’m not fond of doing topicals so as usual, I worked around it using a core passage. I’ll be posting the handout notes below:
I. Warming up:
What comes to your mind when you hear about the word commitment?
How many times do you think is the word commitment mentioned in the Bible?
*The word commit, when used, usually means ‘to do’, and is usually linked with committing sin.
*In other instances, it is used to mean to leave into the hands of another – ‘ipaubaya’, psalm 31:5, Jesus committing his spirit Luke 23:46
*in the dictionary, it simply means an engagement or obligation
But what does Jesus have to say about commitment?
II. Jesus on Commitment
*Hordes of people were following Jesus
*But Jesus did not want simple followers, he wanted disciples.
“Jesus seems to distrust a large following, aware that for many of them this was just a popular movement, a “happening,” rather than any deep commitment.
I saw this phenomenon in the 60s in the Charismatic Movement of which I was a part. It did much good, but there was so much fluff, so much superficiality, so much shallowness.” –Dr.Ralph F. Wilson
A. Hating family and self – A commitment to follow Jesus tramples upon all other commitments – namely to family, relatives, and self-interest (v.26)
B. Hating life – A commitment to follow Jesus would naturally include the commitment to disown one’s life and the willingness to forego personal safety (v.27).
C. Forsake Everything – Jesus wants us to be ready to say goodbye to anything we hold dear (v33)
D. Tower-building – These structures take a considerable amount of time and resources to build. Only fools would go into them haphazardly.
>Pyramids of Egypt – 20-30 years to complete
>Great Wall of China – Work was done from 5th Century BC to 16th Century AD
> The Podium Mall – an example of an unfinished tower
E. “Cannot be my disciple” – Jesus repeated this statement thrice (vv26,27,33), emphasizing his point that following him should not be taken lightly. (‘cannot’ – literally, to be incapable or powerless)
*Jesus did not tell this primarily to dissuade people into believing and following him, he simply made clear to them the implications of commitment.
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:3-4
III. Principles of Commitment
A. Sit down – hurrying will most likely lead to ‘ningas-kugon’ moments. Take your time before deciding
B. Count the Cost – weigh the odds and decide objectively if you can do it. We cannot say yes to everything
C. Forecast/foresee – ‘preview’ the future with the commitment in question: consider sustainability until completion.
All commitments are a subset of our commitment to Christ, and must therefore be treated as things done for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Our commitment to Christ is for a lifetime. The words short term and long term are only used to define where our efforts are directed towards as of the moment. In essence, the sum of these collective efforts should be equal to our life mission.
Examples of Commitment in Action:
William Wilberforce (Christian and British Government Official)
One year after his conversion, God’s apparent calling on his life had become clear to him. On October 28, 1787, he wrote in his diary, “God Almighty has placed before me two great Objects, the Suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners [morals].”2
Though he never lost a parliamentary election from age twenty-one to sixty-five, the cause of abolishing the slave trade was defeated eleven times
before its passage in 1807. And the battle for abolishing slavery itself did not gain the decisive victory until three days
before he died in 1833.
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8)
Your Ates and Kuyas
Think of the people you admire or look up to for their commitment. How do they live their lives?
> Given Jesus’ words, have I really understood what it means to commit my life to Christ?
> Am I treating all my current commitments (i.e. family obligations, acads, org roles) as if they were to be done for the glory of God?
> What big decisions do I have to make that needs sitting down? Have I really given careful thought to them?