Day 39: 50 Days All In

Day 39: All In
 
After hearing my pastor preach on this section of Ruth yesterday, it fit right into the all in relationship that we are called to live. Ruth was from a foreign land she was not an Israelite but had married into an Israelite family. When her husband died she could have left like her sister-in-law back to her own people yet she stayed with her mother-in-law Naomi. She was all in committed to her new family.
 
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore, wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do. And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”
Ruth 3: 1-5
 
Some people may look at this verse about Naomi and Ruth and get the wrong idea, why would Naomi ask Ruth to clean up and go get herself a man? Ruth would have been living and wearing widows clothing, she had been working every day just getting enough food to feed her and Naomi, so she probably didn’t smell that fresh. Naomi understood that Ruth needed a family redeemer (someone in the family who would marry here as per the custom of the Israelites) and Ruth needed to let him know her intentions. This wasn’t some booty call, this was an act of redemption, a chance for Ruth to rise above where her current situation. Ruth took the instructions and lay at his feet as a symbol and custom akin to a marriage proposal.
 
This draws such a parallel to our conversion story. We were once Ruth, lost alone and in need of a redeemer. We didn’t know if we had one nor did we know how to get his attention. Someone, a Naomi, could have been a friend, Pastor or stranger told us about Jesus and provided us with the directions to be redeemed. As believers, we are now called to be Naomi’s. We should be sharing how the Ruth’s out there can find the redeemer. Jesus called us to reach the world with his love showing them the way to him. He is the redeemer and we are to share his love. The awesome difference between us and Ruth is he doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves up nor change our clothes before we can approach him. He meets us right where we are, dirty, torn and broken.
 
If you are Ruth today and need a redeemer today, Jesus is calling for you, he wants to connect with you, throw yourself at his feet, let him know you are sorry for sinning against him ask him to forgive you of your sins. Stand up confident that he has heard you and had redeemed you.
If you are Naomi, go and share who the Redeemer is with other. To truly have an all in relationship with God we must be doing this. To avoid this mission given specifically to each believer is to be disobedient. There are millions if not billions of people who need to be redeemed. What is holding you back?
 
Father, I pray that you work in your people to be sharing the faith. The ball is in our court and we need to be taking action. Just like Naomi, we need to tell others about your redeeming power and faithfulness. For those that need to know and meet you, I pray that when someone tells them they will respond in acceptance. Use us to reach others. Help our all in relationship to flourish and that those around us will see you in us. Amen

Day 38: 50 Days All In

As we seek an all in relationship with God we need to learn forgiveness is a gift that needs to be easily given. What makes it tough is when forgiveness for a similar offence is forgiven over and over, we tend to get cynical if that person will ever change. Think about how Jesus feels when his children come to him over and over asking to forgive them of the sins that they keep getting themselves into.  Jesus reminded Peter to forgive his brother seventy times seven, a number that if we actually tried to keep track we would most likely forget.

 

 

“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.”
2 Corinthians 2:5-8 NIV

 

Ever have some in your church expose themselves as a sinner? I don’t mean a new Christian, but someone you would never expect to do something wrong? The shame they feel for their exposed sin is real, they trust they had with others is dwindled. Their confidence as a person, especially if they voluntarily exposed themselves is thin. We tend to keep condemning them for their actions, maybe not vocally but in the way we treat them. Their sin is not infectious, you can comfort t m, if they have confessed to God and asked for forgiveness then who are we to keep bringing them down. Yes, there may be consequences for their actions, and they will have to deal with those. But we as a family need to be forgiving as we will be in the same position someday.

 

Are you willing to forgive others who have done something against you? Against someone you love? What will you do to strengthen your all in relationship with God? We are called to love our neighbors, forgiveness is part of that love. We would hope that people would forgive us when we fail, so how much more can we do the same for them.

 

Jesus, I pray we will be able to forgive our brothers and sisters who make mistakes that can hurt us. Help us to comfort them as we are all sinners saved by grace. Let us not be a stumbling block for them receiving Gods forgiveness. As we strive for an all in relationship with you I ask that we have the wisdom to forgive others who have hurt us or those we love. Amen

 

 

 

Day 37: 50 Days All In

Ever experience a buffet? You know the kind it seems to go on forever, food of all types and who knows how long has it been there or whose hands have touched it. While your friends jump into the line up you can make the wiser choice and choose something off the menu, it may not have the money value of the buffet line, but you almost guaranteed it will be hot and fresh. While your friends are enjoying the buffet of life are you joining in or are you dining from the menu God is offering in the bible?
 
