Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Insufficient Commitment

Years ago, I took up an educational goal because a field of study sounded impressive. I failed at that attempt. A neato, nifty, impressive-sounding major is an insufficient commitment to completing a lengthy course of study. A one semester course a person might be able to endure if it should turn out the title was the only thing really nifty about the subject. Years of study on the other hand, with course after course of increasingly difficult study requires a firm commitment over the long haul to reach the goal. Jesus said something very like that to those whose commitment came from novelty or idle curiosity about this new rabbi from Nazareth.

Jesus commanded these folks to count the cost, to let the dead bury their dead, and that the fellow who set his hand to the plow and then looked back was not worthy to follow; shocking things, statements that questioned their commitment to the cause, and things they probably didn't like to hear. Therefore, I must remain firm in my commitment to Christ, fully engaged, 'nose to the grindstone', and all that stuff. Only one problem with that...I'm a quitter. I don't have the steadfast will to make it a lifetime as a follower of Christ. So, why then am I not worried?

Easy peasy! Jesus has that commitment through His steadfast love for me and you. I know through earthly examples that I have been a quitter, and can easily be the same again. But I know through faith in the Word of God that Jesus is no quitter. My Lord's steadfast love and dedication to His ministry will see every sheep through to the green pastures. My salvation is assured, not because of any quality of endurance, steadfastness, or commitment that I brought to the table, but through the perfect qualities of Christ Jesus the Lord!

Yes, when I came to Jesus I had an insufficient commitment. I didn't know what would be required of me through the years other than in a general way. "In this world you have tribulation" doesn't state specifically what form that tribulation will take, so how could I count the cost? How do I tally up faith - the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen? How does one calculate a future he cannot know? Faith in Christ is of course the answer. It was never me that saved me. Not only was my commitment insufficient for the long haul, but so was my knowledge, strength, youth, wisdom, wealth, and all the other things we tend to think make us desirable for God's team. No, God chose me well before any of my desirable qualities were even offered to Him. Love apparently didn't need a sterling resume placed on the table to make His choice. Jesus committed long before I knew what commitment was.

Praise God for His steadfast love,

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