No professional musician becomes a success overnight. In fact, most would admit that to reach the pinnacle of success requires practice, practice, and then more practice. But success also requires being committed and disciplined in learning your craft. Apostle Paul told Timothy to, “do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth” (The Voice). That’s the kind of commitment it takes for you, as a Christian, to grow and mature spiritually so you can be what God has called you to be, and accomplish what God assigned you to do. Purpose to study God’s Word so you can effectively lead others to Him.
In John 13:34, New Living Translation, Jesus said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” That was not a suggestion. Jesus called it a “commandment.” It was an order that He fully intended for His disciples to obey. His desire is the same for you and me today. He wants us to lead others to Him by revealing His love in our lives. To do that, we must become determined and committed to becoming more and more like Him in every way, including our serving, our giving—and our LOVE toward others.
Thursday is Valentine’s Day. Likely, there’s someone special in your life to whom you’re prepared to pledge your love and unfailing commitment. Perhaps you’ll shower them with flowers, chocolates or some other gift. Or maybe you’ll make a vow of commitment over a romantic candlelight dinner. Those kinds of expressions are merely reflections of how the world expresses love. But God proved His true love when He made the ultimate sacrifice by giving His Son, Jesus, so we could be redeemed and restored to a right relationship with Him. It’s because of His example that we should learn to be committed—first in serving and obeying Him, and then in serving others and sharing the good news of the gospel.
Do you talk about Jesus to others? Commitment to God doesn’t end with just serving Him. It also involves discipleship—being willing to tell others about Jesus so they can know Him. All around the world, people are struggling to gain stability in unstable environments. They’re looking for something or someone they can trust and believe in. They don’t want fake; they want the real deal. Apostle Paul knew Jesus was the “real deal,” and boldly declared, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16, New International Version). Don’t be ashamed of the gospel. And don’t keep your relationship with Jesus a secret. Tell others about Jesus, and how He has impacted your life, so they can seek Him for themselves. The world is depending on you.
If you are a believer, everything about your life as a Christian is based on faith. Faith that God is who He says He is and that He will do for you all that He says He will do. That kind of faith requires commitment and discipline. It requires standing firm and not being willing to give in whenever trouble comes your way. Jesus told us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, New King James Version).” That, Jesus said, “is the first and greatest commandment (verse 38).” It’s also total commitment! There’s no such thing as serving God part-time. Either we commit to serve Him 100 percent, or we give Him nothing at all.
As believers, we are all on a faith journey. And to successfully reach our goal, not only must we be committed but we must be disciplined and determined. Throughout His years of ministry on the earth, Jesus demonstrated what it means to be truly committed—to live a disciplined life that is pleasing to the Father. He told His disciples: “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it” (John 12:49, New Living Translation). God is pleased when we obey Him—when we say what He says and obey what He tells us. Beginning Monday, we’ll look at what it means to be committed to God and His Word, and how we can discipline ourselves to be obedient to His Word so we can have a great impact on the lives of others for their good.
In Romans 12:1, Apostle Paul admonished the Church by saying, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” In other words, Paul said that for us to be able to do anything for God, to work in any capacity on His behalf and for His glory and have a positive impact on others, our bodies must be offered to God as belonging to Him, and our lives prepared to serve Him. Why? Because that’s the only way God will accept service from us.
Being holy is not about an outward appearance. Holiness has to do with what’s on the inside of a person—their humble, Christ-like heart and attitude that’s governed or led by the Holy Spirit. It has to do with how you apply God’s Word to your heart and life, and how equipped or prepared you are to represent Jesus Christ to the world. When you live that kind of life, you will always be ready to be used by God.
If God awakened you in the middle of the night and said, “I’m about to send you on a mission that only you can accomplish for My glory,” would you be prepared? I would hope that your love for God and your desire to please Him is so great that you would be as quick to respond to Him as the prophet Isaiah was when the Lord asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah quickly responded, “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
If you’re born again, God has given you an assignment—the same one Jesus gave His disciples when He told them to go preach the gospel and make an impact on the world. In Mark 16:15, The Message, He said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned.” Sharing God’s Word can be difficult at times. But He has entrusted you with the assignment, obviously because He trusts you to get the job done. How are you responding? Are you allowing Him to use you to preach the gospel and impact the world, so that others will be blessed? God is trusting and depending on you.
In Luke 9:62, the Bible says: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” But read how that scripture is translated in The Message. It says, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” If you’re serious about your relationship and fellowship with God, and you desire to see others know and love Him as you do, then I’m sure you know how important it is that we, as members of His Body, obey that instruction. I’m also sure that you won’t be found guilty of procrastination when it comes to doing your part by diligently sharing God’s Word with others.
Jesus placed a lot of trust in the hands of His disciples when He instructed them to go make an impact in the world. He told them to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15, New Living Translation). He has placed that same trust in you and me today, and He expects the same results—that men, women and children would believe on the Name of Jesus and come to know Him as Lord and Savior. You can accomplish everything God has called you to do, and impact the world, but only if you are obediently moving forward. Will you accept the challenge?