Thursday, January 9, 2014

are you ALL IN?


I began a new series this past Sunday at The Community that is also our theme for the year.  It is ALL IN.  It is based on some things that God has been doing in my heart, in our church the last few years and on the newest book from Mark Batterson by the same name.

To be ALL IN means that you buy in, serve well and give all to be a fully devoted follower of Christ.  It is not easy.  Let me say with all confidence that you will be attacked, you will find yourself in some tough places, when you stand with Jesus.  When we chose Jesus, there will be opposition.  But when we chose Jesus, there will also be many blessings.  It is on His term, fulfilling His call and touching lives for His kingdom.

Mark Batterson-- “Faithfulness is not holding the fort.  Faithfulness is invaded hellholes with the light and love of Jesus Christ.”

What a great thought that is.  Often churches and Christian leaders try to stop the people around us with all the excitement and passion because it will change the status quo.  Yet I don’t remember reading in the Bible where Jesus stopped people passionate about their God and about making a difference to help others.

We are called to do what Jesus did.  He helped the people He met find life, awesome and full life.  On the other side is our enemy who want to disinfect, distract or destroy who we are and where we are going.  Yet God will give us and others a fresh look at life and enough breathe and strength to live even more.  That’s abundant life.  That comes with being ALL IN.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

It is time that we allow God and His plan for our lives and our purpose to realign everything.  Far too often we focus on what we have, stuff and money, which is the wrong place to put our attention.  What we have will be gone, but what has us will either put us away or carry us further.  Think about what you are allowing to guide you.

And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them.  They will fade away like a little flower in the field.

It is time that our focus is on what really matters.  I love serving people, yet if our serving and doing good things trumps telling people of Jesus and His grace for people.  Jesus is what life is all about.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

What Jesus did was to transfer our sin to Him and to give us His righteousness.  Jesus called it even, level and balanced at that point.  But how can that be fair.  Sin for salvation is not a balance or equal.  God doesn’t do anything that seems humanly fair.  What He does is superhuman and divine.  To save us and remove our sin is what only God can do, and it is a divine act.

Someday you and I will stand before God to give an account for what we have done.  If we try to stand on our deeds, we will lose and crumble.  We can stand with Jesus.  Jesus took our place.  We stand on and in His righteousness.  We don’t stand in our sin.  No, we stand in Christ.  God sees his son.

Are you ALL IN?  Is there something keeping you from pursuing God with all that you are and all that you have?  To be ALL IN means that we forget thinking about what people are thinking about us and start thinking about and doing something about what God really loves.  God loves people.

He loves you, and He loves me.  Jesus was ALL IN when He gave all to love us.  Since He gave all we can certainly live for Him full out and ALL IN.

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.

All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

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