Commitment to Christ means nothing put him 2nd place.
One Solitary Life - an essay on the life of Jesus Christ
Jesus was perhaps the most compassionate man who ever lived. “Jesus wept.” (John 35) Why? Because Lazarus had died? No, as he was about to raise him from death. He wept because Mary and Martha wept. “When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them.” (Matthew 9:36). Like I already said, Christians are not the only loving people in the world, but when they are selfish, greedy or arrogant they are violating the direct command and example of the founder of their movement. I have visited Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim countries. In most of these countries, the Christian groups, even though a small minority, do most of the benevolent work in these societies. Why? They act this way because of the Christian world view and the personal example of Jesus of Nazareth. Besides, those who accept the Christian world view believe that they will be held accountable for putting its tenets into practice. Accountability can be powerful motivation. Other religions either tell us that suffering is an illusion or that it is God’s will. Does accepting the Christian world view cause one to be better for it? The answer is that if it does not have that effect, then we can be sure the Christian world view was in fact not accepted by the person. I do not want to disrespect any world religion or philosophy and I know that many who accept these as their world view are sincere and want to do right. Besides, there is at least something to be commended in all these philosophies, but the example of Jesus, the teaching of Christianity, the world view of the Christian and the facts of history lead me inexorably to the conclusion that of all the well-known world views, the Christian one is by far the best at making its believer a better person by almost any accepted measure. Why? Because the basic ethic of this world view combines great personal dignity with love, unselfishness, and unstinting service for others.
Sermons and Essays*The Christian Life is Commitment
The Christian world view tells us that suffering is not inherently evil. In fact, suffering is good for many reasons. It makes us stronger, it helps us to understand and experience joy. When we suffer because of our own sin, it trains us to change, it helps us to know Jesus, and when we respond to suffering in a godly way, it allows us to glorify God. So suffering is not evil, but the Christian world view nevertheless impels believers to respond to suffering with compassion. Why? Because of love, of course. James tells us that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27). “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? Declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 22:15-16)