Check out this Article by Steven K. Haught, Th.D. As a Christian are you living All In?
Once upon a time on a quaint little farm, there was a pig and a chicken. They were well looked after by the farmer and really appreciated how he always gave them their favorite foods and made their homes clean and comfortable. One day, the chicken was talking to the pig and said, “Did you know that Mr. Farmer is having a birthday this week?” The pig replied, “No, I didn’t. We should do something nice for him.“ The chicken and the pig went on with their day trying to think of a gift for Mr. Farmer.
As they admired the sun setting over the hills, the chicken said, “I’ve got a grand idea! Let’s do a nice breakfast for Mr. Farmer!” The pig got a little nervous when he heard this idea. “Er… a breakfast you say?” The chicken replied, “Sure, it would be lovely! Think of how Mr.Farmer will enjoy starting his morning off with a plate of eggs and bacon from us.” The pig felt even more nervous now, after all, he really did love the farmer and wanted to do something special for him. Seeing that the chicken wasn’t thinking of a “continental breakfast” the pig pressed the chicken, “Now hang on a moment... it’s not that easy for me the participate in this gift you want to give Mr. Farmer! All you have to do is lay some eggs and go on about your day with a smile... for me, this is an “all in” commitment... I have to die to put [my] bacon on Mr. Farmer's plate!”
Cute and familiar story about the idea of what it means to be “all in”. Now, think about it as an analogy to your life as a Christian. Suddenly it’s a tougher consideration than you might have first thought. The knee-jerk reaction for most of us is that we’re absolutely the pig. Fully committed and fully passionate about what we do as Christians. Are you really the pig, or is putting the “bacon” on the table a bit beyond what you might be willing to do? It seems the real test is determined by our attitude and our actions.
All In. In the card game of poker, it could mean wagering one's entire stake, all the money you have, to the last penny. The most concise, efficient meaning... All things having been taken into account, nothing held back, no reserves.
All in all, when first coined, was a reference to the omnipresent and all-pervasive nature of Almighty God, i.e. 'all things in all places'. The phrase comes from 1 Corinthians 15:28, which says... When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
There are numerous references in the Bible addressing the Christian’s commitment in various aspects of living: to our families, our neighbors, employers, the church, our health, and in “all things” what we do and say (Ephesians 6:5; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 31). The Bible also teaches that the chief commitment of our lives is to God Himself. Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
ALL your soul... ALL your mind? Jesus is telling us in those powerful words that every fiber of our being, every facet of our lives must be fully, totally, completely committed to loving and serving God. This means that we can hold nothing back from Him because God holds nothing back from us (John 3:16).
Jesus has made it plain what’s involved in the cost of discipleship... “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). In essence, the true cost of commitment to Christ is one’s total self-denial, cross-bearing –– following God no matter what happens in your life.
These imperatives paint a vivid picture for us of personal sacrifice, selflessness, and service. A cross epitomized the ultimate punishment and humiliation (Galatians 3:13). More than that, it fully demonstrated the love of God (Romans 5:8)—selfless and sacrificial in the giving of His life for the world (Matthew 20:28).
It was the apostle Paul who exemplified the Lord’s example of commitment to sacrifice and service. when he said: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
So... what do you think, are you the chicken or the pig? Hesitating makes sense, but not for your entire life. You must get on board with God's expectations, or risk your promise of eternal life. There’s a lot we are responsible for in meeting God’s expectations for our lives in relationship to Him. Living Christian is a life long learning and growing experience of making steady progress.
Total commitment to God means that Jesus is our sole authority, our guiding light, our unerring compass. However, instead of getting stuck in fear at what could happen, neither moving or growing in Christ, use your time of hesitation to think about how you can do the little things that will boost your “all in attitude”. Remember, “he who is faithful in small things, will be faithful in the big ones when they come.” (Luke 16:10) Your conscience will reveal your current level of commitment and help you determine how much action you will need to move your lifestyle and attitude into closer harmony with God.
Being committed to Christ means being fruitful... it means being a servant. As Christians, our axiom is simple and succinct... “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).¨
Post by Steven K. Haught, Th.D.
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