Re-Charge Your Faith With Commitment From Hebrews 11:28-12:3
We all want to be faithful Christians, and we all know that this is a challenge! The Hebrew writer was writing to some people who were about to give up on Christ – they were growing weak in their commitment to Jesus Christ.
Can you identify with that? Life can drain our faith batteries!
The Enemy wages war against us.
The Flesh. Our own desires can cause us to cave in our commitment.
The Time. Overcommitment in other areas of life can drain our energy for God’s kingdom.
The Pressure. The influence of others can be devastating if we allow it.
When the faith-batteries are wearing low, we need to recharge them with a renewed commitment.
If you feel your faith journey has been tough, you are not alone. (Read Hebrews 11:32- 12:1) What can we learn about commitment from the ‘cloud of witnesses’?
1. Commitment Is Not Perfection. Our Faith can never find it’s own strength – it must
depend on God. The Great Cloud of Witnesses were Less than perfect. In addition to the heroic acts of faith listed here, there are many failings along the way. Among these great heroes of faith are those who made the golden calf, stole things from Jericho that didn’t belong to them, married deceptive wives who destroyed them, committed murder and adultery. They are not honored for their failures, but because of their commitment to stay with God even after their sins caused much damage. They are a lot like us: grace-dependent stumblers.
2. Commitment Requires Repentance (12:1). A word to the hindered and entangled Christians: throw that away! Let go of your burdens …weights that hinder you. What is weighing you down today? Bad Habits / Addictions / Compulsive Behavior / Bitterness / Sour Attitude / Grudges / Self-Righteousness / Malicious Talk /Painful Memories. Let go of the things that entangle you. The things that make you feel far away from God. The things that rob you of your joy. The things that cause emotional pain. We can never be what God calls us to be while carrying these burdens.
3. Commitment Requires Perseverance (12:1c). “One cannot go over Niagara Falls in a barrel only slightly.” A.C. Davis. Are we starters or finishers? It is not hard to be a starter, but it takes perseverance – determination – to be a finisher.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses – only results.” Kenneth H. Blanchard
The race is marked out for us … are we running?
4. Commitment Requires Jesus! (12:2). Faith Has a Fixed Gaze Upon Jesus. He is the pioneer of faith. He is the perfector of faith. Jesus modeled the qualities of a committed faith. Jesus is never to be far from our lips. Jesus reigns in our hearts and lives. Jesus teaches us to endure the hardships ahead. Jesus saves.
5. Commitment Requires Contemplation (12:3). Literally: analyze, think upon, study, contemplate, meditate, concentrate on Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:1-2 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above …your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” When have we considered how Jesus endured the cross and let that strengthen us? What do we learn from keeping our eyes on Jesus? Endurance – he never gave up … in spite of pain,loss, suffering, struggle. Joy – he received the reward that belongs only to those who persevere.
Faith requires commitment. Not just interest. Not just a good start. Commitment to persevere when it gets tough.
How many of us entered worship today with no thought at all of begging Christ to fix our broken lives? It is time to get our hearts focused on Christ?
Several years ago the news media reported on a man who was deserted on a small Pacific island. A passing ship was prepared to rescue him, but he refused to go. It seems that while there he had acquired a pet monkey which he was unwilling to leave behind, and the ship’s regulations would not permit it on board.
Many of us treat sin in the same way. We’ve picked up bad habits and sins along the way. We know they weigh us down. We know they are bad for us. We know they complicate things. We know they keep us from running the race of faith swiftly, but we still hang on to them. And it is causing many of us to lose the race of faith. If we would throw it aside, we would run much faster.
Re-Charge Your Faith Today by Making a New commitment!
Thanks for reading,