“A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.”
Proverbs 15:14 NLT
If you have heard the term garbage in garbage out, then this verse might make some sense. But why do we keep eating trash when we have been invited to a table full of good food? It is the same reason we are drawn to candy, no nutritional value yet it satisfies certain aspects of our pallet. It gives us that comfort.
Let me make this clear, sometimes good food doesn’t always taste good right away, but it doesn’t mean that it should be tossed after the first bite. And there is good looking food that has been spoiled by bad and incorrect teaching, looks good on the outside but full of worms on the inside.
So how do we decide which stuff we are putting into our bodies is good or trash? Well, we have been given two resources that can help us in this quest;
1 – we have the bible. If you take the time to read it, it can guide you in which things that we consume will help and which will hinder us.
2 – the Holy Spirit is with us as believers and can be a valid food critic. He isn’t going to stand idly by and let you binge on junk when he is right there ready to offer a wholesome meal. But you need to listen to him. He is patient and not a rude person, ignore him enough he won’t leave but will wait patiently until you are ready to listen. Unfortunately, we don’t listen until we are all bloated from eating the wrong things and need help for relief.
Trust that God has good things for you. If he deems that what you are doing is harmful even if everyone around is doing it, don’t do it. If we can learn to push aside the trash off our plates and consume more of the Word we will be more healthy Christians, and healthy is attractive to those around us. Everyone desires to be healthy.
 
Stop looking at what your friends are devouring on the buffet, they will reap those benefits in an hour or so. For us to nourish our all in relationship with God we need to eat good food. What are you eating today?
 
Father, give us the knowledge to push aside the trash in our lives. When given the choice of trash and good food let us make the seemingly easy yet hard choice. Help us to even if the world thinks it’s okay to consume, we take a stand and say no it isn’t right. Holy Spirit guide us in your word for a clear understanding of what is good for us to consume. Amen
 
 
 

Day 36: 50 Days All In

Dams are amazing feats of construction. To stop water flow and constrict it so that energy can be made, and land below can be used is awe inspiring. When water levels are low we can see a trickle coming through the dam. But in times of massive rainfalls when they open the flood gates to avoid bursting we see such an overflow of water, nothing can stop the flow. This overflow is controlled, the dam operator knows exactly how much the land below can take and at what rate. Well, the Holy Spirit knows you, he knows how strong you are and at what rate he can flow through you. The stronger our foundation the more he can move. If we want a strong all in relationship with God we need a firm foundation that will allow an overflow of the Holy Spirit.

 

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NLT

 

In reading this prayer from Paul I see two powerful words that must be taken into consideration to understanding the order in how his pray is laid out. I read this and see a formula for hope. First, I read “because”. This tells me that trust in him must be first in all we do. Trusting in God through Jesus salvation and daily trust him to meet your needs is the foundation by which every believer must rest. Building your spiritual foundation on anything else is folly and bound for failure.

 

So, with a foundation of trust in place, we then can be prepared to be filled with the joy and peace that he offers. There will be a place for it to reside and live in us. Without the trust of God, these gifts given will only seep out and never be long lasting. We will trade them in for whatever we put our hope and trust in. There is no joy and peace in trusting money. There is no joy and peace trusting our politicians. There is no joy and peace trusting man. We need to put our hope and trust in God.

 

The second word I read is ” then”. This tells me the previous statement must be held true for the second to become reality. If we want an overflowing confident hope in what we believe so we can reach others we must trust God. We must live a life filled with joy and peace. The most important part of this verse is that we must believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, still works today and gives us this confident hope. The Holy Spirit, an equal part of the trinity is with us believers to shape us, empower us to go into the world and spread the love of Christ with confidence.

 

Joy and Peace = Confident Hope

TRUST                      HOLY SPIRIT

 

 

Are you trusting God? Have you asked him to fill you with joy and peace? Are you overflowing with confident hope? Are you plugged into the Holy Spirit? If you want to be effective in reaching this world you need to examine each question, if you can answer yes to one or all then you need to reread this scripture and ask God to fulfil it in your life. Are you ready to let the Holy Spirit open the floodgates and let confident hope overflow your life?

