When it comes to sports teams, people tend to have a favorite. Some even pledge their allegiance to a particular team, regardless of whether it is doing well or poorly. You can spot these individuals at games decked out in their team’s colors. They usually cheer, shout and passionately throw themselves into every aspect of the game. Human beings are strangely willing to commit entirely to something so trivial. Yet, they are often unwilling to give up anything when it comes to God. Kingdom commitment demands total allegiance to Christ overall.
In Luke 9, Jesus interacted with three people who claimed they wanted to follow Him but lacked true dedication. In His responses, Jesus revealed what these people prized above commitment to the Kingdom of God. The first person wanted a comfortable Christianity that would not interfere with his lifestyle. Still, Jesus did not even have a place to call home where He could rest His head. The second man asked to bury his father first, although his father had not yet died. He actually wanted the security of having a fallback position if following Jesus did not work out. The third man was plagued by indecisiveness as he tried to go back and say goodbye to loved ones before becoming a disciple. This man’s doublemindedness made him unfit for the Kingdom of God.
Our commitment to Christ cannot be tied solely to what He can do for us and the blessings He provides. While blessings do come from obeying God, they should not be our criteria for seeking Him. We must prioritize Kingdom commitment over personal comfort. We tend to put our security in finances, career, family or other earthly things. Security is not wrong as long as it does not deter or delay us from following Christ. We must be willing to face inconveniences, uncertainty, and even suffering for Christ. Finally, Kingdom commitment requires us to detach from our relationships so we can respond to God’s call immediately without distractions. Listening to the opinions of friends and family can cause us to doubt our calling or feel guilty about our commitment. If we focus on what we are sacrificing and leaving behind to follow Christ, we may lose sight of where Christ is taking us ahead. Make the decision to focus wholeheartedly on where Jesus is leading you..
- To what things, persons or causes do people willingly give their allegiance? Have you given your allegiance to anything?
- What causes people to fear or avoid commitment?
Let’s Get Personal
- Which of the three individuals in Luke 9 do you identify with? Have you prioritized comfort, security, or relationships over your Kingdom commitment?
- What distractions take your focus away from following Christ? Has something or someone caused you to doubt or feel guilty about your commitment to Christ?
- When has following Christ caused you discomfort, uncertainty, or suffering? How was God with you through those difficult times?
Take the Next Step
- What next steps can you take to follow where Christ is leading you right now? What distractions do you need to remove so you can focus completely on Him?
- Consider where you have been seeking comfort and finding your security. Pray about giving those things over to the Lord so that your Kingdom commitment can be your top priority.
- Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: Luke 9:57-62; Luke 14:25-35; Matthew 8:18-22; Matthew 16:21-28; Luke 9:22-27; Mathew 6:33; Matthew 10:24-42; Matthew 28:16-20.
Renew Your Mind
“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.’”