The Components of Commitment part 2
Community Discussion Guide

1. While we don’t work for our salvation, our salvation does bring with it a call to duty. However, since salvation is a gift, what do you think would motivate someone to fulfill their call to Christian duty?
1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:19  We love because He first loved us. (NIV)

2. What role does the pastor and staff play in helping you to fulfill your God-given duties as a follower of Christ?
Eph 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
Eph 4:12  to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Eph 4:13  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (NIV)


3. Have you considered what your God given call to duty looks like in your life? Explain what gifts you bring to the Body of Christ.
Romans 12:4 (NIV)  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
Romans 12:5 (NIV)  so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:6 (NIV)  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
Romans 12:7 (NIV)  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
Romans 12:8 (NIV)  if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

4. How fulfilling your Christian duty translate into a worship experience? Explain, using the following Scripture and give some examples of how serving God has been a worshipful experience at some point in your life.
Rom 12:1  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
Rom 12:2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.





The Components of Commitment
Part 2

Titus 2:11-14

Last week we began a discussion of what it means to commit. We discussed three of the components of commitment.

The First
Component of Commitment

Decision

 If you're going to make a commitment to something or someone, you must decide if the "something" or the "someone" is worthy of your commitment and if it's worth the cost!

 The Second
Component of Commitment
Desire

 Once you make the decision of worthiness, you must decide if this commitment is really something you want. Is this really what your heart desires?

One of the keys to keeping a commitment is your heart. Is your heart in it?

And we must never forget that in a commitment, saying yes to one thing means saying no to other things.

 The Third
Component of Commitment
Direction

Once you make the decision to commit, and have the desire to commit, you'll find yourself headed in a new direction! In a commitment to God, you'll begin moving away from the worldly desires and towards the desires God has for you.

And this leads us to the forth and final component of commitment...

But before we get there, let's pray! And then we're going to read our text again and I believe the forth component will jump out of the text at you.

LET'S 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)

Did you see it? Right there in that last verse...

 The Fourth
Component of Commitment

Duty

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)

What does the word duty mean?

Duty:  A moral or legal obligation, a responsibility
A task or action someone is required to perform

When a person makes the decision to commit their life to God, and living their life for God becomes their greatest desire,  the new direction of their life will inevitably lead them to accomplish the duties God has ordained and called them to do!

 "But Brother Larry, I'm not ordained, I'm not called, I'm just a regular guy or gal!"

Did you know that for years I refused to be ordained, because I believe that every believer, every follower of Christ, and every real disciple of Christ has been called of God to be on mission and has been given a duty to accomplish!!

 It's not just the clergy! It's not just the paid professionals! In God's Kingdom it's everyone one of us doing our part!!

What makes me think this way?
Let's read that verse again...

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)

Are you one of the redeemed?
Do you consider yourself one of the people of God?
If you do, the message is very clear….

God desires to purify you and make you eager to do what is good!!

In fact this forth component ties all the others together and raps up the commitment. It completes the deal.


 You make the decision to trust God and He begins to put new desires in your heart and then takes your life in an amazing new direction!!

 "Brother Larry, this is a big deal. You're asking me to commit my life to God and allow Him to put new desires in my heart and take my life in new directions. You're telling me God has a duty for me to perform. Are you sure this is correct? I mean I'm a busy person and I don't know if I really have room for anything else."

 Let me put it to you this way…
You can't afford to miss out on what God has planned for your life!! You don't want to miss out on the joy, and purpose that fulfilling your duty to God will bring into your life!


 There's nothing in this world you could ever desire that could even come close to bringing you the same level of fulfillment as you will find in accomplishing God's will for your life!

 How do I know God wants you to make a commitment to your Christian duty? How do I know God wants all of us involved in building His Kingdom?

Listen...

11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
Ephesians 4:11 (NIV)

 We might call these the Out Front Guys!

People with these gifts are on the stage. What's their job?

12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Ephesians 4:12 (NIV)

13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:13 (NIV)

14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Ephesians 4:14 (NIV)

15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)

16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:16 (NIV)

"Okay, so you got me! But I don't really know what my part is! I don't have any of those specialty gifts!!

