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
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Day 10: 50 Days All In

To be all in a choice must be made. There is only one God and one way to get spend eternity in heaven. If you compromise and think that there may be other ways to heaven, or that there could be other gods, then you aren’t living all in.

 

“There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.”

Ephesians 4:5-6 NLT

A vast majority of people in this world believe that there are many paths to God. Many believe that there are many gods and that each one is just as important. These gods have been created to counterfeit the one and only true God and distract mankind into believing all sorts of lies. The enemy, Satan is working diligently to ensure that mankind joins his kingdom, unfortunately for those who wish to follow him his path leads to eternal damnation.

Only one spiritual leader in all mankind was confident in his true nature by saying ” I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me” and ” if you have seen me you have seen the Father. ” Jesus was and is God, the trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. So, if we believe that Jesus is who he says he is then what he says must be true, and there can only be one way to God, and all other gods are not really gods.

If that is true what, then are people worshipping and giving their allegiances to? The devil is working hard setting up false gods for man to believe in. Distraction from Jesus is his objective. Keep mankind away from following the one who will forgive them of their sins. I pray today if you know someone who is involved in a church that preaches something other then Jesus forgiveness that you start talking to them about the truth. You are vital in their spiritual health, don’t sit by and watch them fall away.

 

God when asked who he was he answered simply “I AM”. When the ten commandments were given He told us that “we are to have no other gods but Him” and that He is “a jealous God”, but also a merciful God. If we want to live all in, we need to trust the God we serve is the one and only God. We can’t compromise and accept another gods validity.

Jesus, today we ask that you open our eyes to the truth that is all around us. If we are having doubts that you are the only one true God, show us today in your word and world. Let us not have any other gods before us. We want to be all in, ready to reach the lost and love those who need to experience you. Help us to reach our friends, coworkers, neighbors and families. They matter to you and they matter to us. Amen

 

 

Day 9: 50 Days All In

When Paul was writing the Romans, it was at the height of the Roman Empire. The people were involved in some very interesting lifestyles, to say the least. Paul knew that this lifestyle that they were living was dangerous and only lead to hell. As these people he was writing, were the early church of the city, he needed to impart wisdom on how to live for God. The people most likely had accepted Christ, but some were still living in their old ways.

 

 

“Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.”

Romans 13:13-14 NLT

 

Paul was not giving the Roman believers a set of rules to follow but a guideline of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He knew that as believers we need to step up and out of the sin that we were forgiven for. To wallow in the dirt that we were cleansed by Jesus for, would not be much of an example to his mercy and grace.

 

If we have truly accepted Jesus as our saviour and desire to have a relationship with Him, we need to learn about who He is and what He taught. We need to see how He loved and how He was the example for us to follow. He let his life and his words speak for themselves, His words matched His action every time. No exceptions. I know personally, I cannot honestly say that is true of me. I am working to be a better man, boss, husband and father. But I stumble and fall, and I thank God every day that He picks me up, dusts me off, and pushes me to be a better man. If we don’t learn from our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them.

 

 

 

The road of darkness leads to an eternity of pain and suffering, but look what is ahead for those who walk with Jesus.

 

“For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.”

Proverbs 2:6-8 NLT

 

It is time to make an honest choice between you and Jesus. Are you still attached to the wild ways of this earth? Or are you ready to say I am done with these things and want to change? I want to be a man or woman of integrity that people will be able to see Jesus in. I want to be all in.

 

If that’s you today I want to encourage you that it can be done. If you fall he will pick you up. But continue to strive to be a man or woman of integrity, it is so worth it.

 

Father, today I pray for each reader of this message. I ask that you have the Holy Spirit tug on each and every heart to walk away from the darkness. Jesus, you called us to be the light, let us claim that and be the light. I pray that we become a generation of men and woman who are full of integrity. Let us be an example of who you are, and love those around us as you love them. I want to be all in. Amen

 

 

If you need to talk and need help walking away from the desires of your heart, if you need someone to hold you accountable, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can try help you either find someone to connect with. Jesus loves you and I do too.