 

Father, we need to trust you with everything. Thank you for providing us a way to connect with you through Jesus sacrifice and daily through the Holy Spirit. Give us peace and joy because of this trust in you. Then fill us with an overflowing confident hope through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so we can become effective in sharing your love to others. They matter to you Jesus, so the matter to me. I want a firm all in foundation for the Holy Spirit to work in me.  Amen

 

 

 

 

Day 35: 50 Days All In

As we earnestly work towards an all in relationship with God we must understand that this relationship incorporates all three sides of God. God the Son, who frees us from Sin. God the Father who loves us and watches over us. God the Spirit who works in us, without the Holy Spirit our relationship would be empty. He has been working in the world right from the start we see his debut in Genesis 1:2 where it tells us ‘ the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water’. In the Old Testament, his role was miraculous, working in times and place with one individual or group. Jesus, it seems to have changed his direction to dwell in all of those who have accepted salvation.
 
 
“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.”
Psalms 51:7-11 NLT
It’s amazing how Jesus is revealed in so many ways in the Old Testament. In the middle of the Psalms is a cry for salvation and repentance, David cried out to God because he was troubled and needed Gods forgiveness. To me, it is an example of brokenness and realizing that we can’t do it alone.
Now the Holy Spirit wasn’t known by that name in the Psalms and probably should read holiness, but none the less it is the same thing. The Holy Spirit has always been there comforting those who call on God. He wants to comfort you. As a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in you
David cries for a loyal spirit. I wonder how many of us can honestly say when we last prayed for a loyal spirit to reside in our hearts. Jesus promised that even though he was leaving to prepare a place for us in heaven that he would send another, just like him, to comfort us and give us power. Today if you have accepted Jesus and want an all in relationship with God then you need to know that the Holy Spirit lives in you. He is not there to control you but to guide you, strengthen you, encourage you and give you wisdom. We need to embrace the power he has for us. We need to ask him for a loyal spirit, a relationship where we trust in the one Jesus sent to help us. He does not impose anything on us, but I think it is the time we as a church start listening to his voice.
Father, today we pray alongside David. Create in me a clean heart. Wash away all my sins. Holy Spirit work in my life, feel free to take over and change anything or guide me to make changes to improve who I am in Christ. God, renew a loyal spirit in me. I want to be continually faithful to you and your call to reach the lost and make disciples. I want my all in relationship to include not only the Father and Son but the Holy Spirit who strengthens me. Amen
 
 
 

Day 34: 50 Days All In

Have you ever tried to move a car that was empty of gas? Throw it in neutral and push. You may be able to get it far if the road is flat, really far if it is downhill but there is no way you would get uphill. Trying to get close to God through works is like going uphill. We don’t have what is required. To have an all in effective relationship with God we need to fill our tanks with prayer and faith.
 
“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.”
James 2:26 NLT
Faith comes first. Good deeds come as a result of faith. Because of the gift of God, life, we want to share that with others. When we fill our tanks with his love and prayer, works of kindness and over will come naturally, a desire of our hearts. There will be those who ask why then do people who haven’t accepted God’s love and forgiveness do good works? There are many who are compassionate outside his love. Some are trying to ‘win’ God’s approval, others man’s, still others are trying to make sense of why they are here on this earth, and others feel so guilty for things they have done they are working to ‘right’ their wrongs.
All these good works are great, but none will lead get them heaven or a relationship with him. Jesus told us the only way to the Father is through him. This is tough for people to comprehend because they are “good” people in their eyes. They don’t see that all they are doing is whitewashing their sin but the paint they use never stick never lasts, sin bleeds through. They have convinced themselves and others that their life is okay and there is nothing else needed to make it better. This arrogance for lack of a better term is spreading and untold numbers are missing out on a future with a God who loves them.
 
