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There are numerous references in the Bible addressing the Christian’s commitment in various aspects of life: to our families, neighbors, employers, the church, our health, friends, the environment, the world, and in all things, we do and say (Ephesians 6:5; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 31). The Bible teaches that the chief commitment of our lives is to God Himself. Jesus said: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:37-38).

Commitment and leaving behind
Jesus is telling us that every fiber of our being, every facet of our lives must be committed to loving and serving God. This means that we must hold nothing back from Him because God holds nothing back from us (John 3:16). Furthermore, Jesus said that our commitment to Him must be greater than our commitment to even our families: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26-27). Jesus did not mean literal hatred. Such commitment means our family relationships may be taken serious. It means also our commitment to Christ demands, if given an “either/or” situation, we turn away from them and continue with Jesus (Luke 12:51-53). Followers of Jesus, such as fisherman Simon (later called Peter), obeyed the Lord. Then Jesus said to Simon: “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him (Luke 5:10). The bottom line is that those who cannot make that kind of commitment cannot be His disciple.

Living out our new identity in Christ
Colossians 3:1-3 says: "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God". Paul explains that since Jesus died for us, we should live a life that is dead to our old self. Since Jesus resurrected and saved us, we also should live a resurrection life in Him (Colossians 3:4-17).

Obedience and Persecution
Jesus is warning us in advance. The reason for such commitment and loyalty is that the trials we may have to endure will be quite demanding; our allegiance to Him at times may be hard to achieve (John 15:18). Jesus alerted His disciples: "Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also" (John 15:20). The apostle Paul echoed His warning: In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). The first Christians experienced persecution (Acts 4:23-31).

Selflessness is costly
Jesus has made plain the cost of discipleship: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it" (Luke 9:23-24). The true cost of commitment to Christ is one’s total self-denial, cross-bearing, and the continual following of Him. These essentials picture for us sacrifice, selflessness, and service. A cross illustrated ultimate punishment and humiliation (Galatians 3:13). More than that, it fully demonstrated the love of God (Romans 5:8)—selfless and sacrificial in the giving of His life for the world (Matthew 20:28).

Fruitfulness and service
Paul followed the Lord’s example of commitment in sacrifice and service. Paul said: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Total commitment to God means that Jesus is our sole authority, our guiding light, and our unerring compass. Being committed to Christ means being fruitful; it means being a servant. Paul says: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).

Being an ambassador
Ambassadors represent a country. In the spiritual sense an ambassador of Christ represents the Kingdom of God. That means sharing your faith. Paul says: "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20).