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

 

 

Advertisements

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?

Day 50: 50 Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: Colombia

We pray today for the believers in Colombia. Here in this nation we, see a small minority of people hold all the power and are holding the people captive with fear. Just a Jesus had taught a little yeast spreads through the entire dough, we pray that this fear will be removed, for greater is he that is in the believers of Colombia, then those who oppose them.

 

Of the population of 48.3 million, there are about 44.6 million believers. For more information check out Open Doors USA.

 

 

 

 

Father, we pray for Colombia. We pray for an overwhelming confidence in their faith. A desire to stand up for what is right no matter the consequences. We ask for strength to overcome the threats that aim to destroy families if they don’t conform to the rules of the rebels and cartels. Provide each believe the discipline to grow as believers and share their love with those around them. Move mightily in Colombia and change South America and the world through their faithfulness. Amen

Day 49: 50 Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: Bahrain

We pray today for the believers in Bahrain.

 

Of the population of 1.3 million, there are about 189 thousand believers. For more information check out Open Doors USA.

 

 

 

 

Father, we pray for Bahrain, we pray for the safety of those who have chosen to share your love in this nation, as the freedoms to practice religion only goes so far. We pray for open doors and open hearts to receive the message of your love. Move mightily in the believers in Bahrain and use them to change the lives of their families, friends, co-workers and government officials. Wrap your arms of love around those shunned by their families for choosing you and gather your family to support one another. Work miracles in this nation. Amen