“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
In today’s fast-paced world, “commitment” is often closely aligned with a daunting, four-letter word - WORK. For many of us, it’s synonymous with additional demands on our time, our pocketbooks and our energy. As Pastor AC noted in Sunday’s sermon, we all have commitments, from supporting each other in our relationships, caring for our family and kids, requests at church, school projects, work demands, and this week’s hot topic, how we choose to commit to a political affiliation or candidate. It’s easy to lose ourselves, our commitments become our “treasures” and we lose sight of our purpose. As Pastor AC discussed, true commitment as Christians is displayed through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Full surrender. Full sacrifice. All other commitments flow through this relationship, and scripture directs those who follow Christ to have faith and trust Him fully.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him…” Proverbs 3: 5-6.
Though I gave my life to Jesus when I was a teenager, “Trust” is where the idea of commitment to faith has been truly tested for me. It’s also how God has mightily changed my relationship with Him. About 18 months ago, I learned my mom has been diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer, found in only 1% of patients. At stage 3, treatment options were available, but largely untested due to the rare nature of the cancer. Almost two weeks to the day after her diagnosis, I also learned my father-in-law would be fighting his own battle, a somewhat advanced stage of prostate cancer. Both young by most standards, this was unexpected and boy, did it rock my world! Wow. I felt like my commitments to my family increased ten-fold overnight.
“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength.” Mark 12:30
This idea of commitment, as stated in Mark, through full surrender and trust in Jesus seems like such an “easy” idea. How could I be so selfish to not trust Yahweh, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the Ruler of all the Universe? However, as a “fixer,” I’ll admit loving the Lord with all my “mind” as outlined in Mark was downright tough. These health challenges within my family taught me to remember and renew my commitment to the Lord, and let go of control! By first committing to Jesus fully, as Christians we can then commit to the outward demands of the world. Out of a more committed relationship with Jesus came more dedicated prayer, more thorough reading of God’s word, and of course, a greater commitment to serving the needs of loved ones.
We are exceedingly blessed that our family has experienced healing, with both cancers in remission. Praise the Lord! Though this trial, in a way that can only be considered divine intervention, our family has found many of our outward commitments have trended towards blessings rather than burdens - flowing from a relationship with Jesus. It allowed our family to commit to trying to “love others so well they ask you why.”
As we enter our season of stewardship and financial commitment, I pray the power of the Holy Spirit fills you, and this period blesses you abundantly through full commitment to your relationship with Christ!