Yes you do, you just might not be one of the on stage people! But make no mistake about it, you have a God-given gift!
Remember these verses from a few weeks back?

10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)

God has gifted you and will give you the strength and the wisdom to use whatever gift you have for His glory!!

Let me give you a few examples of folks who are using their gifts in a powerful way. You may not know them and may have never seen their faces, but let me tell you they are an important part of everything we do at Northshore Church as we seek to share God's love with our world!

Let me use our praise team as an example. With the exception of Byron, who is a part of our staff and has overall responsibility for a huge part of our worship each week, all these other guys and gals, are faithful to use their gifts on a weekly basis without pay. And I know you know their commitment of time is much more than just Sunday mornings.

And what about those folks in the back on the sound board, the computers, the lights, the cameras. A lot of what happens up here depends on what happens back there! And then there's the folks who help with stage sets. There's so much that goes on in the background.

Thanks team!!

By the way, the worship guide you have before you and the e-newsletter and the Make a difference Team emails you get, are put together by Alison Matherne and a team of proof readers.

 Prayer Team
Liz Carrego and others

The Vine Women's Ministry
Jenny Johnson
Rosemary Manint

I know I'm going to leave some folks out. But there is a limited amount of time this morning. But let me continue with a few more examples...

Judith Howard and the Joy ministry to one of the local nursing homes!!!!

1. Kathy McDonald - teaches K-2nd graders every week
2. Fran Schenck and Dawanna Tharpe - come in during the week for 2-3 hrs to prepare crafts for small groups on Sunday
3. Gus Orfan - teaches 3rd-5th grade boys
4. Shannon Leitz - puts together the nursery, toddler and 3yr old schedule for volunteers and texts a reminder to them each week

And then there's the long list of volunteers who help us with the toddlers and the nursery!!

Jean Costello - who assists Andrew with the outreach ministries of Northshore Church.  
Nanette Orzech - who coordinates the meal schedule for Meals that Heal
Community Group Leaders - Ben Ferrell, Blaine Olson, Johnny Scholtens, Arthur Campbell, and Jeff Nave

And Luis has an amazing team of volunteers who help every Sunday night and Jeanette Kleck who helps with communication and organization of events.

 Our greeter ministry!
Our ushers!
Our admin team!

And I've got a team who faithfully record and upload the podcast every week.

And I would be very remiss if I didn't mention our wonderful leadership team, who meet once a month and more if needed. They hold the pastor and staff accountable to the purpose, mission and vision of the church.

 They help us make administrative decisions. Several members of this team work with the budget team to develop our budget and to make sure that it also follows our purpose, mission and vision.

And then there's the Men's ministry who help with so many special projects. They were helping a single mom yesterday who needed some work done on her home! Chris Caluette and Dale Galloway and their team.

Here's some pictures from yesterday!!

And then we have our teachers who lead special 201 studies, like "love and respect" and boundaries, etc.

Now I know I've left out a bunch of you! Some I left out because I simply don't have the time to mention everyone who helps. Some I left out because you've not yet made the commitment to get your feet wet.

And I'm not talking about baptism.

If you're wondering where you fit in, come and talk to one of our team leaders and do a little exploration.
We'll help you find your place in ministry.
And don't let that scare you. If you don't teach, we won't ask you to teach. We'll find a custom fit for your gift mix.

Talk to some of our volunteers and ask them if it's a blessing to serve God.
I'm sure some of them will tell you it's not always easy or convenient, but the blessings and rewards are worth the trouble!

 And by the way, Jay is working on bringing us a ministry fair that will show you some of the opportunities you have to get involved.

We've got so much more we want to do. So much we need to do.

But we can't until more of us make the commitment to follow through with our God given duty.

The need even existed when Jesus lived. Listen to what He told His disciples...

37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Matthew 9:37 (NIV)

38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:38 (NIV)

And for a Christian, our duty shouldn't seem so much duty as privilege!!!!

