Our Redeemer and our commitments:
"'He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.'" Matthew 28:6-7
He came from heaven for us. He knew what the end result would be. He came willingly. He knew it wouldn't be a pretty death.
"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but, emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5-11
"Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." Hebrews 2:17
What do we do with that sacrifice now?
100 million people in the USA claim they are Christians. Why are we not having a greater impact on our society?
Why is it so hard to read the Word of God if we truly believe it is the Word of God?
Why aren't we telling more people about Jesus Christ and the way to Heaven if we truly believe Jesus when He says He is the only way to the Father and that if a person doesn't accept Him that person is bound for hell. There is only one way to heaven. Why are we willing to allow our fellow humans to die without the truth?
We lack in our commitment. The only things people commit to these days are cell phone plans or mortgages. And these can be broken. If we are Believers there are three commitments we MUST make:
#1 Commitment to Christ Jesus.
"And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.'" Luke 9:23
The cross we carry is nothing compared to what Jesus carried. Daily we are supposed to carry the cross.
(Told the story of Bob the "Cross Walker").
We need to carry Jesus with us everywhere and all the time. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 (366 leap year) days a year. There is no vacation. It should be so much a part of us that we can't exist without Christ.
Do we notice if we don't have our cross with us?
The whole world's inside that purse (talking about what women carry in their purses and never leave home without them. One woman's purse in the congregation reportedly weighed 75 pounds. ...well, Shannon says that was a joke, but it was heavy).
Make Jesus Christ central and all of your life. We must have God with us all the time. Jesus is in front of us, behind us, beside us and within us.
#2 Committed to our Family. We must be so committed to our family that our family is part of us. 50% of marriages end in divorce. In the church the statistic is the same.
#3 Committed to God's church.
"not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:25
You don't need to go to church to be a Christian, but you do need to go to church to stay on the path. The more active you are in your faith, the more you will be attacked by the enemy.
The fellowship, the studying, walking through the door is a commitment. We come here in the day not in the night.
Back in the U.S.S.R. you'd end up in prison or killed for worshipping or telling others about Jesus Christ. Here, it is easy to worship -- it is still legal. But it is so easy to just not go since we take it for granted.
Do your kids need to ask if you will be going to church Sunday morning? Do they know it is what you do or is it just a sometimes thing? Do they see that you are committed?
We have a choice, most of us, to attend church. Do you stay home at the slightest sign of sickness but then Monday morning when you still feel the same you go to work? Where are our priorities?
If we are truly committed, we will have an impact.
As an individual, what is your impact?
Do you know where your cross is?
Let's not let our cross get lost. Because when you need it the most you will know exactly where it is. Always have Jesus with you. Every day! Every hour! Every minute! Every second!
"'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" Matthew 28:19-20
This is not a request. It is a command.
This is our job -- winning souls for Christ.
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:6
If you don't know how, ask!
If you need wisdom, ask!
It is God's will to give us wisdom. Ask Him. He will give it.
He wants us to be well armed. He committed to us. To follow Jesus, get rid of what's in the way. The rich young ruler had riches in the way. Some have family in the way. Others have their own dreams in the way. Whatever is stopping you from following Jesus wholeheartedly, get rid of it.
Get off the couch.
Get your face in the Word.
"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me saying 'Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.'" Revelation 1:17-18
Jesus is alive and well. He loves us. He wants us to follow Him.