Day 25: 50 Days All In

For those who have been journeying with me through all 50 Days, we are at the halfway point in our study. As we live our lives aiming to have an all in relationship with God, sometimes we need to take a quick evaluation of where we are. If you a seasoned Christian or brand new, I wonder what level you would give your commitment to Jesus? Are you fully committed to what God calls you to, or Sunday’s are your thing and that’s enough? Most would be somewhere in the middle.
“For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24 NLT
We are called to be fully committed in all we do. The people at our work and play should notice something in us that makes us stand out from those around us. Maybe we don’t drink booze, curse, steal office supplies, maybe were honest, trustworthy, joyful, forgiving or caring. How we carry ourselves outside of church reveals much about our relationship. Our actions and words must align if we want to be effective in reaching the lost.
 
God never intended us to go through this journey alone. Moses had Aaron, David had Jonathan, the Apostles always went in pairs. To include a brother or sister in our walk with God is important as they can help us when times get tough, and they will notice trends in our lives that will harm us. We need to lift them up, talk to them about their commitment, guide them as they grow in their faith. We build each other up. Let’s not let our brothers and sisters fall, let’s not stand by and criticize them, we are not called to that. We need more spiritual mentors. We need to be spiritual mentors.
 
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
 
We are called to worship him in Spirit and truth. Some days we just might not feel like worshipping, and we may go through times where we feel like we’re far away from God. But a friend who is accountable or a mentor will see this and call you out in love. They will help bring you back to a place where you can focus your life on going all in and reaching those who have yet to experience a relationship with God. If you don’t have someone like this in your life I encourage you to seek one out, pray that God will lead you to someone.
 
 
Jesus, every believer can be a spiritual mentor to someone else. We tend to watch people flop around like fish out of water but have a hard time guiding them back in so that they can be free. Give us the wisdom to be better mentors. Let us not let our brothers and sisters down, Holy Spirit guide our hearts to love them. Help me to reflect on where I am right now in my all in the journey. Am I trusting you God with everything? If I am not I ask that you reveal those areas, so I can truly give you my all. Amen
 
 
 
 
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Day 24: All In

When we become Christians we take on the name Christ. If we use our handle of Christians ” in vain” or inappropriately then we effectively misuse the name of the Lord. To desire an all in relationship we need to respect His name that is bestowed upon us, we are the children of God. How many people in this world today call themselves Christians yet have no relationship with Jesus?
 
“You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.”
Exodus 20:7 NLT
When you read this verse you probably like me go right to thinking of people using the phrase “oh my god” or say Jesus in all sorts of combinations of swearing. I would like to share a different perspective and would love to hear your thoughts.
Some use the title of Christian to gain monetary advantages, as you see in some televangelists or well known church leaders. Others have been luring young children and sometimes adults into doing things they shouldn’t because of their position in the church and their claim to be Christian. These are extreme cases but not any more a misuse than those who use Christianity for their personal gain. How we act during the week is just as important on how we present ourselves Sunday mornings.
 
How we treat our families reflects who we are in Christ. What we do for the poor and those in need show the world whose we are. Our attitude and sense of justice for the oppressed and those who can’t help themselves. For the hurting and lost. When those around you who see you every day reflect on your character do they say, ‘this is a person who goes to church’ or ‘this is a person whose life reflects Christ’?
 
Today I ask that we work to bring glory to the name we are bestowed as followers of Christ. Let us use it to reach others and fulfil the mission he gave us. Maybe you have been playing around with God. It is time to take a hard look at your relationship and ask yourself are you ready to go all in. Only then can you recognize this in others and work with them to become who God is calling them to be.
 
Dear Jesus, let us not take the namesake we are given lightly. As followers of Christ we are an example to the world and what we do greatly affects how others view you. As your children we bear your name, help us to live a life worthy of this honor. Let them see your love shining through us daily. Help us to see others as you see them and understand that they all matter to you, so they should matter to us. Amen
 
 
 

Day 23: 50 Days All In

Day 23: All In
 
It is so easy to let emotions control who we are as people. The problem is if we let uncontrolled emotions guide us it will eventually guide us to places we don’t want to be. I believe we let the little things that shouldn’t bother us get to us. An all in relationship is one where we are willing to forgive and trust that God knows what he is doing.
 
