I was all in with tennis as a kid. I ate, drank and slept tennis, determined to be the next Rod Laver. I would walk to the city courts and play all day, every day in the summer. If there wasn’t anyone there to hit with, I would hit serves or hit against the backboard. I loved the game and was blessed to play at the university level. But the reality was that I would not make it to Rod Laver’s level of play. I wasn’t even the best on our team. I realized that being all in with a game could cause problems with relationships, not to mention graduation and job prospects.
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” – Matthew 22:37-38. When Jesus says “all” three times in one sentence, He means to be ALL in with Him.
ALL your heart – The heart is the body and it is to be tuned in to Jesus. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, Whom you have received from God? … Therefore honor God with your body.” – 1Cor. 6:19-20. Failure to stay tuned-in to Jesus leads to ‘…ism’s - alcoholism, workaholism, secularism or some other kind of ‘…ism’ that will distract and inhibit your ALL.
ALL your soul – The soul is your spirit. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” – Rom. 8:15-16. Failure to stay under the influence of the Holy Spirit opens the door to negative influences that will inhibit your ALL.
ALL your mind – The mind controls your thoughts and the mind of man can be filled with unclean thoughts. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2Cor. 10:5. Failure to take every thought captive and obedient to Christ allows the mind to drift to unclean thoughts that will inhibit your ALL.
When you are ALL in with the Lord, you can begin to comprehend and live Jesus’ second commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:39. When you struggle to love your neighbor, to love as Christ loved, refer to the first and greatest commandment and be sure you are ALL in.
Prayer: Lord, I want to love You with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind. Strengthen me to stay tuned-in to You, to stay under the influence of the Holy Spirit and to take every thought captive to You. Teach me how to love so I can love others by Your grace and for Your glory. Amen.
A faithful father strives to be ALL in with the Lord.