Monday, May 16, 2011
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Okay, for all too many of us the words diet and failure are synonyms. I guess that's why Weight Watchers was born. There were a lot of people who have never lost weight, or at least been able to keep it off, and suddenly the word diet becomes synonymous with success.
What's the difference? Well, part of it I guess is that once a week you get together with a group of people who are in this with you. If you lose, you lose in front of all of them. Yea! If you've gained, you've gained in front of them. Boo! I don't think they do that. You see, there's something about that... let's call it "with-ness" that makes it easier to get where you want to be.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Commitment Insurance."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is found in Acts 2. Listen for the key word that describe those powerful, first Christians. "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. All the believers were together and had everything in common, selling their possessions and goods; they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."
Now, listen to the power they had. "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Now you probably noticed the word that was repeated three times. It's the word "together." They were growing, serving, praying together, and it was powerful - it was magnetic! I believe the early Christians had learned the power of accountability...just like Weight Watchers - people who are keeping me true to my commitment, cheering for my success, and caring when I fail.
Except the issues here are much larger than weight could ever be; the issue is like will I keep the commitments I have made to my Lord, about getting into His Word, about conquering that enslaving sin? I want to beat it. The commitments I've made about reaching my friends, about praying more consistently and aggressively, about getting serious regarding sexual purity. What we need is commitment insurance. And accountability is commitment insurance.
It could well be that right now you need to surround yourself with some people who will help you stay on course, who care if you do, who will pray for you, who will pull you back to your commitment if you get very far astray. There is tremendous power in an accountability group. Maybe you've tried to do it alone in a corner before and you know it hasn't worked. Well, today is a call to do it together. In the words of Ecclesiastes, "Two are better than one. If one falls down, the other can help him up. If one can be overpowered, two can prevail."
Look, it's just too easy to make a commitment and then just kind of drift off quietly, but not if you've got some "with" persons. It should probably be some peers of yours who are your "with" persons. And then there should be one person who's not a peer; who's a spiritual leader. And you tell them your commitments and say, "Help me stay true to these."
Box yourself in; put yourself on the line for your commitments to Christ - the ones you really do want to keep in your heart. If you're tired of the ups and downs of spiritual inconsistency, you're hungry for a Christian lifestyle instead of just Christian binges - well, take out some commitment insurance; some brothers or sisters who will help you weigh in regularly.