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    ALL IN – THE QUESTION REMAINS, ARE YOU ALL IN? When God revealed what He wanted us to concentrate on in 2018, the words ALL IN were not words at all. It felt like a commandment and it sobered me to the core. I knew there was so much in those two words that it could never be covered. Not in 21 days, not in a year. Because when He said ALL IN, He didn’t leave out any part of my life, or yours. So let me get really real this last day of our fast. It’s time to be tough on ourselves and see some “other scriptures” that are written in the same spirit, written words of God that aren’t as warm and fuzzy, yet just as vitally important. The Bible refers to us as the Bride of Christ. We are to make ourselves ready. 1 Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Matthew 25:1-2 NKJV So the first thing we need to see is the two distinctions: Five are what? Wise! The
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    LOVE YOUR SELF Love as described in the Bible is quite different from the love espoused by the world. Biblical love is selfless and unconditional, whereas the world’s love is characterized by selfishness. In the following passages, we see that love does not exist apart from God, and that true love can only be experienced by one who has experienced God’s own love firsthand. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:16–19 NKJV   Jesus’ sacrifice perfected the needed sacrifice forever and we are recipients of being new. Brand new—and therefore, we can live a new way of life. 15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
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    ALL IN – LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR We are in these scriptures pretty deep now. And it’s about to go deeper. The next two parts of what Jesus sums up for us to do are the most challenging. Loving God is one thing. I mean He is perfect, loving, kind, and altogether wonderful. But now Jesus is asking us to do the hard stuff. And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Mark 12:31 KJV   Neighbor means, “brother and sister, literally and figuratively.” I am pretty sure you have come across some “neighbors” that are pretty hard to love. They can be takers instead of givers. They can disappoint. They can steal, wound, and say or do things that scar your mind and heart until Jesus heals you. And yet, Jesus tells us this is a commandment and it is not a suggestion. So how is this even possible?   16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,
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    ALL IN – STRENGTH Strength means more than just your physical ability; it also means, “ability, might, power, and strength – literally and figuratively.” So when we are examining if we love God ALL IN, we have to also consider how to love Him with our abilities, might, power and strength. While we have to make the choice to use what we have as unto the Lord, we also must consider GRACE and the way the Lord has created us. 33 God is my strength and power and He makes my way perfect. 34 He makes my feet like the feet of deer and sets me on my high places. 35 He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great. 2 Samuel 22:33-36 NKJV   You see, it sounds like we will have to work so hard at loving God with ALL our strength. But that is works. If we know Him, we know that He is the One who will give us the very strength and power we need to honor and glorify Him
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    ALL IN – MIND Love the Lord your God with all your mind. Mind … this means the exercise of your mind. Your understanding. So God is specifically saying He would like you to love Him with every exercise of your mind. Have you ever exercised? It definitely takes determination. You have to continue to make decisions to do things that certainly do not feel comfortable. And you need to keep your mind on the result, not on what you are feeling at the moment. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Philippians 3:12 NKJV   This will take effort, exercising your mind to choose to press on. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV   Paul wasn’t thinking about the challenges or the struggles. He was thinking about the end results
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    ALL IN – SOUL Soul is the essence of a person. A conscious decision to love comes from the soul. It is not emotional love but a personal decision to prioritize the other person’s feelings. The soul is the life of the brain. It is the mind, will, emotion, intellect, memory, and the center of the senses. In other words, your entire being is to voluntarily go after God, nothing held back. He will not accept a person with a mind that mentally assents while spirit and body are in rebellion. So let’s consider Moses today. He certainly didn’t start ALL IN. In fact, he was a murderer that ran away to save his own life. He had married and was shepherding sheep for his father-in-law when a “suddenly” happened that would certainly shake his intellect and his senses as well as his emotions. And eventually it would shake his will. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see
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    ALL IN – HEART This is a familiar scripture (or should be) to all of us. The Lord was speaking to a scribe who asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31 NKJV   So let us start this last week of our fast by breaking this passage down. Love the Lord OUR GOD with ALL of our HEARTS! “All” means: • whole or “all;” complete in extent, amount, time or degree • all, altogether, every whit, throughout, whole That means that we are completely giving every part of our hearts. What makes us be alive belongs to Him! Heart comes from the word: • Kardia – the heart, thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle The Lord told the scribe that the greatest commandment is to love God. When a person loves the Lord with all of his heart, it
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    ALL THINGS NEW For us to be ALL IN we must recognize that all things were made new to us through Jesus. New means: • not old • recently born, built or created • being other than the former or old • different than what has existed This was promised long ago to us by God. He said things were going to be different by His own design. 31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Jeremiah 31:31-33 NKJV   We are not people who are to
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    ACKNOWLEDGE THE NEED TO CHANGE There is so much God has planned for His people to enjoy, and to accomplish as well. Part of the reason that it seems unobtainable at times is because we have religion, which kills the Spirit. By that, I am not talking about denominations, I am talking about bondage. Religion is a system that holds you to a bunch of rules, as though keeping rules would work. We all know all that does is cause us to see our inability to obey the rules in our own strength. The entire Old Testament was to show us rules and to help us understand what NOT to do. Without the Spirit of God, the rules are impossible for us to accomplish anyway. It is just temporary, somewhat enabling us to momentarily overcome until we fail at trying. Religion is obvious when you begin to examine what you do and why you do it. Do you spend time with God because He is exciting to be with and He is the center of your life and thoughts, or do you just visit Him with a list of needs in your hand? Do you remind yourself to give Him
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    “WARSHIP” Most Christians think of worship as something we do when we come together on Sunday morning. We’ve learned that worship helps us endure trials and empowers us for witnessing. However, did you know that worship aids us in spiritual warfare as well? The worship and praise of Almighty God gives us victory over the enemy! We may be facing something challenging right now. But so were Jehoshaphat and the people of Israel. Their enemies were ganging up against them. 1 It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 2 Chronicles 20:1-3 NKJV   Jehoshaphat was scared by the situation at hand. A great multitude was coming against him. Yep, sometimes we all feel that way! But Jehoshaphat was smart! His first reaction was to set himself to seek the Lord. He charged