Commitment is a definitive quality that defines a man in his work, life and attitude. Everyone must be committed to something in life, if they are to achieve anything. It is not unusual that men and women commit themselves to their families, making money or other important things. They give their all to them so that they can have the life they intended. Commitment is a very important aspect in Christianity. It is a quality that defines Christians’ relation to God and His Son Jesus. One can perhaps say many a thing to explain it, but is best seen in the words of a man who made it his aim to live for God. “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
Though many serve God, not all of them serve Him with a commitment born of His calling. It is well known to us that as many as He calls, He calls with a purpose for each. He desires they receive and fulfill it for Him. The outcome of it is also well known. It profits both His kingdom and the called. We can all learn so much from Paul. He was a man who clearly knew the will of God. He was someone who is more concerned with his duty to God than with what others achieved. He wholly focused on fulfilling God’s desire. What man would not consider his life as dear to himself? It must be one whose course and ministry is ordained by the Lord. What do I mean? If one is ordained by the Lord to serve Him, he or she is made known of its need and urgency. He equips them with His mind and passion to save people. Such men or women will display true commitment to His call. Nothing seems to hinder them. Some face brokenness and hurdles, others life threatening challenges, but they all remain committed. So, the Lord also constantly strengthens and keeps them.
Can a person truly commit himself to fulfill the course and ministry given him at any cost? If they come from the Lord, yes. This then primarily indicates as to what kind of people the Lord calls to serve Him. He foreknew them to fulfill His calling no matter what life throws at them. It is the greatness of our Almighty God. Who knew that a man like Saul, who breathed hatred toward the church, could ever be a servant of the Most High? The Lord who called him knew that at His calling he would become His most humble servant. Therefore, it is indeed amazing that He calls us to serve Him. He knew us, who were sinners, to have the heart to fulfill His will at His calling. And, we are to take His course and ministry to us seriously. He knows we have the heart to serve Him and we have to commit it to Him just as Paul. Such an act will make us strong for Him, not only in obtaining His counsel, Holy Spirit, provisions and promises, but at the same time relieving us of our weaknesses, fears and the temptation to sin. The solemn outcome of this is noble – we testify truthfully the gospel of the grace of God.
Now, if we are committed to the course and ministry the Lord gave us, we obtain unlimited grace. We are and will be powered to fulfill our course and ministry for the gospel. Many will come to know God. How awesome! It is hard to find words to express God’s purpose for us. The more we realize the urgency in His will, the less we tend to consider our life as dear to us; grace enables us for it. We seek more of His presence and fellowship. It allows us to be more Christ minded toward the gospel. And since the gospel is of the grace of God, there can be no defeat to it. It is greater than the Law of Moses bringing unending mercy upon all who call on the name of the Lord. Imagine if Paul had said ‘the gospel of the Law of God.’ What would become of us? We would be in despair.
Notice the things Paul had to make a substantial impact for the kingdom of God. A course and a ministry from Jesus to testify of the gospel; he then obtained the grace to consider his life as nothing. He came to know firsthand the grace that is in the gospel. Now, see the impact he had for God’s kingdom – “since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints” (Col. 1:4). He produced to God a unique set of people. We will all do well to imitate him. Each one must be able to consider his or her life as nothing for the gospel through the grace that serves us. The more we sacrifice our life for it, the more profit we bring for the Kingdom. Besides, we satisfy the word of Christ that said he who loses his life for the gospel will find it. Yes, His word cannot be broken. We will certainly find life. It is eternal and God enables us to see others, whom we influence into faith, find it.
We are called to have an impact. Whether preacher, teacher or believers, the Lord called us to give His will that we cause an impact. So, the Spirit said, “and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father– to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 1:6). No Christian can claim to have an impact without having learned to consider his or her life as nothing for the Lord and His gospel. What each one goes through in life is determined by the Lord so that no one is without impact for His kingdom. If you are poor, He will use you accordingly; if rich, then accordingly; if educated or uneducated, then accordingly. We just have to believe in Him. Belief does not need status, rank or prominence. It needs our heart. When you believed in His call to be saved, believe also in His desire to call you to serve Him for His glory. Remember, He has made all the saved, and not a few of them, to be a kingdom and priests to His God and Father. We are all chosen to serve Him. If you grasped it, you will do well.
Yet, always take caution. It is easy to lose our way to serving God, if we are not committed to the Lord’s will. Many are prone to quickly lose it. They live their life as if they must satisfy the world as well. Though they are aware it is impossible to serve two masters, they reason in themselves to make way for it. Their attitude will only leave them in despair, even if they were saved. Unless and until they are able to consider their life as nothing for the Lord, they are yet to glorify God. And God will make ways that they glorify Him. Sometimes it will be at a cost wherein they face the consequences of their actions. Paul being aware of it warned Christians saying, “But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat” (1 Cor. 8:8).
When Christians reason in themselves to satisfy the world as well, they not only bring harm to themselves, but also to the rest. They generate a bad reputation to Christ and to faith in Him. But, we are to be a people that bring peace and harmony that bring glory to God. It is not difficult to understand why Paul said what he said. The reason many lose their way to serve God is their desires of the flesh. They are unable to overcome them; they fail to utilize their calling for glorifying God. They could not continue the joy they had when they were saved, because they did not commit themselves to the Lord. They should realize that providing food, clothing, shelter and even more are not an issue to God. God has given Himself up for men to give eternal life and through it the abundant life. And, we who realized it will make many people special to Him. They will find this word to be true for them. “To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear” (Luke 1:74).
We become the road to Christ for many. The course and ministry He gave us leads them out of despair. Because the course denotes urgency and the ministry the availing of God’s grace, they are compelled to come away from the shackles of sin and death. This is exactly what Paul was able to accomplish. And though he lost much for Christ, God filled him by giving people that loved him with the love of God. So, Luke said, “After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem” (Acts 21:4). Some of us may not have a ministry as Paul, but because our ministry comes from Christ we will certainly have an impact as the Lord needs. He will give us people that will be our acquaintances, true helpers and godly friends. They become to us more than our unbelieving friends and relatives because of the Spirit that provokes them to the love of God. God will never let us be alone just as He did not let Paul.
It is impossible to measure the effect of the course and ministry the Lord gives us. It is impossible to estimate what testifying the gospel of the grace of God accomplishes. Though we feel we lost everything, we gain everything, since God ensures we are loved and cared for with His love. Must I remind that there is no greater love than His that appears through grace? So, let us be committed to His will that in the end we would be a people that lost nothing and that this saying comes true in us. “Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?” (2 Cor. 11:29).