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
We have all experienced bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander at some point in our lives. To what degree may be debatable but at some point, we have experienced them. The effects they have on those around us are immeasurable as we don’t always see the lasting results. Many of us have been hurt by someone who has treated us with these traits. It hurts.
As believers, these traits are something we need to strive to remove from our lives. Like a virus on a computer, they will slowly corrupt us causing us to be less effective in our mission. One of the greatest tools that we have been given to share the love of Jesus with those around us is forgiveness. To humble yourself in front of another individual and let them know that you forgive them for whatever event they may have done will show more character than your bitterness and anger.
I believe that until we start forgiving those who hurt us it will be like driving a car with the brake on. Our faith will be less effective slowly destroying our movement. We can’t live life with these people who have hurt us holding us back.
Have you been lied to? Forgive them
Have you been stolen from? Forgive them
Has your sexual innocence been taken from you? Forgive them
Has your spouse cheated on you? Forgive them
Whatever is causing you anger and bitterness work to forgive.
If the person is inaccessible due to death or other circumstances, you can still pray and forgive them using Jesus as a proxy. He knows your heart. But if they are still in your life, I encourage you to ask forgiveness. You aren’t alone, find a fellow believer to help you, stand by you, even join you if needed. You’re not in this alone. It is time to break free from unforgiveness and give into what God has for your life. Work with God to go all in including your emotions.
Jesus, if there is unforgiveness in my life I pray that you reveal it to me. Let me go and to forgive or ask for forgiveness to those who have hurt me, or to those I have hurt. I want to be free to grow in you and I can’t do that with bitterness, anger etc in my life. I want to reach others with the message of your forgiveness and I need to live that in my life. The people in my life that don’t know you matter to you, so they matter to me. Use me to reach them and tell them you love them. I want to go all in within our relationship. Amen
 
 
 

Day 22: 50 Days All In

When we are all in within our relationship with God he becomes important in not only the big decisions we make but intertwined with every daily choice we make. Walking with the Holy Spirit guiding not only grows our relationship it strengthens our resolve to reach the lost.

 

 

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

 

Do you ever do things that afterwards you feel really awful about? Maybe it is something you know is wrong but in the heat of the moment, it feels so right? Sin is like that. Sin aims at hitting at all the right pleasure points, creating a sense of entitlement. But sin is like cancer, it spreads and works its way to your heart.

 

The Holy Spirit calls you to repentance, he sees everything you do. As a believer we still sin, but we are called to repent and move away from what causes us to sin. The Proverb says, “as a dog returns to his vomit” well if we keep doing the same thing over and over each time we are repenting of it, are we really repentant or just looking to feel better about our sin?

 

Repentance of out sin is to do a U-turn from what caused the problem in the first place. Get out of the situation, put up safeguards, get accountability, tell someone, do something. But the key is you must want to change. Freedom from sin is a choice you must make daily. Jesus told Peter that we will be forgiven 70×7, not to say after 490 times he stops, but that we will always be forgiven if asked. But it would be so much easier if we changed after the first time?

 

So are you living your life as to glorify God? Or are you living it to pleasure yourself? Do you desire to be all in?

 

Jesus, I want to live my life glorifying you. I don’t want to be like a dog returning to my own vomit. Forgive me of my sins. Help me to u-turn away from them. Let this day be a new day. Let me be able to reach others with you love because they matter to me. Move in this city. Move at my work. Use me. I want to live all in. Amen

 

 

Day 21: 50 Days All In

I ask you to consider this, do they see the ‘mature Christians’ in the church as refresh, alive and engaging like they are all in and are drinking from the water Jesus provided? Or do they look like they have been drinking pickle juice?

Health organizations have been reminding us for years now that we need to drink more water. Water makes up a large portion of who we are, and it is important in the maintenance of the bodies we have been given. Water for some is easily obtained, while others have to travel far to draw water if it is even available. Jesus uses the analogy of water because we need water to survive. Just like we need water, we need the power Jesus offers to have a healthy all in relationship with him.
 
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:14 NLT
 
What are you drinking? Are you drinking the water this world provides that never satisfies? Filling our hearts with empty pleasure that satisfies for a moment yet eventually fades away? Maybe the water you are consuming is full of sugars and pollution that works to confuse your spirit and keep you away from your relationship with Jesus.
Jesus offers you water that will satisfy. We just need to ask him for it. He is the water we need to satisfy the desires of our hearts. This water brings us joy, peace, love and compassion. When you asked Jesus into your life as saviour, to forgive your sins, he gave you this water. It is available to you, he isn’t holding it back with a list of things you must do to access it, no he freely gives it to you. This water is the Holy Spirit, working with us to become the men and woman that God is calling us to be. A relationship where we can truly go all in and walk with him.
Why then do we keep going back and drinking dirty water? Why do our young people who were once part of a seemingly vibrant youth ministry in your church walk away from the faith? There can be many reasons, but I ask you to consider this, do they see the ‘mature Christians’ in the church as refresh, alive and engaging like they are all in and are drinking from the water Jesus provided? Or do they look like they have been drinking pickle juice? Sour, bitter and make no effort to connect and mentor the younger generation. This group of individuals is what is keeping people from entering churches. We need to infuse those who have become brined with Gods love and work with them to go all in with their faith, making it fresh and relevant to them no matter what age or generation they belong to. It is critical that we remind those in our churches that water is only good if we take the time to access it.
 
