OceanSide church of Christ
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WHAT I NEED IN MY CHRISTIAN LIFE…
Victor M. Eskew
A. The story of the chicken and the pig who fed a hungry stranger.
1. The chicken would give eggs. The pig was asked to give ham.
2. The chicken only had to be involved. The pig had to be totally committed.
B. Within the church, we stand in need of more commitment by members. In fact, we need total commitment by our members.
C. Commitment defined:
1. Literally: giving over to, giving custody to
2. To pledge, bind, or obligate oneself
3. Engagement, involvement
I. SCRIPTURAL ADMONITIONS
A. I Kings 8:61
Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.
B. Psalm 119:2
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
C. Proverbs 3:6
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
D. Matthew 16:24
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
E. Matthew 22:37
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul.
F. Romans 7:9
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
G. Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
H. I Corinthians 6:19-20
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God’s.
I. II Corinthians 5:14
And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
J. I Timothy 4:15
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear unto all.
II. SUBSET APPLICATIONS
A. When we say “total” commitment, one would think that all would understand the word “total.”
1. It means “whole, complete, entire, nothing omitted.”
2. To help us to understand the word even better, let’s look at some subset applications of total commitment.
1. Total desire:
a. Desire involves our yearnings, longings, lust, and cravings.
b. Psalm 84:2
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and flesh crieth out for the living God.
2. Total love
a. Love involves both an object of love and the expression of love.
b. Mark 12:30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
3. Total devotion
a. Devotion involves earnest attachment.
b. Job 13:15
Though he slay me yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
4. Total surrender
a. Surrender involves the yielding of my power, possession, and person to another.
b. Isaiah 64:8
But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou art the potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
5. Total sacrifice
a. Sacrifice involves the giving up of something.
b. Philippians 1:20b
…so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
6. Total obedience
a. Obedience involves compliance with the commands of God.
b. Matthew 28:20
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
7. Total discipline
a. Discipline involves keeping tight reins on our minds, bodies, and lips every day.
b. I Corinthians 9:27
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast away.
8. Total involvement
a. The word means to envelop, surround, and overwhelm.
b. Titus 2:14
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
III. SERIOUS ASSESSMENT
A. All of us should be able to say I practice TOTAL commitment.
1. Total: wholly, entirely, completely
2. This is not perfection, but it is enduring faithfulness.
a. Paul: “…yet not I but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:10)
b. Joshua and Caleb: “…for they have wholly followed the Lord” (Num. 32:12).
B. PARTIAL commitment
1. Partial: partiality, not total, incomplete
2. Judah (Jer. 3:10)
And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignly, saith the Lord.
C. FLUCTUATING commitment
1. Fluctuating: change continually, shift back and forth, vary, irregularity
2. Peter was this way when on the ship in the stormy sea.
a. Great faith when he asked to walk on the water (Matt. 14:28)
b. His faith faltered when he saw the boisterous waters (Matt. 14:31).
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
D. WANING commitment
1. Wane: to decrease in strength
2. This was a problem for several churches in the first century.
a. The Galatians (Gal. 5:7)
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
b. Hebrews Christians (Heb. 12:12-13)
Wherefore lift up the hands which hand down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
c. Sardis (Rev. 3:1b-2a)
…I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before me.
E. NO commitment
1. No: not in any degree or manner, not at all
2. The hearts of these individuals are cold, hard, and dead.
a. Titus 1:16
They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
b. Hebrews 6:6
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
IV. SIGNIFICANT ADJUSTMENTS
A. Increase your knowledge (Prov. 19:20)
Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good…
B. Ignite your will (Deut. 30:19)
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
C. Invalidate the contrary (Matt. 5:29-30)
And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee…and if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee…
D. Include the will of God (James 1:22)
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
E. Insure your dedication (Heb. 10:39)
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
A. Commitment is not something you either have or do not have.
B. Commitment is something you chose.
C. We sing several songs that teach us about commitment.
1. I Gave My Life for Thee (p. 262)
2. True-Hearted Whole-Hearted (p. 711).
3. Take My Life and Let It Be (p. 613)
Take my life, and let it be Take my hands, and let them move Take my voice, and let me sing
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee; At the impulse of Thy love; Always, only, for my King;
Take my moments and my days, Take my feet, and let them be Take my lips, and let them be
Let them flow in ceaseless praise. Swift and beautiful for Thee. Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold: Take my will, and make it Thine: Take my love, my Lord, I pour
Not a mite would I withhold; It shall be no longer mine; At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take my intellect, and use Take my heart – it is Thine own: Take myself and I will be
Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt chose. It shall be Thy royal throne . Ever, only, all for Thee.