All In

“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28

Being the week of Valentine’s Day a question keeps coming to my mind. Have you ever dedicated yourself completely to something or someone, I mean completely? Matthew 22:37-40 keeps coming to my mind as I think about this Thursday, “Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

The measure of love is always determined by how much is given away. Consider a funeral if you will and you will understand as the quality of a life is always best measured by how sacrificial and selfless the person was. The more they gave of themselves the more impactful their life was. The more selfish a person was the less impact they had. It’s why Jesus is so beloved world wide. Billions of people recognize His sacrificial love as demonstrated on Calvary’s Cross. No one can question the extent of God’s love when you look at the Cross. Jesus was “all in” for sure as He gave it all away.

Have you ever thought about your life and how different it might have been had you gone all in? We can’t go back but because of the Gospel we can begin again today! It was Philips Brooks who once wrote, "It does not take great men to do great things; it only takes consecrated men." The definition of the word consecrate is: "dedicated to a sacred purpose."*. In other words that means to be “all in”, to have one focus throughout life, in every relationship and in every job, in every experience you find yourself in. Try to imagine that kind of dedication to everything you do in life and you get a glimpse of a day in the life of Jesus. He lived all in all the time.  
 
It’s been well said, “those who do the most in this life are those who are living in light of the next”, as their thoughts and deeds seek to be a reflection of the One whose entire existence was for the glory of Father. Are you aware that there is a sacred purpose for your life today? A reason to live, “all in”. Maybe its your marriage, or your role as a parent? Could be your job that needs you to step up? How about your commitment to your church and your support of it both financially and in serving in some area?  There are countless opportunities before us today to live “all in”. The key is to discover it, tap into it and dedicate yourself completely to it and experience for yourselves what Francis Havergal expressed this way:
 
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
 
Ecclesiastes 9:11 says, "I returned and saw under the sun that-- The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill…" In other words it is not the most talented Christians who best serve the Lord, but rather those who consecrate or dedicate themselves to the Lord daily and say from the heart, "Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee." Go “all in” in your relationships, give yourself away and watch God do amazing things both in and through you! Not only will you not regret it, you won’t be disappointed.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.”

John 15:13

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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