In the church I pastor, ReCOMMITMENT is something we do once a year in terms of church services, but it certainly shouldn’t be so in terms of our spiritual lives. The Bible is clear that the spiritual life is not one that can be lived on the basis of one commitment made many years in the past. Of course, the Bible teaches that once a person has come to faith in Jesus, that person will be forever in the grip of the saving grace of God regardless of future behavior.
However, the Bible clearly teaches that to rest lazily upon that truth is actually a dangerous thing to do. It’s a sticky situation to deal with when you try to reconcile human responsibility and the sovereign grace of God, but truthfully, we don’t have to deal with all that. The spiritual life is really simple. Consider some of these verses.
2 Peter 1:3-9 (MSG)
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you–your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
You see, in these verses, Peter teaches that on the one hand, we have been given everything we need to live a life that pleases God. The power has been handed to us simply because we know Jesus. More than that, our old sinful lives have been wiped off the books! But that doesn’t eliminate our responsibility. What it does is free us to be able to make spiritual progress in character, understanding, discipline and more.
So how do we make spiritual progress?
Simple, we decide to! That is, we make growth commitments, work on them, and then celebrate our success. I’ll talk about that more later, and it will come out especially if I ever get my “LWL 301 — GROWTH” class completed. However, you don’t have to know all the details about effective “growth commitments” in order to take the attitude of a growth commitment.
Here is the spiritual life in simplest terms–every day, renew your commitment. Here are four basic commitments you should make regularly.
- Commit to the person of Jesus: My first commitment needs to be to Jesus himself more than any other person who has ever walked this earth. My heart and soul belong to him. (CORE COMMITMENT: Worship)
- Commit to the people of Jesus: My second commitment must be to the family of God that has been created through the work of Jesus on the cross. God has adopted me into his family, and I need to acknowledge that I’m not alone. If I’m not in a small group, I will seek one out. If I’m not a member of a church yet, I will pursue that as well. I want my family to know I’m committed to them. (CORE COMMITMENT: Community)
- Commit to the purpose of Jesus: The whole reason Jesus came into this world was to touch people’s heart with the love of God and to change their lives into being more like himself. Jesus’ purpose is to bring growth to me and to you and to all who will respond to him. I commit to being a part of the growth he is bringing about in this world, this neighborhood, and in myself. (CORE COMMITMENT: Growth)
- Commit to the plan of Jesus: Amazingly, Jesus plans to use people to accomplish his purpose in this world. He plans to use people gathered together into local fellowships called churches. He plans to use each local church to reach its neighborhood. And he plans to use me. That’s his plan; he has no backup plan. I’m making a commitment to do what I can to be part of it. (CORE COMMITMENT: Ministry)
These are really the four basic commitments of the spiritual life! Make these commitments this week. Renew them every day. Do something about them. And watch the great growth that God will bring in your life over the rest of this year. You will be amazed!