 
Jesus, you told the woman at the well about the water you give. Thank you for providing this life flowing water to us. Let us drink deep so that we can share it with others. Let your love overflow our hearts to reach others. They matter to you Jesus, so they should matter to us. Help us to bind together with other believers and work together to share your love with our families, workplaces, schools and communities. Give us the strength to be able to confront believers whose lives have become stale and work with them to return to the well of living water you provide. Let’s start sharing this water with the world, it isn’t meant to be hoarded. Jesus your name be glorified in all the earth. Let us go all in. Amen
 

Day 20: 50 Days All In

 
My profession by trade for the past 20 some years has been a cook. I am well aware of the importance of using a sharp blade when working. The sharper the blade the easier it is to complete the job required whether cutting meat or vegetables. A dull blade takes more effort and can cause slips causing more harm to yourself if you accidentally cut yourself. To have an all in relationship with God we must sharpen our weapon, the sword.
 
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 NLT
 
When you read the scripture what comes to your mind? Is it just stories that you keep reading over and over? I know there have been times in my daily readings where I don’t remember what I read, or it doesn’t give me any insight. Any Knight would ensure that his sword remains sharp at all times, for he is in service to the king and he may be called upon at any moment for a quest or battle. Well as believers our sword is the word of God. The word is sharp, there is no doubt in that, but our maintenance of the sword in our lives may not be. If we want to be effective in using it we must keep it sharp in our lives by reading and applying the teachings within.
 
I know the bible, I can tell you all sorts of stuff that it contains. But am I allowing the words and their meaning to really affect who I am? I want to get away from just reading the bible because there is so much more. If I walk away from reading my bible without feeling any nicks or cuts in my heart am I doing it right? My heart for the lost should not be so full of apathy after reading the Gospel of John. Reading Revelations should open my eyes to the end. Am I looking forward to his return, or is it a whatever event. When I read about sin and it shows me something in my life do I just ignore it or do I let the Holy Spirit cut it out of my life?
 
Today are you reading the bible like you would read the latest Good Housekeeping or Sports Illustrated, picking out the good stuff and discarding the rest. The Word of God is alive. Let it work on you and through you. Ask the Holy Spirit to make the Word come alive in your heart. Ask Him to expose your thoughts and desires, to cut out the ones that are destructive. Believe me, a sharp blade does less damage than a dull blade. The enemy fears those who continually sharpen their sword, it reminds him that they are preparing to share God’s love with others at any moment. Ready to go at the King’s command on a quest or battle. A follower of God who wants to be all in must keep their sword sharp.
 
Dear Jesus, Make Your word alive in my heart, I don’t want to just read Your word but want to consume it. Let me not pick and choose like a buffet what is important. Keep your sword sharp in my life. Let me see the relevance of all scripture and how it pertains to my life. I am ready for what you are calling me to do. I desire to be all in. Amen
 

Day 19: 50 Days All In

Self-recognition and pride view their work of heart as abstract and individual. Many are looking at themselves so close up that they don’t even see the who picture of their lives and the mess it has become. Only when they step back and do an honest self-check do they see what they are missing.

We talked yesterday about exposing sin for what it truly is. The driving force behind all that is perverse in this world. It is what keeps us from connecting with the creator whose desire is to have a relationship with us. We all have ingrained in us a yearning for this relationship, yet many will fill this yearning with the sin that continues to separate them from Him. He wants to remove this sin that separates and provided a way for this to happen, and ultimately restore what He created. If we truly desire to go all in with Him we first need to realize that we are His masterpiece and ask for restoration.

 

 

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Ephesians 2:10 NLT

 

We are Gods masterpiece. Not just us believers but every one of his creations. All mankind is his masterpiece. Do not be fooled by the adage ‘we are the authors of our own destiny’. We are made in his image, yet let’s dive into this metaphor and see where we can go with it.

 

A masterpiece I am envisioning is a painting, now it could be anything else like a statue or music score, but let’s think about painting. We are a priceless painting that God has created. Yet because of sin we come into this world torn. As we get older we start to sin either on purpose or without realizing it. I equate this to us taking spray paint and using it on ourselves, thus creating a mess of the masterpiece. The creator of the art still loves the original masterpiece, yet what it has become is not recognizable and will have no place in his gallery. 

 

Self-recognition and pride view their work of heart as abstract and individual. Many are looking at themselves so close up that they don’t even see the who picture of their lives and the mess it has become. Only when they step back and do an honest self-check do they see what they are missing. If one point earlier in their life as a child or teenager had seen the masterpiece as God had made them, they may look and see a corner that has yet been destroyed. This could be enough for them to return to the artist and ask for help.

 

Jesus offers to clean your masterpiece up. He wants to use his blood to wipe off all the paint that we have sprayed on our painting. He is offering to fix any tares so they will be new again. The only catch, you have to ask him to do it. You have to surrender your painting to him and trust him.  I am ready to go all in.

 

Are you dirty today, covered in paint and torn? Jesus wants to cleanse you and repair your torn life. Life won’t become rainbows and lollipops once he does but you will have a purpose, a life worth living knowing that you are restored to the original plan God had for you. He will guide you as you continue to restore the masterpiece you were created to be.

 

Dear Jesus, so many of us settle for the abstract lives we have become when you have called us for so much more. Let our lives be on display as an example of what a restored masterpiece looks like and that our saviour does amazing work. Thank you for cleansing my life and I pray you will help me to speak to others about your cleansing grace. I desire to be all in within our relationship. Amen