Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
Hey everyone and welcome back to the Faith Filled Friends. This is a special devotion from me about a topic I have been thinking about recently and it is something that Gad and I often talk about; the all in faith. As Christians, we need to do exactly what Matthew 22:37- 38 says. We should love God with ALL of our heart, all of our soul and all of our mind. We can’t and shouldn’t be half-hearted about our relationship with the Lord. God is the reason that we are alive and we should seek to reflect Him in all we do. Are you all in for Jesus?
None of us are perfect. There are days when our faith wavers, when we are tempted and when the world pulls us down. However, we shouldn’t let those downfalls be an excuse for a half-hearted faith. We are fighting against the devil and his schemes because he does not want us to pursue Jesus, he wants us to find our gods in this world. It is a constant battle against Satan, but we can overcome it with God on our side and when we submit to God the temptation will go away. Through trusting in God, we can defeat the enemy and put the temptations, the sins and the appealing pleasures behind us and chase after Jesus with all we are.
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you
When I go to church on a Sunday, I look around and see God’s people and I’m reminded of how amazing it is to be with God’s people. It is a true blessing to be encouraged by our brothers and sisters in Christ. Sadly, there are some who come to church just for the socialising, the coffee and the good feelings. They’re there for all the wrong reasons. It is important and also difficult not to judge those who appear to be going after the wrong things and don’t live out a faith that is all in. Rather, I think it is important to challenge people who call themselves a Christian, but they’re life says otherwise. Personally, I am always saddened when I see people I thought were Christians walking away from God or church. There are people you grow up going to church with and then one day, they stop coming. It’s in those times that you realise some people aren’t all in. They were sitting on the edge and weren’t prepared to give everything to God. We need to encourage one another to let our WHOLE lives reflect Jesus. Don’t put on that ‘Sunday Christian’ image and then go back to living in the world on a Monday. Saying you’re a Christian but not looking like a christian on the outside is like you’re sitting on the fence, like you’re standing on the middle ground. You have to be ALL IN, you’re either in or out, there is no middle ground.
God should be glorified in everything. It’s one of the things I pray for each morning, that I would glorify Him in everything I say and do. In the way we speak to our friends and families, those who we love. If we yell at those who are close to you and speak sweetly whenever you are at church, how is that being all in? Be who you really are all the time. Don’t change the way you speak or act depending on where you are and who you are interacting with. I think this is a challenge for all of us. We trick ourselves into thinking we can get away with being someone else at home and no one will know. Jesus knows. He sees everything we say and do and nothing can be hidden from Him. He lives with us in our homes and is with us always. Live like Jesus is right there next to you because He is.
1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God
Going all in for Jesus can be done in even the smallest things. When it comes to the music we listen to or the movies or TV shows we watch, don’t make excuses and tell yourself it’s ok when it’s not. Ask yourself; “is what I’m listening to or watching glorifying God?”. “Would he approve?” If the answer is no, then flee from it, don’t have anything to do with it! It is not worth compromising your faith.
You might make the excuse that just because the beat is good the song is fine to listen to even though the lyrics are all about sex and drugs. Don’t fall for it! As christians, we don’t want to dwell on these things, we are seeking constantly put sin to death in our lives and music which focuses on these things doesn’t help us at all. Instead, I would encourage you to find some great christian music, whether it be praise, worship or CCM or the many other types that are out there that glorify God and help you set your mind on Him. You will find yourself singing along to the lyrics and fixing your mind on Christ. Fantastic christian music is one of the reasons this website exists! Go all in for Jesus, even the smallest details of our lives will make a difference.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things
As we approach Christmas we can be all in by focusing on what Christmas truly means. If Jesus never came to earth, there would be no Christmas, no celebrations or holidays. But the festivities really aren’t that important. If we call ourselves a christian and we let the festivities take up all our time, don’t attend any Christmas services or remind ourselves of the Christmas story, can we really say we are all in? Failing to acknowledge the truth behind Christmas isn’t going to affect our salvation but it speaks loudly to others. Your friends and family know you’re a Christian but they see you celebrating Christmas just like everyone else without acknowledging Jesus. Going all in for Christmas means we put Jesus first, above everything else. It might mean you arrive half an hour later to your Christmas lunch because you’re attending the Christmas morning service, but we should give Jesus the top spot on our priority list.
I really want to encourage you to go ALL IN. Don’t just dip your toes in the water and be an on and off christian. Jesus is life as a christian and our faith must guide us in all that we do. From our choices of music to standing up for what you know is right when your faith is challenged, give everything your are to Jesus. He is so much greater and so much more important than anything in this world. Go all in, headfirst. Don’t hesitate because when we do, the people in our lives will see it and it will tell them how important Jesus is to us. A great example is baptism. It is a public declaration of what has happened in a person’s life, that they have died to sin and have been raised again with Christ and been given new life because of what Jesus has done. It tells everyone who sees it that they are going all in, that they are followers of Christ and that they have died to their sins, giving them new life.
The challenge to go all in is something for us all. We all have days where we don’t fully live for God and return to our sinful desires and habits. Ask God for His forgiveness and for His Holy Spirit to continue working in you, that He will keep changing you. Gad talked about surrender in a previous devotion and he said that surrender is that simple, yet it is also that difficult. We are saved by grace and there is nothing more that we must do. God calls us to surrender our lives to Him, to give everything. To give everything to God can be hard because we want to cling to certain things and habits, but we must let it all go and devote our lives to Jesus, from the moment we wake up to the moment our head hits the pillow, we have to be all in! Don’t wait until Sunday to be a christian and pick up where you left off on Monday, get off the fence and run to Jesus with your whole life.
Romans 6:13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness
We have been saved and born again because of what Jesus has done. God calls us His children. Why would he want anything less than all of us. What is holding us back from diving in and letting our whole lives be devoted to Jesus?
May our whole lives be the evidence that we have been saved by the grace of God and may our thoughts, words and actions glorify God.
So, where do you stand in your faith, are you still hesitating and sitting on the fence? Go ALL IN and give your whole life to God.
Josh Clarke- The Faith Filled Friends.