 

If you are enjoying the daily messages I have been sharing with you would you help me out by sharing this on FB, Twitter or any other platform. Let us work to spread the hope of Jesus to the ends of the earth. God Bless

Day 8: 50 Days All In

There are many faiths out there that will boast that if you do enough good works you can make it to heaven. Atoning for your sins by doing more to help the poor, sacrificing everything in a vain grasp to please a finicky god whom you never have any idea if he is listening or not.
 
 
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
I am excited to tell you that we don’t serve a God who requires a minimum amount of good works to consider you worthy. God in his infinite love provided a plan for salvation that doesn’t require you to work your way into heaven. He came and comes to you. He sent Jesus to die so we can live. It comes down to acceptance of the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross and the forgiveness and life he freely offers.
 
So, does that mean we don’t have to do good works? Of course, we must do good works, but in a thankful way not to earn a ticket to heaven but because we are going to heaven. As children of God, we should want to please Him by doing things He calls us to. If we are to go all in then we will desire to do things that will encourage others to find the hope and freedom we have found in our God.
If you are doing good works to try to atone for your sins, stop. Nothing you can do in your own power can get God’s attention. You already have His attention, He desires to have a relationship with you. He is waiting for you to cry out to Jesus and ask him to forgive you. Then do good work because He has freed you from sin, go all in and share your newfound faith with others fulfilling the mission to reach the lost and love your neighbor. You will see better results for your work.
Jesus, let us come to you for forgiveness and let us not try to work our way the heaven. Let our lives reflect your love, let what we say and do be a love song of who you are. Let us work to reach others for the kingdom. They matter to you Jesus, so they matter to me. I want to live all in for you Jesus. 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 6: 50 Days All In

Darkness and light are used throughout the bible to describe good and evil, God and the enemy and the ways of the world. For us to walk and live all in we need to be able to understand what the darkness is without embracing it.
 
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
 
John 24:46
 
Here we see Jesus telling his followers that to be all in we Should Not abide in darkness. When I first read this, I get the image of a parent telling their child that the stove or fireplace is hot, you should not touch it. As most parents come to find out that the child doesn’t quite understand and touches it anyway. Why does the child ignore the common-sense warning of their parent? It isn’t because they have a desire to disobey but it is their sense of curiosity and wonder that compels them.
Darkness or sin has become a curiosity or wonder for the believer. Especially for the child born and raised in a Christian home where their parents have raised them to live with standards that run close to the bible. They see what their friends are doing which are opposed to what they have been taught and in their wonder and curiosity, they step out into the darkness, not truly understanding what the ramifications may be. Like the child touching the hot surface, these believers truly don’t understand the consequences of their actions.
But isn’t this world run by the darkness as sin has control since the fall of man back in the garden? How can we not abide in the darkness when it is all around us?
As believers, we have been given freedom from the sin that binds us to this world. It doesn’t exempt us from sin but gives us a freedom to share in the love and light of Jesus. To abide in darkness as Jesus spoke of here could mean accepting it as your way of living. As to say ‘that whoever believes in Me should not accept living in darkness’. We need to realize that we are living in the light that is in Jesus.
We are called by Jesus to be a light in the world. Where does that light that we are called to be come from? Well, Jesus here tells us that He is that light, and if you accepted Jesus into your heart and have given him your all would our earthly body truly be able to contain His light? I think not, so His light would then be shining from us. Of course, this isn’t a spectral light as we know it, but the light is His love. This is what needs to be flowing through us.
So, if we truly want to be living All In, embrace the light that Jesus is. Embrace His love and let His love shine through you into the darkness. We do not nor should not accept living in the darkness any longer. Trust Him he knows what is lurking in the darkness.
 
Father, thank you for sending your light with Your Son. The darkness works to draw us in with desires and curiosities, but we pray for strength to overcome these temptations. Help us to embrace the love and light you have so that we can be hope of others stumbling around in the darkness. Let us be a beacon of Your forgiveness and grace. A lighthouse to the lost as it may be. Let us heed Your warnings to avoid living in the darkness. Holy Spirit, us to reach the lost and hurting people in our neighbourhood. I want to live All in with you. Amen

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