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Whole Hog

There was once a discussion around the barnyard. The old red chicken decided she and the other animals needed to do something special for the farmer who had taken such good care of them. “I know,” she said. “I’ll get everyone together and we will give him the freshest breakfast of his life.”

As the old hen pondered the adventure, she decided to go to each of the animals and request a contribution for the farmer’s breakfast.

She approached the cow, “I want to give the farmer the best breakfast of his life. I’ve committed three of my best eggs. Will you give a bucket of fresh milk?” “Sure,” said the cow. “I would love to do whatever I can. I’ll also throw in some fresh cream and butter. He should really enjoy that.”

Finally the old hen approached the pig. “The cow and I have decided to give eggs, milk, cream and butter for the farmer’s breakfast. What will you give? Will you give us bacon and ham?” Sadly, and with a grunt, the old pig looked up at the hen, “You do not realize what you ask. The two of you are making a contribution, but for me it is TOTAL COMMITMENT!

What has happened to our sense of commitment? We are often like the hen and the cow. We are willing to make a small contribution, but rarely are we willing to make a TOTAL COMMITMENT. The old pig realized that his life was on the line here. For him to give he must first give his life.

Jesus said, “…If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matt. 16:24-25) This statement is not about a contribution to life. It is about a sacrifice of the life. Jesus demands that we give Him our whole selves.

Our commitment to Christ does not hinge on a few outward manifestations of activity in our lives, but it is illustrated by them. If the simplest activities of Christianity are missing in our lives, there is a serious statement of non-commitment made to those around us.

Commitment involves a life response to God. Once I name Jesus as Lord of my life, my life takes on new dimensions. I am now responsible for my behavior, not just in how it affects me but also how it affects others. My life is no longer my own. I have to live in a way that acknowledges and encourages the others in my spiritual family. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).

When we choose to be inactive in spiritual matters, we choose to hurt others. If you choose not to participate in the activities that God directs, you give others the green light to do the same. Those who watch us and imitate our faith are damaged by our lack of commitment.

Commitment is consistency. It is showing that the term “LORD” really means something to me personally. Real, TOTAL commitment means that I will be willing to put myself aside and do what is expected of me without complaint or excuse. If commitment came in a “shot” we would all be standing in line. But, it comes in a decision. The question is, “WHAT IS YOUR DECISION?”