All-In Means Now

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Let me ask you a serious question. This is the question that drives the theme of uncommon for the next few months. What does it mean to be all-in? What do you think of when I say All-in? Truth is, as a society, it was seem as if we have no clue what all-in means? This semester is about being all-in, but Tonight, we arent gonna just dip our toe in the water. We arent going to just give an introduction. We are going all- in right now.
In poker, when someone goes all in it means there is no reserve or security blanket. You are putting all that you have on the bet. You are so confident that the hand you have will win that you put everything you have on the line. But here is the thing about going all in. You only do it if you have confidence in your hand. I have great news tonight. If you are a follower of Christ. you have an unbeatable hand. I serve a God that is unbeatable. he is unmatchable. He has not once failed. He has never let me down and in Him I am promised victory. So much so that John says in 1 John 5:14
1 John 5:14–15 NIV
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
and the author of Hebrews says
Hebrews 4:16 NIV
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Tonight i want you to realize what God has freely given so that we can truly be all in. We dont even have to use our own money.
If you will hear what God has to say to us tonight, Im asking that we go ALL-In from the start! So get ready. Lets not wait till May, or when you graduate, or when you are married, or when you are financially stable.
So why should we be all-in and what does it look like to be all-in for Jesus?
Let’s look at the stories of some people in Scripture that when All-In from the beginning and the importance of this that God is teaching us. First lets look at a guy named Elisha. Turn to 1 Kings 19:19
1 Kings 19:19–21 NIV
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
Wait a minute. Do you ever just read a story and think insane it sounds. You see, what we are seeing here is commitment and devotion like no other. Elisha shows that he is All-In.
At a glimpse, you think big deal all he did was leave a job and follow Elijah but you have to understand the context. Vs 19 tells us that he was driving the 12th pair of oxen. Its not settled exactly on if he was the only one on the twelth pair or that he had 12 oxen paired on one yoke. The area where he lived had very tough ground. Either way, it was very obvious that his family and where he worked was very well off. Oxen were not cheap and neither was mass amounts of land. That would have been a privewledge for the wealthy.
This was hard work.

Being All-In for Jesus requires a sacrifice.

Can you imagine how tough his job was. Some of the toughest men I know today are farmers. There isnt much they cant do. But they have thousands of dollars worth of equipment that they use and Elishah was using animals. Its tough work. All day youre sitting there staring at the south end of a northbound ox. Then out of the blue, here comes Elijah saying come and serve the Lord with me.
When Elijah calls him he first throws his cloak around him. This is the same cloak that Elijah would use to strike the water and split the sea in two. Its also the same cloak ELisha would use to split the Jordan in two.
I dont know about you but when I read the phrase “threw his cloak around him” I think about me and Rachel walking down the beach and her being cold and me throwing my coat around her. Good move but weird in the middle of the summer for Elijah to do this to Elisha. This signified more than that.
In those days, a king would only throw his robe around you if he saw you as an honor. For a king to do that would put you on the same level as a king.
What does Elisha do? He says let me say goodbye to mom and dad. Harmless right? Wrong. Elijah understood the importance and urgency of following after God. It was now. He knew the potential distractions that could take place between elisha saying goodby and leaving. Jesus uses a similar example doesnt he. Hold your place in 1 Kings and Look at Luke 9: 57-62
Luke 9:57–62 NIV
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
All of these responses are important but pay special attention to the last reply. The man says exactly the same thing that Elisha said. And then Jesus replies with a response about a plow.
Everything? Really? My mom? My dad? My family? Yes yes yes yes.
I remember when i first moved to south Mississippi. I wrestled with the decision. I didnt know anyone and had never left Knoxville. I remember the night before I decided to move that I decided to trust Him. I decided that following God was more important than my comfort. It was more important then seeing my nephews grow up. It was more important than spending time with my aging parents, it was more important than anything I could ever hold onto.
I can honestly say that if I had not made that decision, I would not be here speaking to you tonight. I am so thankful I chose Jesus over my own comfort.
When you give up All for God you get All of God.
Here is what Elisha does next he takes his whole livlihood. Slaughters the oxen and uses the cart to throw a neighborhood BBQ.
Now we dont have any more context from here besides that we know he left and served with Elijah. But could it be that he burnt it because he didnt want to have the safety net of home or the temptation return. All Elisha wanted was to rely on God thats all he needed.
God is not satisifed with asking you to follow Him tomorrow. He isnt satisfied with you getting your ducks in a row and then following Him. We are on His timeline not our own.
Every moment wasted not following God is a moment spent in death and destruction. Those moments arent worth it. Give it all Up and Give it all up now.
There are numerous example of this in scripture and its like God is yelling to us as His Children to turn to Him and to do it now. Look at the disciples. Luke 5:1-11
Luke 5:1–11 NIV
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
They gave up everything, They left it all to follow him.
Why would they do that? Why would they give all that they knew? Why would Elisha burn up his life to follow God? This is why and this is what I will close with tonight. This is what I am begging you to look at tonight.

When you truly see Jesus for who He is, you cant help but be All-In immediately.

In verse 5 Peter uses the word ἐπιστατα (epis ta ta) which means master. This was a common term for for Jewish man to say to another Jewish man. Specifically a teacher of the law. But Jesus reveals a glimpse of His glory to Peter. These men had been fishing their whole lives. They knew what a good day on the lake was like and Jesus meets them where they are.......and shows them just a small part of who He is.
Then Look at vs 10. First thing peter does is hit his knees. Ill be honest. That may be what some of us need to do tonight. Hit our knees before a loving and gracious God that reveals Himself to us where we are. Guys, if you think going all-in is something we have to do because Jesus “needs” you, then you have never seen Jesus for who He really is. We go all in to be obedient. We go all-in because of our confidence in Jesus and the completed work of the cross. Next Peter switches the name he gives jesus. Its no longer the common term ἐπιστατα (epis ta ta)he calls him κυριος (ky rios) which means Lord and is a term of deity. Peter saw Jesus for who He really was and immediately changed his life. Now calling Him Lord did not save peter (Many will say Lord Lord) but he decides to leave his life behind and follow Jesus.
You know what I think? I think that in that moment, Peter could care less about the fish in that boat. He could care less about the boat that he was standing in. If we could talk to Peter, and the disciples that gave everything up for Jesus and we could ask them was it worth it? Do you wish you would have some more things before you gave up your life? I believe they would all say the same thing. Being All-In with Jesus was greater than any fish they ever caught and they wish they could have started following sooner.
What is your cart tonight? What is your boat? What is keeping your from saying Yes tonight.
If you arent following God I can assure you this. NOw is the time He is worth it. Following Him will be the greatest decision of your life. Dont wait for the last night. Dont wait to clean yourself up. The two people we talked about tonight were farmers and fisherman. Thats as dirty as it gets. Jesus just wants you as you are.
If you are following Him already, let me ask you this. Are you truly all-in. If yes keep going, if no. Why not? What is taking your attention.
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