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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Our Commitment - Are You All In?

This is the manuscript of the third and final sermon in the series "Stewardship is Everything"

God committed Himself to us during all the pain of a Roman crucifixion and because God has committed himself fully to you, he can call you to commit your whole life to him—your tithes, abilities, and time. He has held nothing back. He gave himself wholly that you might be his people.

He calls you to commit yourself to declare his wonderful deeds and marvelous light to a world in darkness. Our commitment, therefore, is both our privilege and our responsibility. 

So, the question of the day is are you all in?

Text: Romans 12:1 NIV Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

For an audio recording of the sermon click the YouTube link at the end of the manuscript.


Romans 6:1‭-‬14 NIV What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.


Romans 12:1 NIV Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.


Throughout this series on commitment I have continued to remind us that God has already made a commitment to us. His commitment day was marked by weeping and sorrow, darkness, and angry curses.  God committed Himself to us during all the pain of a Roman crucifixion and because God has committed himself fully to you, he can call you to commit your whole life to him—your tithes, abilities, and time. 


He has held nothing back and now He calls you to commit yourself to declare his wonderful deeds and marvelous light to a world in darkness. Our commitment, therefore, is both our privilege and our responsibility. 

So, my question today is are you all in?


You could line up a group of 100 people and go down the line and ask them, one by one, if they were a Christian and each of them can say “YES.” But if you go back down that line and ask them “are you a disciple?” then only about 10 of them would say “YES”.  

To be a Christen, to be a disciple is to follow Jesus and to love him.

Are You All In?

If I asked you what  would you do with a million dollars?  Your answer would really reflect your priorities. Most people think about paying off their bills and then helping others, family members, friends, and then maybe donations to notable charities.  Get a better place to live, maybe even a mansion. Maybe trade in the car for a Lamborghini?

It’s an interesting and thought-provoking question because it deals with our hearts. We tend to focus on ourselves and what we need to get rid of, like our bills. We tend to think that eliminating things will make life easier for us and then we will experience true and real freedom. After we receive this so-called freedom, then we can take what’s left over and begin to share.  

We bring this same thought process with us as Christians. God's idea is completely different though. God wants us to look less like ourselves and more like Jesus Christ. 

So What is it that God from us?

Romans 12:1 NIV Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

The first word in chapter 12 verse one is the word Therefore and when we see the word therefore, we need to find out what it’s there for well let's take a look.

Romans chapter 11 is all about God’s kindness to the nation of Israel. He’s kindness is shown, again and again, even in the midst of their disobedience. 

Romans 11:11 NIV Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

God made salvation available to the Gentiles, but he wanted his own people (Israel) to become jealous and claim it for themselves.”

Here’s the thing: God wanted his people, Israel, to get with it and find freedom in Christ but they rejected him. In their rejection and rebellion of accepting Christ, God made provision for the Gentiles, us, to accept and receive Christ. The Gentiles were cut off branches but God, in his kindness, grafted us into the tree of life. 

Romans 11:17‭-‬24 NIV If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

Grafting us in is contrary to nature but God can do that because he loves us, and his desire is not just for Gentiles to accept him but also Israel. The picture Paul is painting here is God is merciful to us. His love and his mercy should always remain at the very front of our minds. It is the kindness of God which brought us to a place of repentance.

Romans 12:1 NIV Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Being a Christian means living a crucified life.

The essence of being a disciple is to live a sacrificial lifestyle. Our sacrificial lifestyle is to be lived in the light of God’s mercy. 

To sacrifice is to crucify three fundamental areas of our lives. 

Matthew 16:24‭-‬26 NIV Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Jesus said “If you would follow me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” 

Jesus carried his cross and died for us. To be followers of Christ, to be disciples, we must take up our crosses as well. There are things in our lives that must die to in order to be a disciple.

Discipleship is not about focusing on the circumstances surrounding you but looking to God for everything. There are three areas of your life that must be crucified to be a disciple, a Christian.

You must crucify self, crucify your flesh, and crucify the world.

