When I was involved in youth ministry, years ago, I used to tell the young people, “If you want friends, peace of mind, and things to work out in your life, come to Jesus. He will help you.” Many of the youth made a commitment to Jesus, but two months later they were back doing their own thing instead of obeying the Lord. In many cases, they were worse off than before they made a commitment to Christ. They did not understand that Jesus must be their Lord. They “came to Jesus” for what they could get, rather than receiving Jesus Christ as Lord—the complete boss of their lives.

The Bible tells us in Romans 10:13 that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Calling on the “Lord” means we are willing to make Him the master, boss, and complete ruler of every part of our lives, every minute of the day. It requires a total commitment.

Many times Christians preach a “weak” Jesus. I was guilty. I changed my approach and saw lasting fruit. I told the next group of young people, “Jesus must be Lord over everything in your life. Are you willing to die for Jesus if you have to?” I was amazed at their response. They seriously counted the cost before they made a commitment to Christ, just as Jesus requires, according to Luke 14:33…”any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” As a result, they experienced lasting change.

True Christians have made Christ the Lord of every area of their lives. Jesus requires total commitment.