RELATIONAL ASPECT OF COMMITMENT
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
The relational aspect of commitment is found in the phrase, “Whoever wants to be my disciple…” There is a desire on our part that causes us to want to come to Jesus to be His follower. It is a relationship that you seek to establish with Him. But what is the origin of this relationship? We do not have anything in us that is good enough to be offered to God. It is God Himself who has committed Himself to us. It is He who has taken the initiative that makes it possible for me to respond in commitment to Him.
We see God’s commitment in His creation. He made humankind in His image. And we see His true commitment when we messed up in the fall of humankind. Thus began God’s plan for salvation, the redemption story that culminated in the coming of Jesus Christ. God’s commitment to us is one of total love. This caused Him to not even spare His only Son from the cruelty of the cross to redeem us from the curse of sin.
In addition, when Jesus was on earth, it was He who took the initiative. In fact, when there were some who wanted to volunteer their services prior to their understanding of the true nature of discipleship and the commitment that is required of them, they were discouraged from doing so:
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18–22)
This is the relational aspect of commitment; one in which we desire to follow Jesus because God first committed Himself to us and calls us to follow Him. We who have experienced His love and grace desire to respond to Him.
RESPONSE: Today I commit to a relationship with Jesus in being a true learner and follower.
PRAYER: Lord, I respond to Your love and grace today and desire to become a fully devoted disciple.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.