Go Read Philippians 2:8 and skim back through Wednesday’s post from this week.
I know we already studied Phil. 2:8. Go read it again.
<> What is the divorce rate in America?
<> Is the divorce rate any better amongst Evangelical Christians than society at large?
<> What are the implications of these statistics?
When a nation gets to a point that more than half the time, the second biggest commitment we ever make in our lives ends up completely failing, I think it’s time to do some soul searching. I don’t just mean on an individual level – I think our entire country and generation is suffering from a commitment-phobia epidemic. When church-subculture is indistinguishable from the society at large, we have some HUGE issues. Before you go arguing -- “Well hey, a lot of people who claim to be Christians aren’t and haven’t you heard about the sheep and the goats and the wheat and the. . .” -- calm down. Let’s all take a deep breath and just admit the truth: We don’t commit to anything.
Or worse. We commit to everything and we commit to everything in a half-committed way. Environment? Sounds good – I’ll recycle and use my 12 miles to the gallon SUV to bring my trash to the landfill. Education? SURE! I’ll try out 5 or 6 degree programs, especially while mom and dad are paying for it. Church? Love it. I love it so much I go to 4 and I get something different from each one of them. Marriage? That looks like fun. We’ll give it a go for 7 years or so, and since I hear that that’s when things get rough, no one will question me if things don’t work out – I can get over the fact that breaking my vows means I have next to no integrity at all.
<> Are you a commitment phobic?
<> Are you overcommitted to the point that everything in your life is getting half-commitment? (Here’s a good way to know: If you are constantly breaking your commitments but always have the PERFECT excuse to justify it because everything in your life is completely and validly important. . . )
The Commitment-Obedience Connection
The amount you are committed to something is directly related to the amount you will sacrifice for it. A father who is completely committed to the well being of his wife and children will lay down his life to protect them. A member of a church who is connected intimately and completely bought into the mission God has given to the church will do incredibly sacrificial things with their time, money and lives for their church family.
This is what Jesus modeled for us. His commitment was complete. He was bought into the mission and call of His life to the point that even death didn’t stand in the way.
<> Is there anything in your life you would die for?
Obedience to a Point
I think a lot of us are suffering in our relationship with God and in the practical working of our lives because we are obedient to a point. We are willing to change and repent and to sacrifice up to a certain level and then something clicks inside of us and says, “Ok, that’s enough God.” We give up a certain amount of our materialism and a certain amount of our selfishness and we serve in some volunteer position so people can see the fruit of Jesus at work in our lives – but when it comes to that ONE thing – NO. I’m not giving it up. It’s mine.
The problem is that half commitment isn’t commitment. Half surrender is no surrender at all. Half obedience is disobedience. And Jesus modeled a better way for us. Jesus obeyed to a certain point – the point of death.
Go read Hebrews 12:1-4
<> Where have you broken your commitment to Jesus and to hating sin because it was costing you to much?
<> What is the point at which your obedience fails?