“Protect me, for I am devoted to You. Save me, for I serve You and trust You. You are my God.” (Psalms 86:2, NLT) Where in the Holy Scripture does Jesus expect of His disciples anything less than total devotion? Jesus is perfectly clear in His absolute call for genuine believers to be fully-committed followers of Him. He is ever searching for those whose hearts are willing to abandon Self for the honor to journey with the Savior! 1 Chronicles 16:9 declares, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” (NLT) In Matthew 16:24, Jesus sets the bar of commitment for being a fully devoted follower of His - “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me.” There is no room for debate or negotiation – just as a popular maxim of our day declares – “It IS what it IS!” Too many believers today are trying to follow Jesus with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom (i.e. hanging onto self while trying to tug along with the Savior). It is a spiritual impossibility which Dr. Henry Blackaby from his Experiencing God study so perfectly addresses, “You cannot stay where you are (hold onto Self) and go with God!” It seems like many today consider ‘total allegiance’ to be a characteristic more associated with a cult rather than a foundational pillar of Christianity! Know the world however has no problem with partially-devoted followers of Christ – it is when we move from being partially-devoted to fully-devoted (wholeheartedly committed) that brings about their revile of us! Matthew 5:11 warns us of this response, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” (NKJV) The headlines this morning affirm His truth by the firestorm already being released against Tim Tebow, the Heisman Trophy-winning American football quarterback for the Florida Gators. Tebow, a professing follower of Christ, will star with his mom in a 30-second pro-life ad produced by Focus on the Family (FOTF) which will air during the upcoming SuperBowl. Many in the media and secular organizations are reviling against both Tebow and FOTF for their pro-life stance, condemning their pro-life beliefs as ‘polarizing’ and ‘demeaning to the rights of women.’ Tebow – already known for his sharing of scriptures through his football eye black - is accepting the price / cost which comes in displaying a heart that is seeking to be ‘fully committed’ to our Lord Jesus Christ. What would YOU do given the same situation – I’m not talking about your having to be a well know college football star, but what if God brought your life to an intersection where you faced such a choice – either to be a partially-devoted follower of Christ amidst the watching crowds, or a fully-devoted follower that places you on the playing field of faith before a watching world? Your honest answer this morning to that simple Spirit-led question will reveal your true commitment level to Christ … of course verbal answers are typically easy; the true test comes in how you live out that answer in your life! …Selah!
Today's Spirit-led song for His devotion is the soulful "Fully Committed" by the Gospel group, Kingdom - G3 for sharing His power-filled words thru His gift of music for His praise & glory!