Do you know any “sold-out” people? We tend to admire athletes, coaches, and artists who have inspired us through intense devotion to their dreams. These are people who abandoned themselves to achieve a larger-than-life goal. What does this have to do with Christian living or helping next year’s ministry calendar?
Our lives should be ones abandoned for Christ. But “abandonment” can carry a negative connotation. The negative label attached to being abandoned for Christ is: Fanatic! Truthfully, a fanatic is often nothing more than a person who is more in love with Jesus than I am.
Paul said in Ephesians 5:1, Be imitators of Christ. There is much to imitate! One thing to imitate is recorded in Mark 14. Jesus and His disciples left the upper room, singing a song as they went out. In traditional Jewish practice, several of the Psalms were sung in observance of Passover. It’s likely (not certain) they were singing Psalm 136. Think about it. Jesus just washed the disciples’ feet. Judas left to betray Him. The trials and the cross are before Him. What is He doing? Worshiping!
Psalm 136 is a ‘responsive’ song: #1-Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; #2-His love endures forever!; #1-Give thanks to the God of gods; #2-His love endures forever; and so on. I picture Jesus leading and the disciples responding. He completely abandoned Himself to the Object of His worship. No matter the consequence, He was going to do that which glorified God!
To imitate Jesus, we must be abandoned in our worship. It’s about losing life in order to find it. A grain of wheat must fall to the earth, die, germinate, root, grow, and then produce a harvest. Abandonment of ourselves is a foundational necessity. And it has to apply to love, time, talent, treasure, and personal vulnerability. Jesus abandoned Himself to love the Father. His time was His Father’s. All His talents supported the Father’s purposes. He abandoned Heaven’s treasures to be our Sacrifice. He was vulnerable to sinful, ungrateful crucifiers.
Worship is about more than songs and Sundays! If time is God’s, I can go. If treasure is His, I can give. If talent is the Lord’s, ….
Think about this: If we refuse to be abandoned to Him, we inhibit the praise He promises to inhabit.
Soli Deo Gloria!