The Commited Will Climb
This past Sunday was amazing, as usual. When my husband was teaching it reminded me of something I wrote down 3 years ago, so I am sharing it with you today. I hope my thoughts resonate with you. I know it made me check my heart….again! Enjoy!
Today as I was reading in Matthew, I saw something I had never seen before. Honestly, it made me take a long pause. Here is what Matthew 5 said in the Message,
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him.
Now most of us have read the Sermon on the Mount before, but did you ever see that he delivered it not to the huge crowds but to those who were willing to climb with him, the committed? When it takes effort, the divide comes. The crowd stayed at the bottom of the mountain, the committed were willing to do what it took and climbed.
I knew that this passage was considered one of the greatest teachings of all time but never before did I notice that Jesus saved this teaching opportunity for only those who were committed; it wasn’t for everyone. If you read a little further down in chapter 5 you see why. Jesus says to them,
“Let me tell you why I brought you here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.”
Jesus begins to unfold to these committed ones that “if you are open with your life, you will prompt others to open up their lives to God.” He knew that was the key. The reason He did not address everyone is because He knew not everyone could do what He was going to ask of them. He did not have to say to anyone, “Hey you stay down here at the bottom of the mountain and hey, you come up here!” The people made for themselves choices that separated themselves out.
Today I want you to ask yourself this question when it comes to your commitment to the Lord and the choices you make. Would you be at the bottom of the mountain or would you be one who was at the top, one who was committed and climbed? Now before you just jump to one conclusion or another let me tell you something. The dividing factor was not just an internal thing. Many times I hear people say how committed they are to serving the Lord in their hearts but their actions do not line up with it. For example, I am committed to the Lord but I do not show up to serve in Kids Church on time. How can that be? I am committed to the Lord but don’t give of my financial resources to see His Kingdom expand. How can that be? I am committed to the Lord but…. Notice that the climb was not merely an internal thing. It was an internal heart motive that showed itself externally by DOING SOMETHING!
If your heart is really committed, your actions will automatically follow. Jesus did not have to divide the people out at all. All He had to do was show them some work, and they made the choice for themselves. Let me tell you something, ministering is work! There is no way around it, it is hard work and you do feel like you are climbing a mountain at times. But what I can tell you is that it is worth it. It is worth every drop of sweat, every sore muscle, every deep breath–it is worth it!
The reason Jesus had them climb is because he knew if they couldn’t even climb a little while with Him, they certainly could not spread the gospel to the whole world. Hey, if you cannot show up for Kids Church on time, you think you are gonna reach the world? You won’t volunteer to usher but you want to reach the world? Just think about that for a few minutes! It just might bring some perspective to your life.
Will you climb?