My prayer is for you to know His grace and peace.

Pastor Denton Lester I came away from this Easter season with a fresh new understanding of the apostle Peter. He was a man of many gifts, talents, and he was a man who totally loved Jesus. He was bold and forward. He often put his mouth in gear before his mind and heart could consider what he was doing. He was full of love and faith, and yet he was weak and timid too. He followed Jesus faithfully except when his way got in the way. He was strong and he was weak, but he was a true disciple. He was one who learned and corrected his life to be fully committed to Jesus. He made mistakes and sinned, but he always wanted to make Jesus first in his life. That is commitment.

When Jesus said to those who were to be His disciples “Follow Me,” He meant that He wanted them to be committed to Him and His way. When they chose to follow, it meant that they left their nets, their boats, their tax booths, and whatever else they had been doing and now they were no longer committed to them. Now they were fully committed to Christ. When Jesus asks us to follow Him, He is saying it to us with the same passion. If we choose to follow Him, we are to be fully committed to Him and Him only. Following Him means that we believe in who He is and He becomes our lives' commitment. When people are not fully committed, they find reason to turn away. They find excuses not to. Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have eternal life. “He who eats Me he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:57). He says we must be fully committed to Him, as if He is inside us. Then He will be in us as the Father is in Him. He is the bread of life and whoever eats this bread shall live forever.

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God”
2 Timothy 1:8

I guess I should have started with the question of who wants to live forever? We all say we do, yet by our actions sometimes we must know we look like those who turned away saying this is too hard, who can do it. Yet those who were committed, His disciples, said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Is your relationship with Jesus one of full commitment or one of non-commitment? You know the answer better than anyone else. Besides He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows to what you are committed. Commitment sounds like a word that requires way too much effort. People have a tendency to run from words like that. They find it hard to be committed to something that is really not part of their agenda.

So some take a middle of the road approach, saying I will but only so far. Partial commitment truly impacts every other part of our lives and our relationships. Everything suffers from a lack of commitment. Remember the rich young ruler in Luke wanted to be committed to a certain point. Jesus told him it would be necessary to put Jesus ahead of his possessions. For that to happen he would have to sell all he possessed and distribute it to the poor. He wanted eternal life, but he only wanted it on his own terms. We are told he became very sad at Jesus’ terms. The terms that Jesus presents are difficult. They require total effort and total commitment. He said we must deny ourselves. There are definitely difficult choices that each person must make in determining his/her commitment or the amount of his/her commitment to Christ. He demands total commitment and the rich young ruler was very sad, but he also gave up his life. Remember also He said that what do you gain if you have everything but lose your soul, for what is your soul worth? What can you give in exchange for your soul? We live in difficult days, there are many choices, but really there is only one choice.

Remember that He is looking for you on Sunday mornings even more than anyone else because He knows to what or whom you are committed and to what you’re not.

See you in church.

Pastor Denton
            Pastor Denton

May 2019