There are two things that most of us understand in this life, these are commitment and dedication. Haven’t we as parents encouraged our children to commit themselves to getting a good education and to be careful who they pal around with or the company they keep, telling them as they get older to pick certain goals, commit to these goals and pursue them? If you don’t follow these basic rules of wisdom, then you will divert your attention to some other area of involvement, be it good or bad. They may completely leave their former goals and direct themselves to something different.
I would like to notice two examples of this area of commitment and dedication. The first being the quarterback of a very recognizable football team. He is probably the best and most successful quarterback of any football team in the world today. Let us ask the question: How do you suppose he got to where he is today? I’ll tell you how, “commitment and dedication”. He set his mind to the challenge and diligently pursued his goals. Suppose this quarterback quit practicing and communicating with his coaches and fellow teammates. Let’s say he stopped all community affairs and meeting. He removed himself from all football related involvement and became involved in something else totally separate and apart from football. Doesn’t he cease to be a football player?
The next example is a farmer, a “tiller of the land.” He raises crops to feed his family and provide food for the hungry. He makes a living from farming and supports the local farmers co-op and even brings visitors to the meeting. He is dedicated to his chosen field. Let’s say this farmer stops preparing the soil, stops planting seeds, stops all cultivating; therefore no harvesting. He stops paying his dues to the co-op and farmer’s organization. When he stops doing these things that identify him as a farmer, doesn’t he stop being a farmer?
Now let’s apply this line of reasoning to a Christian. He is committed to serving Christ. He attends all the services of the church whenever possible. He uses his talents to further the Gospel, honors the leadership of the church and brings visitors to the services when he can. He studies his Bible and prays daily. He gives as he has been prospered. He is a positive influence to those around him. But in time he stops studying his Bible, he stops praying, stops attending services, ceases to do personal work. He stops giving as he has been prospered. He stops living a faithful Christian life. May we notice; just as when the quarterback quit playing football, he was no longer a football player and when the farmer quit farming, he was no longer a farmer, we may surely say that the Christian who stops living and serving as a Christian, he effectively ceases to be a Christian. If we are not serving Christ, we are serving our own desires and the things of this world.
James 4:4 says, “Friendship with the world is enmity with God.” This verse does not speak of God’s attitude toward the believer but the believer’s attitude toward God. Notice Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart so is he.” Consider the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:4, “We are buried with him in baptism…we should walk in newness of life.” Notice the last part of Romans 6:6, “That we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Romans 6:12 says, “ Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies, that you should obey it in its lust.” Romans 6:16 says, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slave whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” You cannot serve two masters; for you will hate the one and love the other or else you will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore, the most recognized football player, the dedicated farmer and the committed Christian can leave that to which they were so dedicated and committed. Let us consider who we are serving in this life. It is ultimately our decision.