Staying Committed, Part 5 of 5 – Benefits of Total Commitment

Before we conclude this series on commitment, let’s review what we’ve discussed so far:

Staying in the Boat – Stressed the importance of getting into the boat, what it means to stay in the boat, and the importance of finishing strong.

Great Expectations – Looked at the foundation of our ability to carry out all other commitments in life, namely understanding and doing our best to live out God’s expectations with regard to commitment.

Biblical Lessons on Commitment – Looked at biblical examples of individuals who stayed committed to God and as a result kept their commitments to themselves and to others.

Guidelines for Godly Commitment – Studied 5 guidelines for making godly commitments.

God sure doesn’t leave us wondering about his expectations for commitments or how to keep them, does He? One of the many things I love about God is that He doesn’t just say, “This is what you should do and how you should do it.” He also provides motivation for WHY (the benefits) we should strive for total commitment in our lives. While there are more, let’s look at 4 of those benefits.

4 Benefits of Total Commitment

1. Righteousness & Justice“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:5-6)

2. Impact Others for Christ“Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and god will save you and those who year you.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

3. Success“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)

4. Integrity – “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9)

In a world where commitments seem to be taken lightly, we can choose to stand out by striving toward God’s standard of commitment. In a culture where commitment has become optional based on feelings, we can decide that we will do what we say we’re going to do when we say we’re going to do it.

Someone once said, “There are only two options regarding commitment, you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” Let’s choose to stay committed. Decide with me today to stay in the boat and to live in the “in” and not the “out” or “in between.”

DISCUSSION: What are you doing today to make sure you stay committed?

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Staying Committed, Part 2 of 5 – Great Expectations

The foundation of our ability to carry out all other commitments in life – committing to Staying in the Boat – begins and ends with understanding and doing our best to live out God’s expectations with regard to commitment. His great expectations for staying committed exist as the gold standard for how commitment should exist in our lives. What are those expectations?

Total Commitment

Mathew 22:37-38 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” In other words, when it comes to being committed, we first and foremost must commit totally and completely to God. You’re either in or you’re out. There is no in between.

Continual Commitment

Jesus’ words to a crowd of people, recorded in Luke 9:23-24, tell us that commitment to Him is a daily decision. He said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”

Once we commit to Christ, there is no going back to our former way of living. This means we will have to say “no” to some good things. Following Jesus is not just a one-time event. It’s an ongoing, daily, moment-by-moment experience.

Faithful Commitment

Committing to Christ in faith means making Him our sole authority, our guiding light and our unerring compass. Paul, in Galatians 2:20, says it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

We may not always understand, but being faithfully committed means we continue on in the way He has set before us.

Obedient Commitment

If anyone remembers much from Apollo 13, they usually remember the famous words of NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz who said, “Failure is not an option.” Because they refused to even explore the possibility that the astronauts would not return home safely, they were able to avoid tragedy.

At the dedication of the temple, Solomon praised God for promises kept and for bringing rest to His people, and then He said to the people, “Your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord your God, to live by His decrees and obey his commands.” (1 Kings 8:61)

Solomon was declaring that full commitment and obedience to God was not an option. If we approach commitment to God in the same way as Kranz did bringing the Apollo 13 astronauts home safely, we will be able to successfully live obedient lives.

In order to stay committed and to keep commitments in any area of life, we must first focus on total, continual, faithful and obedient commitment to God. No other option exists for Staying in the Boat and to finish strong by reaching the other shore successfully and victoriously.

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DISCUSSION: What is the state of God’s great expectations in your life?