There is a story about a chicken and a pig going down an old dirt road headed to town.  They noticed a sign promoting a banquet to be given for a local charity.  Both the chicken and pig thought they should help, but they couldn’t think of a way.  Suddenly, the chicken said, “I know!  I’ll donate a dozen eggs and you can donate the ham.”  The pig said, “Hold it!  A dozen eggs from you is just a contribution, but a ham from me is a real sacrifice; it’s total commitment!”

Total commitment – that’s what God wants from each one of us.  Jesus, as always, is the best example of total commitment.  His humble concession in His prayer to the Father, “not My will, but Yours be done,” (Luke 22:42) was followed by His death on the cross.

Is our pledge to God merely a contribution of time, service, money, study, etc., or is it a total commitment of our whole lives?  God has never sought just a contribution of a portion of who we are and what we have. He seeks a total commitment – our life (Rom. 12:1-2).

Remember the poor widow who gave two coins of little monetary value while the rich were giving large contributions in Mark 12:41-44?  First, notice that Jesus saw what was given.  God knows the value, not just the amount of our gift.  Other people may be impressed with the bottom line earthly value of what we contribute.  God, however, is impressed with the heart of the one who is giving.  Jesus remarked that the rich “contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had.”

An hour or two each week worshipping God, giving an amount of money we would not overall miss for the support of the work of Lord’s church, little or no thought or time given to grow in our knowledge and application of God’s word, or helping others to come to know the truth:  contribution or total commitment?

“I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).  Is our commitment to the Lord the same as Christ’s and Paul’s?

Paul commended the saints of the churches of Macedonia (2 Cor. 8:1-5) whose “severe affliction, abundance of joy and their extreme poverty” overflowed in a wealth of generosity.  He also noted that “they gave themselves first to the Lord.”

How much like the rich young ruler (Matt. 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 18:18-30) who saw himself as a committed servant of God in that he kept the commandments are we?  Yet Jesus said he still lacked one thing.  When the Lord told him to sell all he had, give the proceeds to the poor and then come follow Him, the young man went away sad because he was extremely rich. 

Contribution or total commitment?