The Components of Commitment

Community Group Discussion Questions
1.There’s the dictionary definition of commitment and then there’s your understanding of the word. What does commitment mean to you and how important a concept do you think it is in life?

Commit -  To carry out or perpetrate, To Pledge or bind
Commitment - The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity

2. When considering any commitment, a person needs to ask whether or not it is worthy of their commitment and if it’s worth the cost. How does this apply to a decision to commit ones life to God?

Psa 18:2  The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psa 18:3  I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psa 18:4  The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. Psa 18:5  The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. Psa 18:6  In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

3. One of the components that often most affects the outcome of a commitment is desire. If a person has no real desire to fulfill a commitment, they probably will not. On the other hand, a person will typically be committed to what they desire. When it comes to our commitment to God, He asks us to say no to the ungodly desires of the world and to say yes to the things of God! How does God help us with this component of commitment?

Rom 8:11  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Rom 8:12  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. Rom 8:13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, Rom 8:14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

4. A commitment to God will take your life in a different direction. Share how this has been true in your life.

Rom 6:1  What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Rom 6:2  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Rom 6:3  Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Rom 6:4  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.




The Components of Commitment

Titus 2:11-14

I'm super excited about our message today! We've talked about why we come together as a church to worship! We've talked about why it's critical the individuals who make up the church, connect to God, His Word, His family and His work!


Today we will begin to explore the components of commitment!
If we come to worship, and even get connected, but never commit on a deeper  level, there's a real problem! Without commitment our purpose, mission and vision will simply not be achieved.
 

 Failure to achieve the church's purpose, mission and vision would have tragic consequences!
Failure should not even be an option!!

 I know someone may have just said, "Okay, come on honey, let's get out of here now, he just said the C word! They're fixing to ask us to make some kind of commitment!"

Please don't leave yet!

 Commit -  To carry out or perpetrate,
To Pledge or bind

Commitment - The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity

 Our question today is twofold: Are we willing to pledge to carry out God's purpose for our church as a whole?
Are we willing dedicate ourselves individually to the cause of Christ?

 I've chosen for our text on commitment a passage from Paul's letter to Titus.
Titus, like Timothy, was a young man whom Paul was mentoring in the gospel. Titus had become a very strong leader under Paul's tutelage.

 In fact, he had once been sent by Paul to the Corinthian Church to ease some of the tension and division in the church there. At the writing of this letter, Titus was probably on the island of Crete.

 This was a mission church and so the essence of the letter was threefold. How the body of Christ as a church was supposed to be ordered.  How the body of Christ was to live. How the body of Christ was to protect itself against attacks from  without and within.

  This text has application for a church on the Island of Crete and application for a church on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain, called Northshore Church! From this text we will discover the components of commitment!

 We do everything we can at Northshore Church to be completely open and honest about everything. Especially, our intentions for you! So I'm just going to tell you straight up we not only want you to come and connect, we want you to commit!


Commit to what?

A personal relationship with God!
 Personal spiritual growth!
To God's family!
To our purpose, mission and vision!


 Sound's like the four points of connection you talked about last week!
If you just made that connection I'm so proud of you!!
You are so right!!
 We want to move you from the initial connection to the deeper levels of commitment!

 Let's pray and we'll figure out what that looks like…

PRAY!

11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Titus 2:11 (NIV)

12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 2:12 (NIV)

13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Titus 2:13 (NIV)

14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:14 (NIV)

In these verses we discover the components of commitment! There are four! We will deal with three this morning and the last one, next week!

 The First
Component of Commitment

Decision


You've got a decision to make!

Is it worthy of my commitment?
 Is it worth the cost I'll have to pay?


 We are faced with this decision on an almost daily basis as we are asked to make various commitments. Financial commitments! Time commitments! Commitments at work! Commitments to family! Commitments to friends!


 I'm afraid too many times we don't really ask the questions: Is it worthy of my commitment and is it worth the cost?

God ask us for some commitments.
Is He really worthy of my commitment and is it worth the cost?

What did Paul tell Titus?

11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Titus 2:11 (NIV)

I love the way Paul states this! The Grace, unmerited, undeserved, unearned, not for sale grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men!!

Not all accept it, but all are offered it!

If you're trying to decide whether or not God is worthy of your commitment, then consider this…God made a commitment to make Salvation available to you even though He knew you might never make a commitment to accept His gift! When considering whether or not He is worthy of your commitment, consider that!!

The Psalmist considered God's worth and spoke of this on many occasions. He said it so powerfully! Listen...

3Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
Psalm 145:3 (NIV)

4One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:4 (NIV)

5They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
Psalm 145:5 (NIV)

6They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.
Psalm 145:6 (NIV)

7They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Psalm 145:7 (NIV)

8The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
Psalm 145:8 (NIV)

9The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
Psalm 145:9 (NIV)

10All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you.
Psalm 145:10 (NIV)

11They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,
Psalm 145:11 (NIV)

12so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Psalm 145:12 (NIV)

13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.
Psalm 145:13 (NIV)

14The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
Psalm 145:14 (NIV)

I would say God is more than worthy!! I sometimes wonder why God would care so much, do so much, and give so much to a people who at times can be so ungrateful! Yet He does!!!

Again, the Psalmist hits the nail on the head! Listen…

3When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
Psalm 8:3 (NIV)

4what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 8:4 (NIV)

And yet He does!! Aren't you glad? I could give you a thousand other reasons God is worthy of your praise, but time does not permit!

 The Second
Component of Commitment

Desire

12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions...
Titus 2:12a (NIV)

When it comes to commitment to God and ones spiritual development, one of the often overlooked components is that of desire!

