Go All In - January 2022

When I hear the term “go all in”, I can imagine a team in a huddle making plans for the final play in the last seconds of a game. I can visualize a track runner making mental preparations before a race, remembering that the only way to win the gold medal is to go as hard as they can as fast as they can, from start to finish.

Ironically the term “all in” comes from the game of poker. (Crouch, 2015) The moment a poker player makes a decision to bet everything he or she has on his/her current hand - whether out of desperation, grandstanding, or just taking a chance – the poker player is going “all in.” (Crouch, 2015) The poker player doesn’t know what the outcome will be; all they know is, they are taking a huge risk hoping that risk will pay off. As Christians, we must have that same willingness - to “go all in” for Jesus. When we made the decision to give our lives to Christ, by default we made a decision to give our all to the greater good. (Acts 20:24) As followers of
Christ, we wear many spiritual hats that allow us to strive to be the best representatives of Christ that we can be. It’s not enough to say “I gave my life to Christ”, but then continue the same behaviors that we had before we made that declaration. It’s not enough to spend time with Jesus on Sunday, yet every other day of the week neglect to make time for Jesus. We must seek Him every day (Matthew 6:33) It’s not enough to study the Bible for ourselves, and neglect to share the Word with others around us. The more I thought about what it means for Christians to “go all in”, I realized that we can’t only do one thing that God requires - that's partial obedience. On the contrary, we must pull ourselves together and do all that God calls us to do - giving God our full obedience. 

Our pastor does a great job of teaching directly from the Word of God, and keeping God’s commands at the forefront of everything we do as a church body. God wants us to use our gifts and talents to build His kingdom. (1 Peter 4:10) One thing we can do is care for those among us who may be experiencing hardship, while reminding them that despite their current circumstances, God still loves them. (Matthew 25:35-40) Another way we can go all in for God is to commit to service within our church. We can also start a Bible study with a group of co-workers or neighbors, in effort to maintain fellowship with other believers. It’s so important for us to know the Word for ourselves because if we don’t, anyone can come along, tell us something that’s not true, and we will believe it. Thankfully, we can decide to know God for ourselves  (John 14:6) and once we do, we can represent Christ with confidence (Jeremiah 17:7), knowing we are walking in the light instead of darkness. (John 8:12)

Most often times at the beginning of a new year people think about all the things that they want to do differently from the previous year and as a result, they make resolutions for the new year. Instead of making a resolution to do something that you can’t follow through on, the best thing that we can do as Believers is to pursue continual grow. Instead of doing a little bit for the Kingdom here and a little bit for Christ there, make a decision to “go all in.”  Unlike poker, when we go all in for Jesus there is no way that we can lose. You don’t have to worry about missing out on anything, because when you give your life to Christ, you gain everything. (Matthew 10:39)

Take time this year to continue moving toward the mark. (Philippians 3:14) Take the time to reflect on the areas where you only gave a little in the past (finances, personal time with Jesus, volunteering, leading in ministry, etc.) and instead make the necessary shift to give your all to the Lord.  You don’t know what’s ahead, but I can guarantee that living a life for Jesus is a blessed life. As long as you live for the Kingdom, you will never regret your decision to "go all in". 

Peace and blessings to you in 2022 and always!

Crouch, I. (2015, September 7). Cultural Comment.
Retrieved from The New Yorker: "Going All In On All In"

Tyndale House Foundation. (1996, 2004, 2015). Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Carol Stream, Illinois. All rights reserved.: Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

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