Day 9: 50 Days All In

When Paul was writing the Romans, it was at the height of the Roman Empire. The people were involved in some very interesting lifestyles, to say the least. Paul knew that this lifestyle that they were living was dangerous and only lead to hell. As these people he was writing, were the early church of the city, he needed to impart wisdom on how to live for God. The people most likely had accepted Christ, but some were still living in their old ways.

 

 

“Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.”

Romans 13:13-14 NLT

 

Paul was not giving the Roman believers a set of rules to follow but a guideline of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He knew that as believers we need to step up and out of the sin that we were forgiven for. To wallow in the dirt that we were cleansed by Jesus for, would not be much of an example to his mercy and grace.

 

If we have truly accepted Jesus as our saviour and desire to have a relationship with Him, we need to learn about who He is and what He taught. We need to see how He loved and how He was the example for us to follow. He let his life and his words speak for themselves, His words matched His action every time. No exceptions. I know personally, I cannot honestly say that is true of me. I am working to be a better man, boss, husband and father. But I stumble and fall, and I thank God every day that He picks me up, dusts me off, and pushes me to be a better man. If we don’t learn from our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them.

 

 

 

The road of darkness leads to an eternity of pain and suffering, but look what is ahead for those who walk with Jesus.

 

“For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.”

Proverbs 2:6-8 NLT

 

It is time to make an honest choice between you and Jesus. Are you still attached to the wild ways of this earth? Or are you ready to say I am done with these things and want to change? I want to be a man or woman of integrity that people will be able to see Jesus in. I want to be all in.

 

If that’s you today I want to encourage you that it can be done. If you fall he will pick you up. But continue to strive to be a man or woman of integrity, it is so worth it.

 

Father, today I pray for each reader of this message. I ask that you have the Holy Spirit tug on each and every heart to walk away from the darkness. Jesus, you called us to be the light, let us claim that and be the light. I pray that we become a generation of men and woman who are full of integrity. Let us be an example of who you are, and love those around us as you love them. I want to be all in. Amen

 

 

If you need to talk and need help walking away from the desires of your heart, if you need someone to hold you accountable, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can try help you either find someone to connect with. Jesus loves you and I do too.

 

If you are enjoying the daily messages I have been sharing with you would you help me out by sharing this on FB, Twitter or any other platform. Let us work to spread the hope of Jesus to the ends of the earth. God Bless

Day 8: 50 Days All In

There are many faiths out there that will boast that if you do enough good works you can make it to heaven. Atoning for your sins by doing more to help the poor, sacrificing everything in a vain grasp to please a finicky god whom you never have any idea if he is listening or not.
 
 
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
I am excited to tell you that we don’t serve a God who requires a minimum amount of good works to consider you worthy. God in his infinite love provided a plan for salvation that doesn’t require you to work your way into heaven. He came and comes to you. He sent Jesus to die so we can live. It comes down to acceptance of the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross and the forgiveness and life he freely offers.
 
So, does that mean we don’t have to do good works? Of course, we must do good works, but in a thankful way not to earn a ticket to heaven but because we are going to heaven. As children of God, we should want to please Him by doing things He calls us to. If we are to go all in then we will desire to do things that will encourage others to find the hope and freedom we have found in our God.
If you are doing good works to try to atone for your sins, stop. Nothing you can do in your own power can get God’s attention. You already have His attention, He desires to have a relationship with you. He is waiting for you to cry out to Jesus and ask him to forgive you. Then do good work because He has freed you from sin, go all in and share your newfound faith with others fulfilling the mission to reach the lost and love your neighbor. You will see better results for your work.
Jesus, let us come to you for forgiveness and let us not try to work our way the heaven. Let our lives reflect your love, let what we say and do be a love song of who you are. Let us work to reach others for the kingdom. They matter to you Jesus, so they matter to me. I want to live all in for you Jesus. Amen
 

Day 7: 50 Days All In

 
This time of year people are working towards the goals and dreams they have made with their New Years resolutions. Many have started new ways to lose weight or tone their bodies. Maybe they have plans to strengthen their relationship with their spouse or children. They even make a commitment to reading their bible.
 
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Proverbs 16:3
 
Any of those resolutions in themselves are not a bad thing. We work hard to improve ourselves, then make ourselves feel better about who we are. But when people make resolutions there are three main thoughts that need to be implemented to ensure that you are all in to complete the goal. The desire to change, making a plan and following a plan.
 
