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Are you all in?

March 11, 2013

“Following Christ isn’t something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are.”[1]

Are you “all in?” Imagine if the person who built your car did the work halfheartedly. The problems and issues which would arise would perturb you to no end. One thing after another would go wrong. Then, you take the defective car to the dealer to have it repaired under the warranty and the mechanic decides to do his work halfheartedly that day. You drive away with what you think is a well repaired car only to have it die in the middle of nowhere. How would you feel?

Christ gives us an opportunity to be “all in” for Him. It does not count to put a fish decal on the back of a car or a “Jesus Has Risen” sign in the front yard. He wants more than that. He wants you to pursue a life that imitates His. He was a radical, bold revolutionary.

Jesus met with the outcasts of society. He had dinner with tax collectors and shared water at a well with a Samaritan woman. He had a rag-tag bunch of twelve fellows who followed Him and He called disciples. They gave up everything to follow Jesus. Who would that be in American society? The homeless, addicts, criminals, and prostitutes would be some of these modern-day outcasts. Some people may even think of politicians and attorneys in this same category. What can we do to make a difference, to really go “all in?” Instead of giving a homeless person $5 for lunch, why not sit down and eat lunch with them? Ask them their name and story. Spend time letting them share with you their life’s journey. Or something even easier: you see a coworker crying and instead of walking past pretending you did not see it, stop and ask if you can help. Then listen, and I mean really listen, to them. Hear their story. Walk with them and carry their burden.

Here is an illustration between “all in” and “not all in.” Where I live there is poor drainage and even less rain. When it does rain, it typically pours. “All in” is two young men from a local church who drive around in the flooding rain and provide stranded motorists assistance. They get out in the rain and wade into the water and would push or pull cars out from the flooded side of the road to safety. They did not accept money or any other payment. “Not all in” is the people who would drive by really close to them so they can splash water onto them. That is a true story and the difference between an example of “all in” and “not all in.”

Loving others is central to following Christ. He loved us without any expectation of anything in return. He expects us to share that same unconditional love with others. Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39, ESV) Go out this week and go” all in!”

[1] Francis Chan. Crazy Love. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2008. 94

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