Recently I “won” a copy of Shannon O’Dell’s new book entitled Transforming Church in Rural America from Tim Stevens of Granger Community Church. Tim worked a deal with the book’s publisher, New Leaf Press, that allowed him to tweet a link that scored a free copy of the book to the first one hundred visitors. Score.
As I was reading my way through the first three chapters today, I came upon a phrase that hit me so hard I had to put the book down and reflect for a few minutes. O’Dell is outlining a candidate sermon he gave while interviewing at a church for the senior pastor position and he says:
“I shared why I thought the church is passionless today, because so many are involved with Christ but not committed to Him.”
Man, that is a powerful statement! How often do we treat our relationship with God as a Wednesday and/or Sunday tryst? If that didn’t sting, how about this one: How often do we give Him an hour of everyday…but that’s it…JUST an hour? We set aside time for Him, sure, but we LIMIT our involvement with Him to that time.; Our relationship with Him is a lot less evident when it isn’t our quiet time.
God doesn’t ask us for involvement; He asks us for commitment. Jesus said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). What is left of us when we give all He demands in this verse?
We, like Peter, are supposed to grab our coats when we jump out of the boat after Jesus! Fully prepared and fully committed to not turn back, we jump albeit awkwardly into the life He has called us to: A life of death to ourselves and rebirth in Him. A whole-self decision.
Let us commit to Christ as He has committed Himself to the church: As a groom commits to His bride – wholly and unconditionally. God doesn’t want to be limited to “Lord of the Bible Studies” or “Lord of the Church.” He wants to be Lord of our lives with dominion and influence over all that we are and all that we have and all that we do.
Quit being involved with Jesus. Commit your life to Him as He willingly committed His life to you. Don’t make me quote Revelation 3:16 on you!