Preacher's Pulpit                                 Dr. Joe Tims

TEXT: Matthew 22:36-38

SUBJ: Commitment

The difference between a person who says he is saved and one who has truly become a disciple of Christ is commitment.

A commitment is something that we deposit or entrust to someone else for safe keeping.

To be committed as a Christian means that you have handed over to Christ your life and that you will seek to please Him and not yourself.

The disciples understood what it meant to be committed.

All of the apostles were insulted by the enemies of their Master.

They were called to seal their doctrines with their blood and they did so with great character.

History records for us that each suffered for their faith in Christ.

Matthew suffered martyrdom by being slain with a sword at a distant city of Ethiopia.

Mark expired at Alexandria, after being cruelly dragged through the streets of that city.

Luke was hanged upon an olive tree in the classic land of Greece.

John was put in a caldron of boiling oil, but escaped death in a miraculous manner and was afterward banished to Patmos.

Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downward.

James, the Greater, was beheaded at Jerusalem.

James, the Less, was thrown from a lofty pinnacle of the temple, and then beaten to death with a fuller's club.

Bartholomew was flayed alive.

Andrew was bound to a cross, whence he preached to his persecutors until he died.

Thomas was run through the body with a lance in the East Indies.

Jude was shot to death with arrows.

Matthias was first stoned and then beheaded

Barnabas of the Gentiles was stoned to death at Salonica.

Paul, after various tortures and persecutions, was at length beheaded at Rome by the Emperor Nero.

Such was the fate of the apostles, according to traditional statements.

They were committed to their Lord.

I want us to look at five biblical commitments God wants each one of us to make.

I. God Wants Us To Be Committed To Loving Him.

(Matthew 22:36-38 KJV)  "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? {37}Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. {38}This is the first and great commandment."

A. With all our heart.

1. To love Him with all the heart is to fix the affections supremely on Him, more strongly than on anything else.

2. And to be willing to give up all that we hold dear at His command.

B. With all our soul.

1. This means giving up our life.

2. And to even die if He commands.

C. With all our mind.

1. This is to submit our intellect to His will.

2. To devote to Him all our intellectual attainments.

3. To submit all our faculties to His teaching and guidance.

II. God Wants You To Be Committed To Lovingly Serve Your Neighbor

(Luke 10:25-28 KJV)  "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? {26}He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? {27}And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. {28}And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."

A. By loving him (my neighbor) as myself, seeking the welfare of those around me as I would my own. (V27)

1. The bottom line is that we are to care for the needs of others.

2. Jesus lived His entire life on earth for others.

3. Not just for those who loved Him, but for those who hated Him as well.

B. By showing mercy.

1. We need to show our community the mercy of the gospel.

2. But they will never listen to us until they are convinced we care.

3. Once a person realizes that we care, they will listen to whatever we have to say.

4. I am not advocating social causes and programs, but I am talking about genuine Christianity.

III. God Wants Us To Be Committed To A Plan For Personal Spiritual Growth.

A. Plan to spend time in the Word of God

(John 14:21-24 KJV)  "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. {22}Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? {23}Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. {24}He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."

B. Plan to spend time in prayer

(Luke 18:1 KJV)  "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;"

C. Plan to memorize God's Word.

(Psalms 119:11 KJV)  "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

D. Plan on incorporating the principles of God's Word into our everyday lives.

IV. God Wants Us To Be Committed To Our Membership In The Local Church Family.

A. There is a right way to behave in God's family.

(1 Timothy 3:15 KJV)  "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

B. God wants us to care for each other.

(1 Corinthians 12:18-27 KJV)  "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. {19}And if they were all one member, where were the body? {20}But now are they many members, yet but one body. {21}And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. {22}Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: {23}And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. {24}For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: {25}That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. {26}And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. {27}Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."

V. God Wants Me To Be Committed To The Great Commission

(Matthew 28:18-20 KJV)  "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. {19}Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {20}Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

A. Evangelize the world.

B. Baptize those who believe into the church.

C. Disciple them through the teaching of God's Word.

Conclusion: Are we committed to loving Him? Are we committed to lovingly serving our neighbor? Are we committed to a plan for personal spiritual growth? Are we committed to our membership in the local church family? Are we committed to the great commission?  Commitment will make the difference in our lives.

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