Day 12: 50 Days All In

As we journey together at becoming all in our faith there will come times where our passion and love for Christ should overflow and spill out of us. Paul prayed that this would be something that is more of a common occurrence than a once in a lifetime experience. We are called to keep growing in our faith, if your story and experience with God is not so fresh it may be time to reevaluate your life, asking God for an overflowing love and new knowledge and understanding.
 
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.”
Philippians 1:9 NLT
 
We never stop learning. This is evident in the fact that things are being invented or discovered every day. This is a trait we were given by God, to keep looking and exploring. Here in Philippians, we are called to keep growing in knowledge and understanding, this has more to do with your faith and understanding that time is running out, that we need to work at sharing our faith with others. We need knowledge now more than ever as some people have over thought life and have their own answers for everything when they need to do a reset and realize Jesus is the answer. A knowledge that is found in the scriptures and the powerful love of Jesus will help when connecting with the lost. These are also gifts of the Holy Spirit that we can access as believers by praying that he will guide us in reaching others.
 
You love for the lost needs to overflow your life. It must be a genuine love. This is hard to communicate to someone who doesn’t know their lost. A vast percentage of our population think they are fine and are just living normal lives. That they are good enough. We need to display love to them showing them what Jesus has done in our lives and what He has done for them. Many have been confused with all the different teachings of religion that works to muddy the waters of the true relationship Jesus wants us to have with him. Letting the love of Christ overflow our lives becoming infectious to those around us. The overflowing love is healing to the hurting, comfort for the broken, and sight to the blind.
 
So today will you let love overflow your life?
 
Jesus, fill me up with your love, fill me to overflowing. Let my life reflect everything you have for me. Let me be a witness to those who need to know you. They matter to you, so they matter to me. I ask for wisdom, knowledge and understanding to be effective in communicating your salvation message to those who don’t think they need it. Give me the courage to actually do it. I strive to be all in within my relationship with you, no turning back. Amen
 
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Day 11: 50 Days All In

My last post stirred up a few people who thought my view on there being only one God was narrow-minded. One of these readers was quick to ensure I knew that they were a believer but didn’t think that Jesus was the only way to God. I have learned that those who must work hard and vigorously to defend what they believe must do so because they don’t truly believe what they are following but they are too stubborn to admit that they are wrong.
 
““Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.””
Matthew 7:21-27 NLT
There are many in our churches who claim to love Jesus but are lost. They have never really made the commitment to Christ, or maybe once in their lives many years ago but for the longest time just have been ‘playing’ church. Many understand what needs to be said to sound “Christianise” but fail to apply those same life principles to their hearts. All too often this talk without action approach will become stumbling blocks for new believers. Their lives may be mimicked as the ‘normal’ producing a new generation of Christians by name only missing out on the importance of an active relationship with Jesus.
 
We as followers of Christ need to have this active relationship with Jesus, which includes following his commands. We are commanded to love our neighbors. Jesus main mission to us was to go to all the world and make disciples. For many our neighbors may be as far into the world as we may get, yet we are to reach them with His love. We are told that we will be known by the world because of our love for those around us. Our actions must match the words we speak, and for this to become reality we must be all in in our faith.
 
My Pastor yesterday speaking from 1 Kings 18 made a statement that connects with this, ‘To have a current relationship with God we have to cut the bull.’ He was referring to the sacrifice Elijah was making to God when demonstrating God’s power over Baal. We need to stop playing around in our faith and start taking it seriously. Lives are at stake, and we can be the difference in the lives of those around us.
 
Where does your relationship with Jesus sit today? Are you taking it seriously, or are you playing games with God? Is there some bull that you need to cut out of your life? Something holding you back from loving your neighbors? What is your foundation built on? Do your actions match your words? I pray today that you live your life all in. If any of this hits home, don’t get defensive, be proactive, grab your bible. Confirm the words spoken by Jesus and the teachings of the apostles. Ask God to speak to you and work in your life so that you may give him your all. Don’t take my word for it, ask him yourself.
 
 
Father, today I pray for those struggling to go all in their relationship with you. Parts of themselves they are holding back, either in fear of what they may lose or because they enjoy that aspect of their lives. Reveal this to them so they may recognize that it is not beneficial to growth. Help us to love our neighbors in action not just words, let us be a light in our world. We want to be all in. 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 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 Passion

How is your passion? I wonder if anyone has any stories over the past 50 days of their passion increasing? If you do would love to hear from you as passion is infectious.

 

““What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.””
Mark 10:51 NIV

 

I wonder how many times in our crying out to Jesus to help us or to increase our passion, we forget to stop crying out to listen for a response. We can focus solely on the problem at hand and that’s it. We never see the forest through the trees.

 

If in the last month and a half if you haven’t seen an increase in your passion yet you have been praying for it today it might be the time to wait in his presence. In our busyness it is easy to ask for things but even harder to wait for them. We want things now and don’t want to wait.

 

Maybe Jesus is right there asking the same question to you as He was giving the blind man.

 

My challenge you today is once you have called out to Jesus is to then wait on His reply. He may very well ask you “what do you want Me to do for you?”

 

Dear Jesus, sometimes when we pray we never stop talking, but it is a two-way conversation and we need to start listening to You, help us to listen. You reveal yourself in many ways, through your word, our relationships and sometimes you even speak to us. Thank you for not being a silent God. Help us to ignite our passion and start being mission centered people. Amen