The desire to change comes from our view of ourselves. We decide that there is something that needs to change and we make a conscious effort to make the change.
 
Then we make a plan. Or do we. We have the desire, but we require the commitment. Plans take work. One can commit to losing unwanted weight but without a plan, things quickly fall to pieces.
Then, of course, we need to follow the plan to make it reality or it is just another exercise video sitting on your shelf. Commitment to executing the plan is the hardest as it may take sacrifice.
 
King Solomon writing here in Proverbs 16, sees in his wisdom that in everything we do we should commit to the Lord. He doesn’t say in whatever religious activity you do, or whatever important thing you do. He writes ‘Commit to the Lord whatever you do’. We often read words like this in the bible and skim over them assuming the writer doesn’t mean what he says. Why would God care about whatever we are doing? Isn’t he to important for the little things? I will commit to him the big things, but I can handle the small things, why should I bother God.
Of course, this is not the case. God cares about everything that happens in your life. If I read this that some of our plans are not that bad. If we are all in and living a life close to God, then what we are planning is most likely already in line with our faith. The second part of what Solomon tells us is that God will ‘establish your plans’. This tells me that God lets us make plans and when we commit to Him, lining up with what he has for us, he will establish them.
Living all in and in a close relationship with God will bring us to the point where whatever we are planning God will establish them for His glory. It does require that we be all in, sold out to Him. Trusting that when we are committing to a plan we may not have all the resources to complete the plan, but trusting that God will provide what is needed.
Today whatever plans you are working towards, have you committed them to God? If not is it because they don’t line up with your faith? Commit your plans to God, let him work with you to establish them and propel you to follow the plan. Maybe, just maybe God is waiting for you to propose the plan, commit it to him so he can establish the plan for you.
 
Father, we know that you have plans for us, plans of all sizes, we thank you that you allow us to sometimes make our own plans and commit them to you. Help us to weigh our plans in view of your word and commit them to you. Propel us forward so that we can be all in with our relationship with you. Let our plans come to play and let us see many people come to know you through the love you have for us. Show yourself through our obedience in following you. Use us to reach this world as we go all in. Amen
 

Day 6: 50 Days All In

Darkness and light are used throughout the bible to describe good and evil, God and the enemy and the ways of the world. For us to walk and live all in we need to be able to understand what the darkness is without embracing it.
 
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
 
John 24:46
 
Here we see Jesus telling his followers that to be all in we Should Not abide in darkness. When I first read this, I get the image of a parent telling their child that the stove or fireplace is hot, you should not touch it. As most parents come to find out that the child doesn’t quite understand and touches it anyway. Why does the child ignore the common-sense warning of their parent? It isn’t because they have a desire to disobey but it is their sense of curiosity and wonder that compels them.
Darkness or sin has become a curiosity or wonder for the believer. Especially for the child born and raised in a Christian home where their parents have raised them to live with standards that run close to the bible. They see what their friends are doing which are opposed to what they have been taught and in their wonder and curiosity, they step out into the darkness, not truly understanding what the ramifications may be. Like the child touching the hot surface, these believers truly don’t understand the consequences of their actions.
But isn’t this world run by the darkness as sin has control since the fall of man back in the garden? How can we not abide in the darkness when it is all around us?
As believers, we have been given freedom from the sin that binds us to this world. It doesn’t exempt us from sin but gives us a freedom to share in the love and light of Jesus. To abide in darkness as Jesus spoke of here could mean accepting it as your way of living. As to say ‘that whoever believes in Me should not accept living in darkness’. We need to realize that we are living in the light that is in Jesus.
We are called by Jesus to be a light in the world. Where does that light that we are called to be come from? Well, Jesus here tells us that He is that light, and if you accepted Jesus into your heart and have given him your all would our earthly body truly be able to contain His light? I think not, so His light would then be shining from us. Of course, this isn’t a spectral light as we know it, but the light is His love. This is what needs to be flowing through us.
So, if we truly want to be living All In, embrace the light that Jesus is. Embrace His love and let His love shine through you into the darkness. We do not nor should not accept living in the darkness any longer. Trust Him he knows what is lurking in the darkness.
 
Father, thank you for sending your light with Your Son. The darkness works to draw us in with desires and curiosities, but we pray for strength to overcome these temptations. Help us to embrace the love and light you have so that we can be hope of others stumbling around in the darkness. Let us be a beacon of Your forgiveness and grace. A lighthouse to the lost as it may be. Let us heed Your warnings to avoid living in the darkness. Holy Spirit, us to reach the lost and hurting people in our neighbourhood. I want to live All in with you. Amen

Day 5: 50 Days All In

If you live in an environment like Canada, during the winter you must dress for the cold. We dress for the environment we live in. Wearing tattered clothes wouldn’t do much to keep us warm, as the cold air would blow in the gaps causing us to become cold and even risk frostbite. To be all in we need to understand that we have the opportunity to put on the ‘clothes’ he provides. Anything else is a poor substitute which will make you cold.

 

 

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NLT

 

 

God chose us, how awesome is that! But then I read “you must” which to me tells me that we have a part to play. We must clothe ourselves with good things.  If we want our lives to reflect Jesus, we don’t want to be walking around in filthy rags of bitterness, un-forgiveness, anger, judgment and pain. We wouldn’t be much of an example of the God who saves us, who chose us.

 

No, we are called to clothe ourselves to be like him. Kindness to those who don’t deserve our kindness. Tender hearted mercy to those who need it or don’t feel they need it. Removing our pride and being humble in what we do not working to build ourselves up but the kingdom. Gentleness, guarding our tongue as it can be used to cut, but we need to use it to heal and love. And patience as we in this day and age are rushing through life, pushing from one task to the next, sometimes we need to be patient with our surroundings and trust God knows what he is doing.

 

So today when your coworkers and friends see you are you clothed in fifty rags or dressed in a garment God has called you to wear?

 

Dear Jesus, take my filthy rags, don’t just put them in the laundry to be used another day, burn them. I don’t want to be seen as that man anymore. I want to be like you, tender hearted, humble, patient, gentle and kind. Holy Spirit work these characteristics into my life and create something beautiful to showcase who God is in my life. Let those around me see Jesus in me daily. I want to be all in, so I choose what you have for me. Amen

 

 

Day 4: 50 Days All In

To be all in we need to give ourselves to God, in doing this we will have to rely on him for our needs. We will also have to learn to exercise our self control which will want us to veer away from trusting God.
 
“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.”
1 Peter 1:13 NLT
We place a lot of hope in many different things. Some of them may not be that bad, but God is looking for us to put our hope in salvation. He wants us to rely on him for our needs and the like when we put out hope in the next lottery ticket or our hope in the next elected leader it shifts our eyes of God and salvation.
So, to be able to put all your hope in God it requires us to prepare our minds. As children and teenagers, we prepared our minds for life by attending school, communicating with adults and study/observations. As Christians we need no less, we must communicate and fellowship with other believers who can build us up. We need to study God’s word either personally or in group/educational settings. Observing the actions of other believers can be useful, such as reading testimonials of faith or seeing Christians in action can be encouraging and push us to do the same.
We also read the word exercise in this verse, exercise self-control. Exercise is a discipline that must be done purposefully to be effective, so to exercise self control is a purposeful practice, taking the time to correct ourselves when we make a mistake and getting stronger in spite of it. These two actions of preparing your mind and exercising your self control work side by side. If you watch any amount of TV you may need to cut back (self control) and spend more time with Jesus(preparing). Replace the word TV with whatever activity you do the most.
Let use to prepare our minds for action, and exercise self control, as to be effective in the mission of reaching the lost.
Jesus, let us not be caught up in the daily activities of live, let our hearts and minds focus on who you are and the call to reach the lost. Let us not miss the moments but be sharp and ready to share your love to whomever needs to hear it. Let us not make excuses on why we can’t so love to others. They matter to you, so they matter to me. Amen
 
 
 
 

Day 3: 50 Days All In

 
Many see their lives as having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, telling them right from wrong. They may not be two inch high beings that reside on our right and left but we do have opposing sides that have different ideas on how we should be living our lives.
 
I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
Romans 7: 22-23
 
The enemy works to convince our sinful nature that we aren’t good enough for the salvation that has been given to us at the cross. He doesn’t want us to be effective in our faith, so he works to keep us from doing anything. If he can slow us down to the point to apathy and laziness, then he has done his job. If he can push us over the edge and farther then even better.
 
We tend to accept the lies we are told and continue our lives as if the truth we have been given is a mantra for our lives but without the commitment.
 
The Holy Spirit on the other hand is waiting for us to grab hold of the gifts he has for you. Until we accept this we are not giving our all to God. He provides us wisdom and strength to overcome the lies of the enemy. To win the war in our minds we must first ensure our hearts are on God’s side, then ensure that we have invited the Holy Spirit to be part of our lives. He will guide us and equip us to do the battle that needs to be fought. We can overcome when we have gone all in.
 
Father, many times we don’t realize that the enemy is active and ready to attack any weakness. Protect us from him and equip us to fight, Holy Spirit you are welcome in my life, give me wisdom, strength and fortitude to stand firm in my faith and fight for the truth. Though there is a war raging I know that I have chosen the right side and we have won the war. Let me be effective in reaching others to join the winning side. Amen

Day 2: 50 Days All In

One of the songs that has held strong for the last 20 years is by John Reuben “I Give You My Heart”. I remember when this was learned at my church it was played almost every service. I even remember one time at a young adult event this was the song for the altar call for at least an hour straight. But what does it really mean to give our hearts to God?

 

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

Matthew 13:44

 

Most Canadians, Americans and many others don’t quite grasp the understanding of giving up anything to follow Jesus. We can choose to follow Jesus and our lives continue unchanged for the most part. I was reminded just recently that this isn’t the case in most parts of the world.

 

Many people in the world are caught up in restrictive religions that come down very hard on those who convert to Christianity. They will take you and throw you out of the house, disown you and even hurt you for your choice to give your heart to Jesus. Therefore, reaching people with the love of Jesus isn’t always easy as because they must be all in as they will face these types of persecution the moment they reveal their choice.

 

If these Christians are willing to give up their families, their customs and lives to give God their whole heart, how come we have a hard time doing the same when we have so much less to lose? Is it because it is so easy for us that we don’t take it as serious an importance?

 

When we sing this song do we truly desire to follow Christ? The man in the parable Jesus told was willing to sell EVERYTHING. Everything to gain the most valuable treasure and remain close to it. He wasn’t concerned what others would think. He wanted it and he would do anything to get it.

 

What are you willing to do to give your whole heart to God? Are you ready to go All in, in your relationship with God starting with all your heart?

Find this song, play it a few times, listen to the words, pray then as the cry of your heart. Go All In.

 

Father, our desire is to give you all our hearts. We want to continually worship you with all we are. I pray that you will connect with your children no matter their situation and as we give ourselves to you, all in, that you will give us the strength to overcome the situations that come our way. For those who lose everything to follow you we pray for wisdom and blessings, give them opportunities to reach their families and friends who have disowned them. Use us to be effective in reaching the lost so they may know you the same way we love you. Amen

Day 1: 50 Days All In

We welcome in a New Year and a milestone in many lives where we make a conscious decision to change who we are. A high majority of these resolutions to change will last a month or two before they trickle off and the normal life resumes.

I had the opportunity to speak at my church for the last Sunday of the year, I spoke of being All In, Loving God with all we are. For the next 50 Days, I will work to provide some ways we can love God with All our Hearts, Minds, Souls and Strength.

 
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.

 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

 

Psalm 73:25-26

 

From reading this Psalm we can see that this writer, was striving to be all in with his relationship with God. All throughout the bible we see men and woman are seen who are working towards a relationship with the heavenly Father. Some miss out either due to temptation or stubbornness. Many return after they walk away, some do not.

 

When you consider where you are in your relationship with God would you say you are all in? Could you honestly take the Psalm we read today and make it your prayer?

 

To love God with All we are is not to lose our identity but to embrace our identity in who he is. Giving him all we are lets him use us to our fullest. If we want to become effective in ministering to others with love and compassion would we not be more effective if we are working with the creator of these attributes?

 

So, as we continue into this New Year, will you join me as we work together to go All in?

 

Father, thank you for all you have done for me. You have sent your Son to die so we can live. We love you and want to love you with all our hearts, minds, soul and strength. Although we may fail, we pray you will forgive us as we get back up and move forward in our faith. Use us to reach the world around us, our neighbors and loved ones. We want to see lives changed around us, miracles and wonders that will open the eyes of those who are hurting. Let this new year reflect who you are and your love for this world. Amen

 

How can we pray for you?