By Pastor Gary Beck | March 28, 2020
Are levels of commitment even possible? Either you are committed or you’re not, right? Well, far too often some agree and commit to a project, and then something comes up, or they get busy, or they agree in a moment of emotion, and the value they place on the project becomes almost nothing.
Level one is verbal commitment with no follow-through. Nothing gets done. Think of the Israelites’ commitment: “All that you have said we will do.” How did that go?
The second level is where things actually get done. This is wonderful. Everything that has been committed to is accomplished. Mission complete. What more could anyone want? But there are three more levels, remember? The Pharisees were great examples of the level-two commitment. They did everything according to the book, and nothing more. They tithed their spices but neglected the weightier matters of the law such as justice, mercy, and faith. They were legalists. They considered that enough and even boasted of their commitment.
Level three commitment goes beyond level two in that justice, mercy and faith are a part of the commitment. These people love to do what they have committed to do. They spend extra time to do their project well. What could possibly be better than that? Many Christians are in this category and good things happen. People are pleased, the church moves forward, and we celebrate a job well done. But is that enough?
Level four commitment goes beyond number three in that sacrifice of self is made. Instead of doing one’s own pleasure, this commitment requires that sacrifice of time and money be made to accomplish the mission. These people really buy into the project; they make it happen through blood, sweat and tears. They are the leaders of industry. They are leaders in the church. They are the drivers that help the rest of us catch the vision of how important a project or mission is. Could there be anything greater than this?
Level five commitment is achieved when people are willing to give their lives to see that the mission is accomplished. This does not mean that they must actually die, but that they are willing to, if necessary. The martyrs were of this group. Think of Stephen, Paul, Wycliffe, Huss, Jerome, and thousands of others, who were so committed that they did not even cherish their own lives, for the sake of knowing Jesus and supporting His cause. Many are eager to sacrifice others’ lives to accomplish their goal, whether war, greed, or selfish ambition. But the real heroes are so willing to give of themselves that it becomes who they are. These represent Christ and His mission in the purest form. Jesus Himself was so committed to saving His people from the clutches of this world that He did not hesitate to give His life, to save even a few of us.
We make commitments every day to various things. We commit to marriage, family, careers, hobbies, sports, pleasures and the pursuit of wealth. At what level do we make these commitments? Has the level of commitment changed over the years? What level of commitment do we give God? How about His church? Or witnessing of the things God has done for us?
God has seen you and given you a level five commitment. What level is your commitment to Him? Your life depends on your response.
Pastor Gary Beck