A wise man once asked me if I knew the difference between a contribution and a commitment. I told him I hadn’t given much thought to it. He said, ” young man, next time you sit down to eat breakfast, be sure to order bacon and eggs. Take a good long look at that meal before you indulge, and consider this, the chicken made a contribution, the pig made a commitment.”
A contribution is when someone does something, or gives something, to help a cause. They believe the cause to be good, are hoping it succeeds, and desire to be affiliated with it. So they make a contribution with these things in mind, but if the cause ends up failing, it won’t devastate the life of the contributor, since they gave something, but not everything.
Many people treat the gospel this way. They believe it to be something good, are hoping it’s true, and desire to be affiliated with it. So they make their contribution, some of their time, some of their effort, and maybe a little of their finances. If it turns out to be false, it won’t be a total waste, because they’ve devoted most of their life to what’s really important, like having fun, and building one’s personal empire.
Anyone who has read the sayings of Jesus Christ, and is intellectually honest, knows that what I just described is not the attitude of a true believer, or the response that the gospel requires. Jesus said in Matthew 16. 24 – 26, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul ?”
There’s only one way to believe the gospel, and that’s with all your heart. The gospel deals with matters such as sin, judgment, the holiness of God, eternal life, and damnation. There is so much at stake. Half hearted belief, and simply making a contribution in case it turns out to be true, is not an option. Being confronted by the gospel is a fork in the road. You must choose one of the two paths set before you, and there’s nothing in between. Eternity hangs in the balance. You either believe or you don’t.
What a person does with their life reveals what they truly believe in. People commit to what they believe in. Lots of people are committed to making money. They believe in money, and are willing to devote their lives toward accumulating it. Their willing to give their lives to the cause of getting ahead, and the happiness it brings. Others are committed to social matters, politics, or other religions, and not only do they devote themselves, but they’re actually willing to die for what they believe in. Everyone is committed to something, or someone, or simply committed to themselves.
Jesus called everyone who would follow him, that is, everyone who would be a true Christian, to a wholehearted commitment to himself. Salvation is a free gift in the sense that Christ has accomplished for the believer something they could never do for themselves, namely put them back in right relation to God, through His life, death, and resurrection. This is a finished work, and could never be added to. Yet, in another sense, the gift of Salvation will cost you everything, since in order to receive this new life in Christ, you must trade in your old one. Bring it all to him, and hold nothing back. You must go in for the full treatment. You might want something less but God offers nothing less.
If you were trapped in a burning building, and a fireman came rushing in to save you, would you halfheartedly trust him ? Would you question, doubt, and ignore what he told you ? Or would you grab hold of his hand, and trust him with your life ? In the same manner, Jesus is holding out His hand, and saying “trust in me”, so give The Lord everything. Put your entire life in His hands. Give God your whole heart, every area of your life, and every beat of your heart until the day you die, devote it all to Him. Make the commitment. Give God your life, and He will give you a new one, He will give you the life of His Son, Jesus Christ.
The question is, do you truly believe in Him ?…
In His Service – Junior Reid