IT’S A QUESTION OF COMMITMENT
BY T. F. TENNEY
We’ve virtually all heard the illustration about the difference between involvement and commitment. When you eat your eggs and bacon in the morning, you can know that the chicken was involved but the pig was committed. So it is with some things in life. There are some areas that involvement will suffice. However, there are some things that require commitment.
Someone once said, “Jesus never lured his disciples by false advertising. He said things like, ‘Deny . thyself…’ -‘Take up thy cross….’ He once looked at a multitude and said, , ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate , his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple…’ With terms like that, there was never a stampede to join Him then. There is not likely to be one now. The requirements for discipleship are still the same.” Discipleship requires commitment.
You can choose to be a follower and live on the fringe. Or you can choose to be a disciple and see first-hand the majesty of His kingdom. You can watch “thy will be done” being lived out by others; or you can pray the prayer yourself and see it’s fulfillment in your own life.
Ralph Mahoney, founder of World Missionary Assistance Plan recently made the following observation: “The currency of the Kingdom is sacrifice. In America we have a materialistic orientation and even our thinking about evangelism revolves around the concern. In fact, the poorest churches are the fastest growing churches in the world.” Having been in China meeting with key church leaders in secret locations, Ralph Mahoney has seen commitment at its finest. Among the impoverished and persecuted people of China there is a Gospel flame burning brightly at least partially due to the commitment to evangelism found there.
He went on to explain: “Most of the evangelism is done by young women who go out at age 20 or 21 years of age, and who have made a promise to give a tithe of their lives to the Lord to preach the Gospel. They expect to live 70 years so they want to give the Lord seven. They don’t have any money when they leave; they go out trusting God. Their method? They go out and find a field – they literally go out into the harvest field where people are out gathering rice, and say to the farmer, ‘Can I help you with your harvest?’ Of course no farmer refuses workers without pay. They begin helping in the fields and by the end of the first week they have usually won their first convert-through friendship evangelism. Once they have their first convert, they have a place to sleep. (Previously they slept somewhere in the field.) Soon the farmer gives them some of the rice for their work, so those two primary needs are met.
“The first person they led to the Lord, of course, has friends and relatives with whom they want to share their faith, and in a small amount of time they have a body of 40 or 50 believers, meeting in a house somewhere in rural China!”
There is a young lady in a remote area of northeast China today, age 28, who started out just that way seven years ago. Today, she has 28,000 believers! She is responsible for 300 house church leaders, all of whom she has personally trained. She had no outside help. He says, “She did it like they did it in the Bible .. The currency of the Kingdom is sacrifice and commitment – joined with the power of the Holy Spirit. That is an unbeatable combination that will triumph in every situation. In the West we might not want to hear that. We prefer to hear about prosperity and success. But the Lord has called his servants to sacrifice it all and come and follow him.”
I wonder what would happen in your church if you committed yourself to ‘tithe’ just the hours of one day. What if you spent 2.4 hours one week praying? What if you spent 2.4 hours teaching a Bible study? What would happen if our young people began to commit themselves to tithe of their lives like these women in China are doing? What would happen if we were no longer satisfied being involved and devoted ourselves to the work of the Kingdom? It’s simply a question of commitment.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE CHALLENGER, PAGE 3, 1998.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.