What are we doing to express our faith to the world? Are the works you do flowing from the love Jesus has placed in your heart and your relationship with God? Or are you still stuck in the belief that the good works you do atone for your sin? Take some time today to ask yourself these questions. Pray and work with the Holy Spirit to assess your works. You don’t need to do good works to please God. We do good things because if what he has done for us. That’s living an all in relationship.
So, have you accepted Jesus as your saviour? Have faith in his everlasting promise of life? Then are you doing good works? If not then you need to find a church that will use you. Ask them how God can use you in the church. You are important and play a special role in reaching lost people. Be an effective Christian. Being a Christian isn’t only about accepting Christ, it is about changing your life and moving toward in a relationship with him. Repentance is about doing a 180 degree turn and leaving the areas that will bring you back into sin. And one sure fire way to keep on track is getting involved in kingdom work.
Father, if any readers aren’t active in kingdom work I pray today that you will put a burning passion in their heart to get involved. Show them an area where they can be used, however it may be. Bring them in to not only strengthen their faith but to provide them with the joy of service. We know there is no retired or reserve Christians. We are all to be active in reaching the lost. Holy Spirit encourage us daily to be working towards this goal. For those who may not know you and have been trying to do good works to get closer to you, I pray today that they give their lives to you, accepting the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and begin a fulfilling all in relationship with you. Amen
 
 

Day 33: 50 Days All In

In my full-time job, I have been working at understanding mental illness and how to identify if someone is struggling with this. This has become so prevalent in our society, yet it has been around since the dawn of man, only coming to the forefront in the last century. One of the causes of this has been linked to stress and how we respond to the stressors in our lives. One of the key factors that helped overcome was relationships. Giving your all to God and forming strong connections with other believers can help break through the bondage of this disease.
 
““Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.””
Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 20 NLT
Even back in the OT God desire was for us to have a relationship with him. We always had a choice to make. Follow his commands and live a righteous life. In the NT Jesus provide a new way to have a relationship with God through him. He made the ultimate sacrifice creating the way for us to meet God.
But we must make the choice. We as believers keep making choices in our life. We choose to keep following or let go. We choose to be active in our faith or be lazy. We choose to share our faith or keep it to ourselves.
We are shown in the verse today that if we choose to walk in the ways of God we will prosper. I wonder how many of us are in the situations we are because we have chosen are ways over Gods ways?
I see so many hurting and lost people that are torn up inside, the ones I am thinking of are the mentally broken, they keep looking to man and medication to fix the brokenness inside, yet don’t realize that Jesus can change them from the inside. But the must make the choice to ask him.
I can’t explain why believers can choose Christ and not be freed immediately from their anguish or are hurting mentally and physically. Trials that test us can be part of the Christian walk. Maybe we endure these so we can connect with people who are lost with similar situations. Only God knows his plan.
I ask you today to firmly commit yourself to Jesus, trust his ways whatever they may be. Create bonds with other believers who when times of trouble come they can help you get through it. Wake up each morning with a desire to ask the Holy Spirit ‘What can we do together today.’
Jesus, we need to make a choice to follow you and to daily continue to follow you. Thank you for giving us the freedom to make the choice. Let us be a light to those around us who are making unwise choices. Help those who are hurting mentally, depressed and reliving memories of past hurt. Let us see the world through your eyes and remember they matter to you, so they matter to us. Strengthen my relationship with you, I want to be all in. Amen
 
 
 

Day 32: 50 Days All In

I am saved, I am forgiven so I should be able to do whatever I want. Hasn’t Jesus forgiven all my sins past present and future? I should have a free pass now to do anything and I can still be a good Christian. To grow an all in relationship with God we need to realize that somethings in this world are just not good for us.
 
“Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do wrong.”
Psalms 141:4 NLT
 
The sad reality is many believers still have this mindset. Romans 12:1-2 say we need to be transformed and renewed. If you were rescued from jail, why would you want to go back and ” hang out”?
 
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!”
Romans 6:15 NKJV
 
Many see Christianity as a licence to sin. “If Jesus has forgiven all my sins then I guess what I do now will be forgiven, so it is okay” well sure that sounds logical, but that’s not what Jesus himself commanded. He was very adamant when he reached out and touched people to “go and sin no more”nowhere in the bible I read did Jesus ever say ” go and sin it’s okay I got this, you’ll be fine. “
 
If you have been a believer a long time and live like this I pray you study what the bible says about things you’re doing, find God based resources and pray. If you’re a new believer, I recommend you find a mentor who will guide you. Not in rules and regulations but how to live a life that is free from sin and full of love and joy.
We will make mistakes, we will sin, we don’t have to fear that God cuts us off if we make one mistake. But we do need to be careful we don’t get caught up and forget God, walking away from the grace we have received for a ” good time”. A wise man once stated that “repentance is doing a 180 and walking away from the way you were”. We can’t expect to have an all in relationship with God when we are hanging out in the jail cell he has freed us from. Jesus was quite clear, he told people ‘your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more’.
 
