Are You All In?
Written by Dino Bray
Did you hear the one about the farm animals that planned a surprise birthday breakfast for the farmer? The wise old hen was leading the discussion and said, “We can have eggs, milk and bacon for our friend the farmer.” No sooner than she had made the suggestion, the cow declared, “That’s a wonderful idea. He will be so surprised!” In amazement the pig declared, “Wait just a minute here! You two are making a good investment in this idea, but for me, it’s a total commitment!” Sometimes I wonder if we are only making investments into the Kingdom, or are we, like the pig, “all in”?
I’m not saying that every believer will have to lose their lives physically to prove their devotion to Christ; Jesus never said that and it’s not in the Bible. Some believers DO lose their lives for their faith; it happens every day in some places of our world, but it’s not a requirement for all of us. And in talking to people who don’t know Christ in a personal relationship, one of the things that hinder lots of people from knowing more about Jesus is their fear of being required to “give up” things in order to become a Christian. Anything that needs to be “given up” will become clearer to us as we grow in our relationship with Jesus and His Word. But at least for me, sometimes I still have to ask myself, “Am I all in?”
Jesus did something for us that we could never accomplish when He died for our sins. He paid the penalty we owe for our sins and offered us grace. There’s really nothing we can do to free ourselves from our guilt; we’re all sinners and all deserve judgment. But Jesus went “all in” and went to the cross to die in our place. He, and only He, could pay our debt because He is the sinless Son of God. Jesus held nothing back and loved us completely in order to make a way for us to know God. But in my life I sometimes hold back on things I should be giving away completely for Christ. Why do I shy away at times from sharing my faith with others? Is it not important to me? Sure it is, but sometimes I’m just not “all in”, and I allow the fear of rejection to hinder me from sharing. What if they don’t want to talk about faith? What if they judge me as being a fanatic, or worse, a fool? Again, the question comes, “Am I all in?”
The Apostle Paul wrote to his young ministry partner Timothy and reminded him about being “all in”. He said in 2 Timothy 1:7-12 (NIV) “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”
As a believer in Jesus Christ I can be “all in”, and know that He is able to keep me and empower me to do whatever He asks of me, without any fear or hesitation. Are you willing to be “all in”?