27Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” 31Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? —Luke 14:27-31
We have been going through seven words that can shape and change your family. Three were healing words: forgiveness, blessing, and honor. Now we reach the last of three building words: truth, church, and finally, commitment.
Many of us know commitment is a powerful tool for family transformation, but we haven’t really considered the conditions commitment requires.
Every family you respect and admire—and rightly so—has problems, too. In a fallen world there are no perfect families. But at the center of those that are healthy is this word: commitment. Commitment is a total, unswerving, unalterable lifetime decision to do life together under God. Commitment is a powerful tool for family transformation.
You say, “Well, I want commitment like that in my family.”
Here are four characteristics you need in your commitment or it won’t be the power God wants it to be in your home:
· First, commitment must be total. It’s not conditional or temporary. We’re in this for the long haul. The worst moments and difficult situations don’t change the fact we’re family. It’s the context in which we live out what we believe about life.
· Second, commitment is a powerful tool for family transformation when the cost is calculated. Jesus said, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”Count the cost. The cross there is a symbol of hardship. Commitment is not easy.
· Third, commitment is going strong when the course is finished. Notice the alternative: “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him.” The wordmock means literally to play with or tease a child. “Billy, you couldn’t finish your tower. What were you thinking?”
· The final characteristic of powerful commitment is when the price is paid. You see, a price is going to have to be paid. Jesus gives another illustration in verse 31: “Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able…” Families who stay together and keep growing, only until hardship comes or conflict arises never experience the power of commitment.
Don’t miss the power of commitment in your family. Ask God to participate in your life together. —James MacDonald
· What part of commitment needs fresh attention in my family?
· When and how will I address that need?
Prayer - Father, Your Son taught and demonstrated commitment by carrying out Your will in the world and obtaining our salvation. Thank You for letting go of Him for our sake. Help us as a family to identify places where our commitment can be strengthened by Your Word and Your presence. We want Your power to be exercised in our family life. We ask You this in Jesus’ name, Amen.