 
Father, help me to be like you, I want to walk in your love, I want to be all in. I want to honour you in all I do. Show me areas in my life that don’t honour you and help me to do a 180 and walk away from them. Let me be a light to those around me living in darkness, salt to those desiring something more. They matter to you God, so they matter to me. Amen
 

Day 31 – 50 Days All In

To be bound by sin is like being held hostage by the enemy, yet we don’t care. We sit in the chair bound unaware that the ropes and handcuffs that hold us there are hurting us. When we ask Jesus to rescue us from this bondage of sin, he comes in, opens the handcuffs, does first aid, swings open the cell door, and makes us free.
 
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshipping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behaviour, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
Colossians 3:5-10 NLT
Here’s the kicker. We must get out of the chair and walk out of the cell to experience his freedom totally. Many believers have asked Jesus to free them, yet they are still sitting in the cell. Free to stand up and walk away, yet don’t really want to. Why would I want to give all this up? Scared of the life outside the door. Too many will just sit in the chair, knowing who Jesus is, but never experience him fully as we are called to. Eventually, the ties that bonded them before will weave their way back into place without them even realizing they are there.
Now the jailer is there. He is slithering around watching and spitting out lies to confuse you. He will tell you that you will lose everything by standing up and walking out the door. He will work to convince you that change is bad and that there is no fun where Jesus wants you to go. He will tell you that you have to change who you are. These are all lies. He just wants company and to keep you away from the truth. Don’t buy into his lies.
Stand up! Strip off the old dirty clothes (sinful life) that you wore in the cell. Walk out the door, clothe yourself in righteousness, not looking back at the dirty cell and soiled clothes you left behind. Then you will truly be free. You will still be you, your personality and distinctions will blossom. Experience freedom. Life is so much better outside the cell of sin. To truly be all in we must leave the prison that sin was holding us in.
Jesus, I pray for those who believe in you yet haven’t walked out of the cell. As a believer, I need you to help me be a better teacher who can guide new believers out. Help us experience your freedom from sin in exciting ways. Let us be a salt and light to those around us so that they will desire you more and more. Let us be an awesome example of you. They matter to you Jesus, they matter to me. Give me more opportunities to tell others about your love. Let me reflect the fact that I am living All In. Amen
 
 
 

Day 30: 50 Days All In

As part of being in an all in relationship with God, we need to understand that we are part of the body of believers. We each individually have a role to play in our personal churches and one to play in the Church as a whole. How we approach this will play a big part in our growth as believers. God doesn’t call us to be solo Christians, we are a team that works together to reach the lost and build each other up through mentorship and discipleship.
 
“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part!”
1 Corinthians 12:18-19 NLT
 
Just like a well-oiled machine, each part designed for a specific purpose. When one part becomes loose, rusty or broken the machine doesn’t function properly. It needs someone to repair it to make it work again. The body is a self-healing entity, we have foreign viruses and cells enter the body it works hard to extract these. We get cut or broken and our body goes into repair mode. This is an awesome design from our creator. They work together as one to ensure that we survive.
The body of believers needs to be very similar. We need to see what part is hurting and work together to heal the brokenness. If we see a part of the body doing something that can harm the body, we need to make it known and work with them bring them back in. Every part of the body of believers is important.
 
Do you feel your part is unimportant? Do you feel like you aren’t being noticed in your church, or is it that you’re not making yourself known? You have an important role to play. Don’t let the enemy convince you that you should have your hands in your pockets and observe never doing. You want to make the enemy shiver and get worried? Start getting involved in prayer, in ministry, doing something to push forward the Kingdom of God. Tell people about the Saviour, invite people to church, be Jesus to those around you.
 
If you do this the body will be strong. The body will grow, the church will be healthy and Jesus love will and blessings will start to move like we have never seen. Being obedient as part of the body is not a secret that needs to be kept. Jesus needs to be shared. Are you ready to be used in the body of believers? Are you ready to strengthen your all in relationship with God through your role in the body?
 
Jesus, for to long there has been a segment of our churches who feel like they are the soft bottom parts of the body that need to be sitting and not doing. It is time Jesus to reveal yourself to these believers and show them they are so much more. They are called to move out of the pews and reach the people in their communities. They are called to do amazing things in your name. Call them Father, shake them up, bring them to their feet to do what you are calling them to do. Let them see that the people around them matter to you so they had better matter to them. Amen