What is commitment?
One of the definitions of this word in my dictionary says that ‘a commitment is an engagement or duty that restricts freedom of action’
What about Christian commitment?
Aren’t we told, that to be a Christian is to be truly free?
Now join the army Mr Jones and you will find your freedom of action restricted, you will have to follow orders.
Recently like heard a sermon about Christian baptism and the passage in Romans chapter 6, where we are taught that all of us, no exceptions who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death.
“Imagine, ” the speaker said, “you are a bystander watching a squad of a a Roman soldiers marching a man through the streets, a man carrying a cross, condemned to death by crucifixion. You know, don’t you what the outcome of that committal is going to be… Well then when it comes to ourself, do we realise that we are called to same level of commitment as the man carrying the cross.”
Let’s think awhile, The Lord Jesus could have dodged his death on the cross, he could have walked
away from it any time, up until that fateful moment in Gethsemane when he accepted the cup poured to for him (and for us).
We pray, don’t we,
‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.’
Jesus showed us His Grace, by his obedience to the Father’s will, the Father showed us His Love by sending His Son to die for us, we share in the fellowship of rich love between them both by our sharing love amongst ourselves.
Paul, rich in grace himself, writes to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:3), “join with me in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
A few days ago I was given a small gift (see picture) a replica edition of An Active Service John’s Gospel, produced by the Scripture Gift Mission during the First World War. Hundreds of thousands of these tiny books were issued to soldiers in training camps,and in tea huts, some given to the wounded by nurses, some handed out by chaplains. Designed to fit in the front pocket of a uniform they had rounded corners that wouldn’t crease and at the back a decision form. The decision form page, came to be there at the request of Chaplains. Who hoped that those who were invited to sign it would draw comfort from their gesture of commitment when facing their fears of death. We are told that very many did do this, and found comfort and peace .. we are told also that when a soldier died his possessions were returned to his family who sometimes discovered a signed decision page from a man who had, never shown any interest at all in the faith before and they too were comforted. Often the signed form in the little book was the only identification found on a body.
I have been moved by this tiny Gospel; it reminds me that I too have committed to Active Service – I pray for strength, courage and the Grace of The Lord Jesus, to be a good soldier of Christ Jesus, true to by baptism, my calling and commitment.