When we come back: Commitment
As church life ramps up once again, it’s a good time to make the commitment to grow in our dedication to Christ, His people, and His mission. This unique situation has given us the ability to really look at our relationship with God and see how much we truly depended on Him, and how much we truly put into serving Him.
For those who were inconsistent in commitment before, I hope this COVID-19 experience has helped you realize what really matters. If your Christian life before was flagging, resolve to rededicate yourself. To be frank, if you struggled to make time for the Sunday “assembly” when it involved nothing more than turning on a screen from the comfort of your living room, when almost all of the usual distractions (sports, recreation, etc.) were shut down or forbidden, does your Christianity matter to you whatsoever? If you couldn’t consistently “attend” in those circumstances (obvious exceptions excluded), how will you ever be engaged enough to be a fruit-bearing member of the body of Christ? Ask yourself – do I really consider my God and my church family to be priorities in my life?
Now that church gatherings are returning, distractions won’t be far behind. Youth sports will start asking for your Sundays again. The lake will be calling. Your hobbies will fill up your calendar once more. The appeal to sleep in on Sundays will grow stronger for those who have to return to the office on Mondays. Now is your chance to make the commitment, before the temptation ever starts, to worship God and be with His people every Sunday. Attendance is not the fulfillment of our Christian duty – it’s just the tip of the iceberg – but if we can’t even commit to giving God our Sundays, how will we give Him anything else?
No, God does not expect perfection. But as we saw multiple times in Jesus’ ministry, He really isn’t interested in part-time followers. Life-altering commitment is a part of the deal. This is a unique opportunity to take stock of what your Christianity means to you. Will you use this chance to rededicate yourself to gathering with the saints, to learning and growing with them, to praying together, and to bearing fruit? Or will you continue to have a lukewarm relationship with Christ and His church?
Lest the more committed stumble into Pharisaism – “Unlike those inconsistent members, I watched every week during the lockdown, I’ll continue to attend regularly, and I’m an involved member” – may we remember that with Jesus as our example, there is always room for every one of us to grow. As the doors open and we get to assemble once again, what ways might you be able to grow in your commitment? Maybe it’s hospitality, opening up your home to your church family and the lost in order to build relationships in the love of Christ. Maybe it’s taking a younger disciple under your wing to teach them to pray, to study, and to serve others. Maybe it’s committing to start connecting with your neighbors more, praying for open doors to reach them with the Gospel. If you’re one who has stayed financially stable through this, maybe it means committing to sharing with those who have been rendered jobless by the lockdown. Whatever it may be for each of us, I hope this interruption to our routine has helped us realize the precious value of the days we’ve been given, and has renewed our urgency to do the Lord’s work while we’re here. (continued on back)
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As we come back, make that extra commitment. You won’t regret it. With the faith that God always rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), place your priorities where they truly matter most.