Serving the Lord by fulfilling your God-given duties is the ultimate worship experience! There's no Christian concert conference, or camp that can out do the thrill that comes from being on mission for God as you willingly take up your Cross and follow Christ into the fields of the harvest!

Listen...

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Romans 12:1 (NIV)

See, there's the decision part of commitment again!

2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...
Romans 12:2a (NIV)

This reiterates the Desire part of commitment! You've got to ask God to help you desire the things of God more than the things of this world. This is such an important aspect in your Christian commitment, because we do what we want to. If you desire to live for God the chances of fulfilling your commitment to God go way up!!!

 The writer of Romans continues...

2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)

This is the Direction part of commitment! When you decide to commit and desire to fulfill your commitment, your life will take a new and exciting direction towards God's will and plan for you! And this leads to the fulfillment of your God given duty.

He continues...

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Romans 12:3 (NIV)

4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
Romans 12:4 (NIV)

5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:5 (NIV)

6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
Romans 12:6 (NIV)

7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
Romans 12:7 (NIV)

8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:8 (NIV)

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9 (NIV)

10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10 (NIV)

11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Romans 12:11 (NIV)

So no matter what your gift is, you have a God given Duty to use it. You are to "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

"Okay, pastor Larry, I know I keep interrupting your sermon to ask you all these questions, but we are talking about making a commitment here and I want to be sure I've got all the facts! You see, I've got some circumstances in my life that you don't know about!!!

They're really tough and I don't know if I can overcome them. I don't know if I've got the strength or the wisdom to really be effective at serving the Lord! I want to, but it scares me to make that commitment. I don't want to make a commitment and not be able to follow through!"

Let me just tell you, I can relate big time!!

If there was ever somebody who felt out of place serving the Lord it was me.
There's so much that I'm not, and so much that I don't know, and so much that I can't do, not to mention my goofy mess-ups and slip-ups.
But God is not looking for ability, He's looking for availability!!

I want to tell you a story and sing you the song that goes with it. Back when we were first starting the church, I was also working on my doctorate at the seminary in New Orleans.
Okay, just that statement is proof that God works miracles.

I was never a stellar student, and study habits are typically not strong in a person who is easily distracted. I would have been diagnosed with ADHD, but that designation wasn't around when I was a kid.

I did okay in college and did better when I went for my Master's of Divinity, but it scared me to pieces to even think about doctoral level work.

  And being the senior pastor of a new church with all the leadership responsibilities that come with it. Thank the Lord for a brother named Jay Victory and his precious wife Bronie who were willing to step out on faith to come and help!!

 During this time, I also had three kids at home. Two in high school and one in grade school, who my wife home schooled.

Then one day I noticed a knot on the back of my neck. Over the course of a month it got bigger. I went to the doctor and was told it was a tumor. I was like, you've got to be kidding. I really don't have time for this!!!

I was sent to a surgeon who said, it's a fast growing tumor so we don't really need to biopsy, we just need to get it out right away. So we scheduled surgery.

Several days after the surgery, they called me and told me they weren't satisfied with the pathology report, so they were going to send it to New Orleans for a second opinion. It was on a Friday so the Doctor told me to have a good weekend and they would call me the next week as soon as they heard something.

He realized the way this sounded and said to me, "I'm sorry, I know it's easy for me to say have a good weekend when it's not me waiting on the results."

I told him i appreciated his thoughtfulness and reassured him that I would have a good weekend because of my faith, and as long as God had a work for me to do on this earth, there wasn't a tumor on the planet that could take me out before that work was done!"  

It was from this experience that this song was given to me. I pray it will encourage everyone of us to embrace the God given duty that comes with every Christian commitment. Trust this, God will make a way for you to fulfill your God-given commitment!!

End sermon slides


 I pray we will understand that our duty to serve God is as much a privilege as it is an obligation, the blessing outweighs the burden, and the gravity of our task makes it less a chore and more an adventure!

4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 (NIV)

5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
Romans 15:5 (NIV)

6so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:6 (NIV)