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
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.
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