Are you ‘all-in’ for God?
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 22:36-40)
The Bible is pretty clear. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment in the law, He answered that we should love God with all of our heart, soul and mind. Notice one word in that statement, “all.” Jesus didn’t say we should be “half-hearted” or that we should love God with part of our soul or some of our mind. No! He told us we need to love God with “all” of our heart, soul and mind.” In other words, we should be “all-in.”
That is a popular saying in card games (of which I am not promoting). When someone has a good hand, and they want to bet their hand, they can say “all-in” and it means they are giving or betting everything they have on that particular hand.
Now … I wonder if we are “all-in” when it comes to following God? Have we put everything we have “on the table” for Him? Here’s what I have found in the 35 plus years of ministry that God has given me. I have found that we don’t usually have a problem giving God our soul. That is usually what we give Him first because we want to be able to spend our eternity with Him in Heaven. (John 3:1-20; Romans 10:9-10:13) Then, after we have received the free gift of salvation, we give Him our bodies. (We start to allow Him to change us. IE: remove bad habits, help us grow in our Christian faith, etc). Then we progress to our belongings. Many times I have heard someone say “God, I give you my house, or my car, or my job or my family.” You know, as the kids get older, it’s easier to say to God, “Why don’t You take the kids and I’ll keep everything else.” You take the kids and I’ll keep the car, or I’ll keep the house or I’ll keep the money.”
Now, there’s a touchy subject … money. Why is it that we are willing to give God our very soul, our lives, most everything we own and even our families … yet we cling to our purses, wallets and checkbooks?
I can tell you why. It can be summed up in one word. “Trust.” We don’t really trust God. We don’t trust Him enough to believe that He can handle our finances better than we can. Usually I hear, “Pastor, you just don’t understand my financial situation. We don’t have enough money now to pay all the bills. We’re on a fixed income. We’re in over our heads in debt. We have more month left than money. We can’t afford to pay our bills. We can’t afford to pay the rent or the house payment or the car payment or buy groceries, and you’re asking us to give 10 percent to God?”
Listen, when you are “all-in” for God, somehow He does what we cannot do by ourselves. Here’s a challenge for you this year. Trust God. No … really trust Him. Tithe. Sit down at the end of the week, and figure out what the tithe is on what God allowed you to make this week, and set it aside to give to Him on Sunday when you go to church. (Malachi 3:7-12) He has made a promise to us, and if we trust Him, the Bible says He will “open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing on us, until there is no more want.” Did you hear that? “No more want.” If we do what He tells us to do, God says He will take care of our needs.
Here’s the decision I have, and you have to make. Do I trust God and do things His way? Or do I not trust God and do things my way? Well … if you are in debt over your head, and you have more bills than you have money to pay them and you can’t pay the rent, or buy groceries or have too much month left and not enough money and you don’t trust God and tithe … how’s that working out for you? Seriously, how is that working out for you?
If you were to trust God, and give back to Him the 10 percent (it rightfully belongs to Him anyway, but He wants us to be willing to give it back) and He did work out your finances so there would be enough … doesn’t that make more sense to you than what you are doing now? It did to us and ever since Beth and I have practiced tithing, God has been faithful and He has “blessed our socks off of us.” (I know you have heard about “Sleepless in Seattle” — well Beth and I are “Barefoot in London” because God has blessed our socks off of us.) I challenge you to trust God and see if God won’t be faithful to you. I bet He will … when you are “all-in.”
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at (740) 852-7800.