I once heard someone ask this question at a church meeting: “How do we get people to be committed?”
My first response to this was “Committed to what?” The institutional church? The church building? The activities of the church? The leaders of the church? What the church stands for? There is a danger that we can be committed to a whole host of peripheral things, except the one which really matters. I do not think God wants us to be committed to activities or institutions, certainly not to human leaders because they are transient.
I believe our commitment first and foremost must be to Jesus Christ the Son of God who loved us and gave His life for us. This can only happen when we realise what Jesus did for us, ie that He came to earth, lived a sinless life of obedience to God and then willingly died on the Cross for all people of every age and was raised from the dead three days later by God. When we believe in this wonderful revelation, we are forgiven, our sins are cleansed, and we become God’s child forever (Jn 1.12). We must come to the point of realizing that nothing can take our sins away except the blood of Jesus and we must rely on Him totally for our salvation (I Jn 1.7).
After we trust in Jesus, joy fills us and there is no greater blessing than to know that we belong to Him now and forever, that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8.38f). What joy and security this truth gives us - to know that He is committed to us even though we may falter in our commitment to Him. In other words, our commitment to Jesus begins at our conversion or when we are “born again”.
Secondly how is that commitment seen? This commitment to Christ should then be translated into devotion to the Bible (which provided the information about what Christ did for us in the first place). Then we are be devoted to the things which are important to Christ, such as enlarging His Kingdom: his priorities such as the proclaiming of His Gospel, making disciples, building the church, good works which lead to His glory, and investing our lives in things eternal. It means commitment to our brothers and sisters in Christ ie, fellow believers in the particular local church where we worship corporately and which we call our “spiritual home”. It means faithful service by using our spiritual gifts, and other God-given resources for His purposes. It means being a faithful and fruitful disciple wherever He places us until He returns. Baptism is also an expression of commitment to him as we publicly affirm we are Jesus’ lifelong followers. Evangelizing is a way of showing our eagerness for others to likewise be committed to Him. We can pray that God will daily open doors for us to speak and live out our faith through our networks.
By living lives of commitment to Christ, we encourage one another to be committed. Commitment should therefore be to a Person, not a place or an institution. Let whole-hearted commitment to Jesus be your first priority always.