ARE YOU TOTALLY COMMITTED?
Titus 2:12-14 NLT
And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God, while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right!
I want to ask you to consider a very serious question today. Are you totally committed to Jesus Christ and doing what is right for the rest of your life?
Do you want to know the difference between a Christian and a disciple of Jesus Christ? Commitment. A disciple is totally committed! They hold nothing back, they give everything they’ve got in their devotion to God.
A Christian is a person who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation. They have been born again. They are now a Child of God. However, that does not mean they are, by choice, a disciple. All you have to do is compare the salvation verses in the New Testament with the discipleship verses taught by Jesus in the Gospels and you can absolutely conclude they are different. The difference? Total commitment to Jesus Christ, as a way of life, in a lifestyle that is totally committed to doing what is right in all aspects of one’s life. This is exactly what the verse in Titus clearly states God has called us all to do.
Most simply ignore it!
This, my dear friends, is the single greatest need, and the single greatest problem in the Christian church in America today. The vast majority of Christians are not totally committed to doing what is right.
They are Christians, but not disciples. What about you? Who are you choosing to be?
During 2019 I had been having some leg and hip issues on the right side of my body. At times my leg would almost collapse, and the pain was quite intense. At times very debilitating. It had just come out of nowhere, and it seemed no matter what I did it wasn’t getting any better. I attributed it to getting older and thought I will just have to deal with it. After about a year my wife suggested I go see a doctor she knew, who specializes in backs and physical therapy. My reason for not going earlier was simply this: I have watched many loved ones go to countless Doctors and never get any real help. So I was indeed skeptical. However, I thought, I will go, and invest the $200 for the initial appointment and see if he may have some insights. He spent about 90 minutes with me, asked some very good questions, had me do a number of different stretches, and movements to see if any particular thing caused pain, that would indicate my low back might have a disc issue causing some of my numbness, etc. Then he had me lay on a table and he began to dig his elbow in my hip muscle, upper glutes, and whoa, the pain was intense. Very intense. He worked there for about 10 minutes, then sat me up and began to tell me his prognosis. He described how these muscles had been compensating for a deformity in my sacrum. He gave me what I call “baseball therapy”. Go home, get a baseball, and lay on that ball in these spots, 30 seconds a spot, for about 5 minutes a day.
Then he said this to me, “Mark, I know for a fact you will do this because you are committed!” Do you know why he said that? Earlier he asked me what my daily routine and exercises were. I described to him my 35,000 miles accumulated from my 3 miles a day, hour-long prayer walks. I described to him my 20 minutes every morning of stretching and showed them all to him. I described to him the 660,000 pushups I have done and the 800,000 Total Gym exercises I have done, and how many I continue to do each day. From that information he concluded, Mark is very committed. I have now done the baseball therapy he gave me every day for 11 months straight. After 180 days, the pain in my leg and numbness finally went away. I am now able to go on a very fast walk, which I could not do before. I will do this therapy every day for the rest of my life. Why? Because I am totally committed.
Friends, I entreat you, please hear me on this vital spiritual matter. Each person must make the decision to become totally committed to doing what is right in all aspects of their life if they are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ!
Are you totally committed to your marriage?
Kathy and I are totally committed to our marriage and to our roles. Kathy is totally committed to a life of godly submission to me as her husband. She has never gone back on that commitment. She is totally devoted to me and lives it out every single day. No matter what it costs her. She submits to me, follows me, and honors God. She does this because she is totally committed to Jesus Christ as the Lord and Master of her life!
I am totally committed to her 1000%. I will do whatever it takes to love her, care for her, serve her, and take care of her, no matter what it costs me.
Are you totally committed as a parent?
My wife was and is totally committed to our home, and to her children. She gave every ounce of strength, focus, and energy to training and raising her children, just as Titus 2 instructs.
I was and am totally committed as a father to my children. In every possible way. To love them, be an example to them, guide them, encourage them, train them, and serve and help them. There is nothing I would not do for them. We were totally committed to winning them to Jesus Christ and teaching them to love Him and follow Him with their whole hearts.
Are you totally committed to honoring God with your finances, to being a faithful manager of all He has given to you?
Over all these years of following Jesus Christ, I have given more money to advance the kingdom of God than I have spent to buy my house, and all the possessions inside of it, including my 2 cars. I am totally committed to honor God with our finances and give all I can to advance his kingdom work on earth. Kathy and I are totally committed to honoring God with our finances by living counter-culture to American consumerism and the selfish materialism of our age.
Are you totally committed to serving others?
Many years ago, God gave me a profound life verse for Kathy, me, and our family. “You have heard of the household of Stephanas, how they have addicted themselves to the service of God’s people.” This jumped off the page for me. My middle name is Stephen. I knew God called me to totally commit myself, my life, my talents, my gifts, my energy, and my family to the ministry of serving God’s people. I am addicted to it! With every ounce of my being that is what I have done for the last 46 years, and I will not stop until I am dead. Remember- Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be the servant of all!”
Are you totally committed to your spiritual disciplines?
I know I cannot live without prayer. Fervent, earnest, sustained, disciplined prayers. Over and over again God commands us to be devoted to it. Prayer is the source of great power. Prayer is how we demonstrate real faith in God and his promises. Prayer is the lifeblood of a totally committed disciple of Jesus Christ. Your prayer life must grow stronger and longer. I am totally committed to earnestly seeking the Lord everyday of my life!
Your time spent in God’s word, and meditating on his word has got to be a daily habit. His word is spiritual food, his word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. It is the disciple’s GPS for a godly, wise life.
Kathy and I are totally committed to God’s word. Every day we spend time in it, and strive daily to obey it. We have built our lives, our decisions, our family, and our life choices upon it.
We must be totally committed to doing what is right in all aspects of our lives, no matter what it costs us.
Are you totally committed to physical discipline and taking care of the vessel, the body God gave you?
The church in America has a serious weight problem, and it dishonors God. Christians in general are extremely lackadaisical and lethargic. The reputation of Christ is diminished because of the gluttony and obesity of the Christians in America. It hurts our Christian witness.
The apostle Paul was a man of rigorous discipline. He beat his body and made it his slave. I made a commitment decades ago, to honor God with my body. To take good care of the temple of the living God. To do all I could to be a vessel fit for the Master’s purposes. It’s time for all of us to get totally committed in this area of our lives as well. My friends, it is not as hard as you think. I will gladly help any of you who wants help, just ask me, write to me, and I will give you a simple attainable plan that will bring you sustainable success in this area of your life. It will also help you win the respect of non-Christians who are watching your life and you will experience a much greater quality of life and greater vitality and strength for your service to Jesus Christ.
Are you totally committed to being a good testimony and a winsome example of a person who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ?
How do you do your job? What is your daily attitude at work? What is your attitude at home with the children as you raise them? Do you do your job and your work with excellence? Can your employer count on you?
This was extremely important to me as I worked in the secular world and then in the Church. I am totally committed to being a man others can count on, who does his work with excellence, integrity, faithfulness, kindness, compassion, christian love and with the attitude of Jesus Christ.
My friends, please give all of this some serious consideration. Jesus desperately needs men and women today who are totally committed to Him in their day-to-day lives, in all things. I hope, trust and pray, you will be one of those people, no matter what it costs. Jesus Christ is absolutely worth the price we must pay.
Please listen to these two podcast messages. Called Totally Committed!
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling