Day 43: 50 Days All In

Day 43: All In
 
We are living in a society today who gets their news from memes. I can’t even count the number I have seen since the latest school shooting, and the outcry in all facets from outright banning guns, to certain guns, to some really weird concepts. No matter what we do as a society to keep tools out of evils hands, evil will find a way to harm. We as believers need to sit up and take notice of the young people who were directly impacted and what their response is; Action. They want to see change so this doesn’t happen again. They need our thoughts and prayers but we as believers need to start acting. What this world truly needs is all in believers who are ready willing and able to share their faith. Until this world realizes they need Jesus, nothing will change. We are called on this mission of love. We are called to action.
 
 
“The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.”
Psalms 11:5-7 NKJV
““Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Matthew 24:9-14 NKJV
We are living in a time closer to Christ’s return than ever before. Sin is running rampant in our world. Leaders bombing their own country in the name of ending opposition. Kids killing kids, mothers killing their flesh and blood in the name of convenience, suicide in pill form for those who so desire. The ease that one gives up on love and marriage. People so easily offended, and in their offence betray their offender with such hatred that it causes much discourse. In a nation that stands for free speech, our words can cost us everything. We are no longer allowed to oppose some evil as the government has allowed sin to become law.
We even have some major religious leaders making grandiose statements that are so contradictory to Jesus teaching that many people of this world are being deceived.
But don’t worry, God is in control. But we can’t sit and wait for someone else to do something to save our friends, family, neighbours and coworkers. We NEED to sense the urgency that is upon us. To expect others to do the mission we are called to is naive and childish. The Pastor, elders and staff of your church are just men and woman like you. They may sit in a position or appointment, but it doesn’t advocate you from the mission. So you give money to your missionaries, let them do the work and feel good about forwarding the missing; no we need to be men and woman of action, we need to be telling people about the freedom that is available in Jesus.
 
We are called to an all in relationship. This means we are to give ourselves to the relationship as well. It isn’t about what we can get out of it, that’s who so many relationships fail when one side expects everything and is unwilling to work together. God uses our uniqueness to so that he is willing to work with us, he is asking you to work with him.
We need to share Jesus with all of those we love. If not, then you need to ask yourself one honest, yet hard question why do we follow him?
 
Father, I pray that your story flows from my lips, let me share your life effectively, but I must share it. I can’t sit and wait for someone else. Give me opportunities today, in the next hour to share your love with someone. Let my fears of failure dissipate as I choose to live a life all in. May those around me see a change even today, let your love overflow my life. If I have been dismissing the call to action I pray that you will forgive me. I choose to serve you. AMEN
 
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Day 42: 50 Days All In

This week heaven welcomed home a man who embodied what it meant to have an all in relationship with God. When I think of heaven I return to Randy Alcorn’s artistic vision of heaven, where we arrive through from this world into the next into a ‘birthing room’. There we are met by people who were our earthly family and those we impacted with the faith. Jesus standing right there, the center of it all, welcoming us home. I see Rev. Graham, after embracing his savior wiping the tears of joy from his eyes looking around to the mass of people surrounding them asking the savior “who are all these people here?” Jesus, looking at him with love and saying “Billy, these are all the people your life impacted for my kingdom.” Then and there each one, like a wedding line, they each and everyone hugging and embracing Rev. Graham giving him a crown thanking him for showing them God’s love maybe even telling their story on how he impacted their lives. After what seems like an eternity, Billy looks over at the pile of rewards gathered at his feet, turns his face to Jesus and bows down. “My savior, these are for you.” “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
 
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT
I wonder if we examined yesterday, and really took some time to break it down, how would it look compared to the example of Christ. I wouldn’t have to look very hard to find times that I either missed an opportunity to share the love of Jesus or find a time where my example was not much of one. We go through life just doing the motions. Not really thinking about what we are doing as they have become ingrained in us. No one can expect us to compare ourselves with other believers, yet sometimes we do that to ourselves. There may never be anyone like Billy Graham because he was called for his mission his purpose. You are called to be you.
To imitate God isn’t something that instantaneously happens when we accept Jesus into our lives. We are a work in progress, we still have to live in this sinful world which will daily grind us done in hopes of us throwing aside the new found freedom we have. The enemy doesn’t want us to be effective in our walk with Jesus. If he has lost you he will do everything in his power to either get you to relinquish the freedom or make you apathetic to the cause of reaching others. Lazy Christians are effective for the enemy.
But as followers of Jesus, we like children should be looking at him as a role model, father figure, teacher. Someone to look up to, aspire to, work to become like, it is what we are called to. He gave us a mission of sharing the same love, that rescued you from the eternity in hell, and to share it to those around us. Those who are like us, those who live close by and may not be like us, those outside our area and those out in the world. Do not be deceived, we are called to tell others about Jesus. If you are not telling others about Jesus, you are not listening to the one who saved you.
What is holding you back from sharing Jesus with people? If we want to experience and all in relationship with God, then we need to share our hope. We can’t keep this awesome truth to ourselves. Learn from Billy Graham’s all in relationship with God, he didn’t keep God’s love to himself and his life and ministry impacted untold numbers of people. God can use you to impact untold numbers of people. Will you let him?
Jesus, we thank you for rescuing us. We ask your forgiveness if we haven’t been faithful in sharing you live with others. Help us to do this daily. Encourage us to see the moments and grasp them. As we see people come to you it will motivate us, even more, to share your love. Set us on fire. They matter to you, so they matter to me. Amen
 
 
 
 

Day 41: 50 Days All In

Day 41: All In
 
The resistance to the truth about Jesus love and God’s desire to have a relationship with his people is as strong as it has always been. Maybe the type of resistance has changed to one more of intellect then stubbornness, but none the less it is still prevalent. God’s plan for salvation was a fairly simple one, yet painful for him to experience. He endured it so that we as mankind would have the redemption and forgiveness to restore the relationship that was the original intent for our lives. God wants us to not only love him but to have an all in relationship with him.
 
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
Romans 3:23-24 NLT
Isn’t it amazing to see that we are really no different than those around us who don’t know Jesus love? We make the same mistakes and live our lives day to day in the same world that they do. What we have is that we accepted the gift of salvation free given by the father thru the cross.
Seems so simple. So easy. Once you get it and understand it, it doesn’t make any sense why those who are wandering through life don’t. But it shouldn’t make us feel superior to those who have yet accepted Christ. We need to see those people as Jesus sees them. Lost, alone, hurting, dying and in need of Jesus saving grace. We should be burdened to tell them about him.
We are called to reach them, we are called to tell them about the grace that we have been given. Jesus says “I stand at the door and knock”, well he is knocking on every door of every person. Our job and mission is to let the people know who is on the other side so they will realize that it is safe to open the door to him. We can’t open the door for them, that would defeat the purpose of his plan.
I ask you again today, do people matter to you? Do the lost and hurting people you meet everyday matter to you? Have you been given grace? Why aren’t you sharing this grace to others? Because they matter to God the should matter to you. Because they are loved by God they should be loved by you. Don’t expect someone else to do the mission you were called to do. Part of an all in relationship with God is putting aside your fears and reaching out to those who need to meet him.
Jesus, I am asking you to keep opening my eyes and heart to the lost, I want to speak love and mercy to those around me. I want to daily reach others for you. You are coming back soon and I don’t want anyone to spend eternity in hell crying why didn’t he tell me about Jesus. Let me be a light to one around me, let me open my lips to speak the truth. Jesus you are what the people in this world need. Use me, even today. Amen
 
 
 
 

Day 40: 50 Days All In

Kevin Ott uses a story of living our lives in a cardboard castle. We live in it enthralled with its beauty, fantasizing about how great it is to live here. Yet outside the box is a real castle, clothed in every jewel, precious metal and lush fabrics. Inside the box we are so caught up in our world that we don’t want to poke our head out to see what life outside the box looks like. We can choose to live our lives all in the box, or we can have an all in relationship with God, but you can’t have it both ways.
 
 
“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Colossians 3:2-3 NLT
Life here on earth is like living in the cardboard castle. We are satisfied with what is available to us right here right now. God promises us that there is a better place, a perfect place that outshines this far and dreary world. He promises that those who accept Jesus and follow him will experience this place. Those who have accepted Jesus have seen a glimpse of what life will be like with the love that comes from Jesus.
So, we sit in the cardboard box. Most don’t really know how to get out, many having no desire to. Some believe the box just created itself out of nothing, and one day the box will just implode upon itself completing a cycle of life. Some believe that there are many ways out of the box and each one leads to the same place. Jesus tells us that no one comes to the Father but through Him. No leader on earth, no man or woman, has ever made that claim. Jesus is the only way to get out of the box.
Back to reality now. Our lives are meant for so much more. We are being drawn to God, as it is our hearts’ ultimate desire. We were created to have a relationship with the creator. We can’t worship the creation it won’t bring us closer to the creator. Sin separates us from the creator. Jesus is the creator. John 1 tells us this. Jesus the creator, came to his creation, died and rose again so that we can have a relationship with him. Sin is defeated and can be forgiven for those who only ask forgiveness from the creator.
It is time for us as believers to start sharing more about what Jesus has done for us. We need to be more purposeful in our words and actions. It is time for our love for the Father to pour out of our lives on a daily basis. If we truly know what life is outside the box, then we must be willing to share it with those here with us. Be bold take hold of the all in relationship that is available outside the box.
Jesus, let us be bold in sharing our faith with others. Give us daily moments that we can see and use to tell others about your love, let us be faithful in inviting people to church. Help us to love them as you love them. None are unworthy of your grace, we cannot pick and choose who we share your love with. They all matter to you, so they matter to me. Let me live all in. Amen
 
 
 
 

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