First you must Crucify yourself

Most believers experience this when we hit rock bottom. We’re going about our lives trying to manage life, but we find that we can’t, and we come to discover that Jesus is the only one who can save us. 

What we find though, is that the Christian life is a daily process of continuously crucifying yourself and letting God have complete control. When you die, Jesus sets you free. When you lose your life, you find it in Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 NIV I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

First crucify self then we must crucify our flesh, our sinful nature.

This is the constant struggle we all face. There is an internal civil war going on all the time in our lives. So we need to isolate and crucify those areas in our lives that are not a reflection of Christ.

Galatians 5:19‭-‬24 NIV The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

We need to identify which side is winning. 

Romans 7:15 NIV I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Paul was very aware of the internal struggle, the internal civil war he was facing. The question you need to ask yourself is this: what side is winning the war?

Here is how you win the war. Focus on the sacrifice of Jesus. He paid it all. Focus on the sacrifice, not the sin.


Romans 7:21‭-‬25 NIV So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.


And Finally we must Crucify the World

This means to crucify the connection we have with the world. The world is trying to feed us with its own sets of what is right and wrong. It tries to feed us and give us what we want by appealing to our sinful nature.

Galatians 6:14 NIV May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Through Jesus' death on the cross, the world becomes crucified to us. This means the world has nothing to offer us. There is no appeal, there is nothing the world system can provide for those who have truly found life in the cross.

Capital One credit cards has these commercials that ask, “What’s in your wallet?” The question is aimed at what you are carrying for a credit card? Is it capital one, because, if it is then you’re in good hands. You don’t want a credit card that’s not going to work for you. Well, the same thing applies here. 

What, or better yet, who is in your wallet? What are you carrying around with you? The pleasures of the world or is Jesus everything to you? Have you crucified the world?

When we live crucified lives, we are then set apart for God.

III. Closure

There’s a case study done at business schools that goes like this: John is a 32 year old engineer. He’s single and he enjoys going to estate sales and looking for any potential valuable items. One particular day, he comes across an estate sale that’s being run about an hour away from his home. He decides to go. He got there a bit late so most of the people interested had already looked through. He talked with the people in charge and discovered there was some interest in the house from a couple of interested buyers. The house is being sold as one lot for $75,000. John takes a look around and sees a few valuable items here and there but nothing really stands out.

He makes his way downstairs and finds an old drawer and while he’s looking through this, he finds a hidden drawer. He pulls out a folded piece of cloth and he unfolds it to find a few rare gold coins used by the Confederacy during the Civil war era. To his knowledge, these coins are worth millions of dollars.

He goes home, does further research and discovers that he’s right. These coins are worth millions. He realizes that if he sold his house with all the furniture included and he sold his car and he put that together with all of his life’s savings, he has 75,000 dollars. Just enough to purchase this house. The questions racing through his mind are:

What are the risks involved? What are the potential rewards?  

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus told a similar story about an ancient treasure, and it goes like this.

Matthew 13:44‭-‬46 NIV “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Why is it so hard for us to surrender to God?

Here's what we ask ourselves:

  •  “What are the risks? 

  • What do I have to give up? 

  • What am I going to lose?” 

If you want to experience true spirituality, if you want to really be a true, authentic follower of Jesus Christ. Then you have to move beyond the questions.  You can be confident that you’re surrendering to the God who loves you and his mercy should be the thing in your life that causes you to surrender to him.

Is there something holding you back? Have you been asking yourself the same questions over and over again? Have you not really given God your all because you’re stuck on those same questions? Are they holding you back? 

If you have those questions, I urge you to consider the mercy and the kindness of God. Consider his love for you, in sending his son to die for you. Consider the grace, he freely poured out upon you. 

Great causes do not move forward without great commitment. It is a risk when we set ourselves to do more than we have ever done before. There is always the possibility of embarrassment if we fail. But we can never know the glory of victory if we are unwilling to risk defeat. We as Christians must believe that if God is in the task, it does not matter who is against us. 

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Joshua 1:9 NIV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Isaiah 41:10 NIV So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Are you all in?

Sermon Audio


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