HomeWord - July 10, 2009

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Wholehearted, Simple Commitment 
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ.
 —2 Corinthians 11:3

Some years ago, a train in the United Kingdom traveling 117 miles per hour derailed. The crash left four people dead and more than 30 people injured. An investigation showed that track defects had contributed significantly to the cause of the accident. The company responsible for maintaining the tracks was found to have not met its commitments on track repairs.

Half-hearted commitments can end in disaster. I’ve seen it happen over the years, in areas of life ranging from sports to marriage, from friendships to business. All of us, at one time or another, have probably been hurt by others who have made half-hearted commitments.

Most Christians would say they have made a commitment to following Christ. Yet, there are those among us who have made these commitments half-heartedly. Tragically, half-hearted Christians hurts themselves the most. Sometimes they fool themselves about the nature of following Christ. For them, following Christ is an exercise in frustration. It doesn’t seem to work. Sometimes they walk away from the faith. Their faith, as the apostle Paul wrote, has been “shipwrecked.” (1 Timothy 1:19.)

Half-hearted commitment to Christ is nothing new. Jesus himself encountered half-hearted followers. He said to them, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, but do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) Jesus challenged people to be wholehearted about their commitment, counting the cost of following him beforehand. (Luke 14:25-33)

Why is it important to walk in wholehearted, simple commitment to Jesus? Because the “things we do” as Christians can easily become the focus of our faith. It is all too easy to end up committed to a Christian program or church rather than being committed to Christ. Programs and churches can let people down. Jesus never does. It’s all too easy to commit to following the “rules” of Christianity rather than being committed to Christ. Following “rules” can become sterile and confining. Following Jesus is about relationship not rules. Following Jesus brings freedom and life.

Jesus said that following him is a matter of choice, made on a daily basis. (Luke 9:23) Sadly, most people won’t make this choice for it’s not the easiest road to take. But, it is the only choice that leads to real life. It’s the only choice that allows you to become all that God intends for you to be. Today, choose to be devoted to the person of Jesus Christ.

GOING DEEPER: 

  1. What “things” in life get in your way of simple and pure devotion to Christ?
  2. Pray about those “things,” asking God for his strength and grace to focus on being committed to Christ.

FURTHER READING: 
Matthew 7:13-14; 13:1-24; Colossians 2:6-23

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