Is it what I really want?

 As with any decision of commitment, and especially a commitment to God, saying yes to one thing means you will have to say no other things!!

It's a part of the meaning of commitment!!

Remember the meaning?

 Commit -  To carry out or perpetrate,
To Pledge or bind

Commitment - The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity

Paul told Titus the grace that brings salvation….

12...teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions...
Titus 2:12a (NIV)

If you are truly going to be a follower of Christ, you will have to surrender your desires, your dreams, and your deepest longings to Him!



 If you believe God to be worthy of your commitment, then you must trust Him when He tells you to get rid of things that are not Godly, things that are of this world designed by the enemy to steal, kill and destroy!!

Truth be known, some of us here today have resisted full commitment to God because we are holding on to some  worldly desire.

We simply don't believe God's plan for us is as amazing and invigorating as our own plan. Or maybe some worldly vice has gotten it's grip on you and ironically you've got a grip on it.  

 Bro. Larry, what do you mean I've got a grip on it?
Let me tell you a little story. It's a story about some scientist who were conducting a study on a small, illusive and shy primate. They needed to capture them to tag them, and take some blood samples. They didn't want to injure them.

 The native people, told the scientist it was simple to catch them. They put some cookies in a glass jar with a very small opening. One cookie was set outside the jar. The jar was tethered to the ground. .

The little monkeys would eat the first cookie, loved it, must have been chocolate chip, and then would reach into the jar to get a second one

 The problem was in order to get their hand back out of the jar, they had to let go of the cookie. They wanted the other cookies so badly, when the scientist would approach, the monkey would grab one of the cookies in their hand and refused to let it go.

As a result, they couldn't get their hand out of the jar and their captors could just walk up to them and place a cage over them.

There's no sin with a power God cannot break, or grip He cannot loose, but He will not force you to break your grip of sin. The power of your grip is your God given power of choice.

13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

14Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:14 (NIV)

Here's the problem…We make choices that give evil a place in our lives. Over time that sin takes control and we become weak.

The issue is this, God wants to be our strength, but we must make the commitment to let Him and this means making the hard decisions the next time temptation comes.

Decisions to let go of the things that are destroying our very soul, our marriages, our children, our witness to the world! You must begin making decisions that will put you in a place where God can begin to put a whole new set of desires in your heart and can redirect the course and destination of your life!

Preacher you act like that's an easy thing to do! No, it can be a raging battle, but thank God there is a way, there is help!!
This takes us to the next component of commitment!!

 The Third
Component of Commitment

Direction


12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 2:12 (NIV)

13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Titus 2:13 (NIV)

What you're committed to determines in large part the direction of your life!

Where are you headed?
Think about this!
Please consider this honestly!

 

Self-controlled
Upright
Godly



Someone might say, "Oh yeah, that sounds real exciting! Self-control, Upright, Godly! Boring, dumb, and lame if you ask me!"

Boring? Dumb? Lame? Really?

Do I need to remind you what happens to those who have no self-control? It ain't pretty! And I guess the opposite of upright would be, what? Maybe lowdown? Do you really want to go there?

Paul's already told us that we need to say no to worldly passions and ungodliness, and now he points us in a new direction. A self-controlled, upright and Godly direction!! One that causes a person to look forward to the glorious appearing of our Lord, instead of fearing that day!

 It is our desire at Northshore Church to help people find new direction for their lives. To commit to living a self-controlled, upright and Godly life!!
In fact, our membership covenant says this...

Today, I make a covenant with God and the church family at Northshore to find my purpose in this local body of Christ and use my spiritual gifts, time, and resources to help fulfill God’s mission here. I will never use any of these to divide or tear down any member of Northshore or the body as a whole.  

 I commit to a lifestyle in my everyday life that will bring God glory and will be a testimony to His grace and mercy and edify the church body at Northshore. I commit to continued growth as a Christian through Bible study, prayer, and accountability with fellow believers. This is my commitment today.


Is it really even possible to live such a commitment? Is it realistic, in this world, to think that someone would really try to live that way?

Yes and Yes!!

Self-control begins with Spirit-control.

Self-control is not possible by self!

What?

Self is not strong enough and does not have the will power to control itself!
This is where the Holy Spirit comes to the rescue...

5For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.
Romans 7:5 (NIV)

6But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Romans 7:6 (NIV)

And then in Romans chapter 8...

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Romans 8:5 (NIV)

6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
Romans 8:6 (NIV)

You say, "I want that, but how do I get that?"

Each and every day, you need to ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit.
You received the Holy Spirit when you got saved!

However, being filled with the Holy Spirit must be a daily occurrence!

You see, being filled with the Spirit is not you getting more Spirit, but the Spirit getting more of you! All of you!

We not only need The Holy Spirit to say no to the bad things, we need Him to help us say yes to the upright and Godly things!

26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Romans 8:26 (NIV)

27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
Romans 8:27 (NIV)

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Most of the time, in this world, when you make a commitment, you're on your own!
But not with God!!

He not only made a way through Christ Jesus for us to be reconciled, He sends His very own Spirit to help us make the right decisions, have the right desires, and to travel in the right direction!

 There is one other component of commitment, but you'll have to wait until next week to discover this

one. The whole message will be given to this last component of commitment.



This morning some of us have some decisions to make!
Do you believe God is worthy of a commitment?
Are you willing to allow God to place a new set of desires in your heart?
Are you willing to let God take your life in a new direction?

If the answer to those questions, is yes, then you have a commitment to make, and I can tell you from experience, it's a commitment you'll never regret! It's a commitment you'll find to be the best decision you've ever made!

Let's pray!!

End of Sermon!!