Commitment is the visible part of a faithful heart. It is a word that is better understood by looking at some synonyms, such as loyalty, faithfulness, engagement, allegiance, reliability, devotion, etc.

Your decision to follow the Lord is best made as a response to His love for you. The relationship that you have with Him can never be one of convenience. Great crowds followed the Lord for different reasons, but only a small band of disciples followed Him because they fell in love with Him. After He fed the five thousand men with a boy’s lunch, Jesus said to them that they only followed Him because they ate of the bread and the fish (John 6:26). Others followed Him because they saw healings and miracles.

It is hard to understand how some people who actually saw the Lord with their physical eyes, heard His voice and witnessed His works, so easily turned their backs on Him and went looking for the next exciting thing. Jesus told a scribe who announced that he was going to follow Him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:20) If you want to follow Him, you must be willing to go all the way with Him. He made it very simple:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24)

Listen to the apostle Paul describes his commitment to the Lord:

Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant – dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ – God’s righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. (Philippians 3:8-10 – The Message)

A commitment to the Lord will, by its very nature, also mean a commitment to His Word. The Bible is where we become acquainted with Him, gain some insight in His thoughts and learn how to walk with Him. You cannot love the Lord without loving His Word. This is often where serious followers of Christ are separated from the thrill seekers. To know God’s will for your life, is the heartbeat of every true follower of the Lord, and the only way you can know His will accurately, is through the Word.

Knowing the correct password – saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance – isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience – doing what my Father wills. I can see it now – at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’ “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit – but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”(Matt. 7:21-27 – The Message)

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