It Takes Commitment
(Life In Christ Series)
For any great work to be accomplished commitment amongst it’s workers must be in place. - A group can only go as far as the dedication of each member. - What we have learned in this series “Life in Christ” will only be experienced to the degree of our individual personal commitment.
- Leviticus 26 as we learned spoke of the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience. Leviticus 27 teaches us what it takes to walk in the blessings of God.
- A relationship only lasts as long as two people remain committed to each other.
- Christianity is based on relationship. One’s spiritual growth will depend on the growing commitment of one’s heart towards God.
- Leviticus 27:1The lord said to Moses, 2“Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate someone to the lord by paying the value of that person.
- These vows to the Lord of dedication were from those who were not Levites. If you were born in the Levite family it was automatic that you served in the temple.
- In the New Covenant we are all priests to the Lord as it says in 1 Peter 2:9, and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit as it says in 1 Corinthians 3:16.
- It describes here in Leviticus about giving to the Lord the amount of what can afford or offering an animal, field, house, etc. whether it is good or bad that they will get a value in return.
- We are no longer to expect to get a return for what we give. We are not to try to fit into our schedule service to God or offer Him what we think we can afford. Jesus is now Lord His requirement for service is to offer all. He is after one thing and that is the surrender of our heart which includes everything we are and everything we own. It is not about what we can give or what we can get it is about being one with the King and His Kingdom.
- As it says in Romans 12:1, “considering all that Christ has done it is our reasonable service to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.” As it says in Galatians 2:20 we are now “crucified to Christ, it is not we who live, but He who lives through us. Our life is not to be lived by faith in the Son of God who loved and died for us.”
- In Luke 8:21 when the family of Jesus was asking for Him; “He said my family are those who do the will of my Father.”
- A lot of people wear the title Christian but these same Christians can wear you out as a leader. The ones we are to be dedicated to are those who are committed to the will of the Father.
- If one is committed to the will of the Father, they are committed to the band of believers He has placed around them. As a Pastor I am not called to help everyone, I can really only help those who desire to follow Christ. If someone’s heart is not set in being committed to Jesus there is nothing I can say or do that will really help them in the long term.
- Salvation and marriage have something in common they are based on commitment. It is one thing to say our vows it is another thing to honor them. If we are going to experience a growing, blessed union with Christ we must follow through daily with the promise of giving Him our life and all that it entails.
- Ecc. 5:4 “When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. 5It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. 6Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved. 7Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead.”
- Married people make vows and then when it get’s tough they want to back out, “saying I think I made a mistake!” Divorce is ugly, it tears lives apart. Living a backslidden life is ugly. God is not going to let any of His bride get a divorce, He will allow suffering, but He is at work through it all, drawing back His beloved.
- Life is hard for believers and nonbelievers but it is so much easier to handle with God’s strength. If we made a commitment to the Lord and He desires nothing but the best for us why would we ever go astray? Deception!
Faith Under Fire - Peter (Matthew 16)
I. Faithless religion. (vs. 1-12)
A. Always questioning and doubting.
B. No matter the sign it is never enough.
C. Argue over petty things.
D. Quickly forget God’s past miracles.
II. Faith Confession (vs. 13-20)
A. Confessing Jesus as the Son of God is the foundation of our faith.
B. It is upon this confession that faith is built on.
C. Our level of authority is based on how much faith we place in the Son of God.
III. Faith Challenge (vs. 21-18)
A. Being in Christ does not mean one will avoid suffering.
B. Any message that says likewise is false, twisted, and demonic.
C. Faith will often not be understood by one’s rational thinking.
D. Walking in faith and self-denial go hand in hand.
E. We can only follow God as far as we are willing to let go of the things of the world.
- Those who really commit their heart to God are those who will never completely walk away from Him. Peter did for a time but as Jesus pursued him the call of Peter was restored.
- 1 John 2:19The Message (MSG) 19 They left us, but they were never really with us. If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end. In leaving, they showed their true colors, showed they never did belong.
Money, The Commitment Factor (Leviticus 27:30-33)
- People place their money in the things they value.
- We are called to be committed to God but being committed to God means being committed to local church He has called us too. If we value our local church we will give financially to it.
- The tithe was established in the Old Covenant in the New Covenant the standard only goes up. God requires now, 100%. We are no longer under a democracy but under a theocracy. We serve the King of Kings and all He gives us is to be used for His Kingdom.
The tithe is now a minimal amount to give to our spiritual storehouse but it is a start.
- Our amount of giving reveals our degree of obedience, trust and loyalty.
- I started tithing in 1995, since then I have always had what I needed. Know I did not grow up in a prosperous home. My grandmother who raised me was poor, she didn’t even use credit. So I had to start adulthood without a credit jumpstart, but God has always been faithful. It is all from choosing to trust Him.
Proverbs 3:9 Honor the lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.10Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
Galatians 6:6Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.
1 Cor.9:11“Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? 12If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ. 13Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. 14In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. 15Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. 16Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!
- How much money we have is not the problem it is how much as it says on the dollar bill do we “trust in God.”
- We are not to give out of religious obligation or out of pressure but from a pure heart.
Cor. 7You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
LET’S RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, COMMITTING OUR HEARTS FULLY TO HIM. OFFERING HIM EVERYTHING WE ARE AND EVERYTHING HE HAS GIVEN US.