The lost art

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Certain characteristics are so inherent to Christianity. What has changed the most in the past 20 years with people? People today are far less willing to commit to anything. Whether we are talking about faith, marriage, career, etc... studies have backed up evidence. Some say it is because of: desire for adventure, career advancement, and prolonged adolescence.
Lack of commitment is also hitting religion—hard. Studies suggest that individuals are choosing which aspects of the faith to adopt to create their own unique spiritual playlists. Today, the unwillingness to commit is alarming. Many have no sense of spiritual, community or social obligation. The world is seen as a fragmented place of choice and freedom that yields little meaning or comfort. People seem to have lost the language to express commitment to anything...
1. Commitment is connection between our values, intentions and our actions.
2. Passion is the essence of commitment that which deeply stirs and motivates us.
3. Commitment is persistence which drives us and anchors us during challenging time, helping us maintain our integrity.
4. Commitment is conscious decisions from observing ourselves to that which we should be committed.
5. Commitment is purposeful choice and intent to our values and to our passions.
6. Commitment is self-expression, the core ingredient of our values, enabling us to be authentic.
7. Vision brings forth our commitment displaying where we are most focused.
8. Commitment inspires us to be and do our best so that we may reach for quality and excellence in all we do.

9. Commitment lives in communication the declaration and words, evidence of commitment lives in the actions we take and don’t take.
10. Commitment is surrender. Commitment is the giving of ourselves to what we most believe in. We surrender with commitment.

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

Jesus is telling us that every fiber of our being, every facet of our lives must be committed to loving and serving God. Jesus is warning us in advance. The reason for such commitment and loyalty is that the trials we may have to endure will be quite demanding; In essence, the true cost of commitment to Christ is one’s total self-denial, cross-bearing, and the continual following of Him. Paul followed the Lord’s example of commitment in sacrifice and service. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

What if: There was just as many advocates for Jesus as there are for politics, we stood as strong for our faith as we do our opinions, prayed as much as we griped, our desire for Jesus Christ was as strong as our resistance to Him, our commitment was as strong as our excuses, our values we’re higher than our tolerances, we encouraged as much as we critiqued, we lifted up as much as we bring down, we were asfaithful as we are fickle?

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
(Brian Smallwood is the youth pastor for Dry Ridge Baptist Church. He can be reached at 859-824-5501)