Going All In
On Sunday, we wrapped up our current sermon series on “Grounded and Growing: The Parable of the Soils” by looking at the parable of the hidden treasure and pearl of great price. In this well-known passage, Jesus highlights the value of the Kingdom of God and how it’s worth selling everything for. Matthew 13:44-46 says “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
This is a beautiful passage about the worth of the kingdom. Yet it’s also a very challenging one. In the sermon, I used the phrase “all in.” It conjures up images of the poker game Texas Holdem where if you think you have the best hand, you bet everything you have by pushing all of your chips to the center of the table in order to win the pot (please note: I don’t play poker and I’m not recommending it). It’s always very dramatic though when someone goes all in because they’re making the ultimate wager and it takes courage to risk everything. Obviously, the player wouldn’t do it if he wasn’t confident in what he’s got. However, it makes complete sense when you know you have a winning hand.
Christ and His kingdom are a winning hand! Can we see that? It says that when the man in the first parable found the treasure, IN HIS JOY he went and sold all he had. He wasn’t coerced or forced to do it. He did it in joy because he knew what he was giving up didn’t compare to what he was getting. A life surrendered to Christ brings peace, joy, and abundant life. In John 15, Jesus talks about abiding in Him. He says in verses 10-11, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” Jesus wants to fill us with His joy and make it full in our lives.
So what does it look like to be all in for Christ and His kingdom? Well there are many answers to this question but here are several things you can do:
- Surrender your desires to the Lord – Naturally, we all want many things in our lives. They could be physical, material, or financial. Some of these things may be good and necessary; and the Lord wants to supply you with those things. Other things we desire may be idols that pull us away from God. It is important to pray and discern which is which. Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When our heart’s desires are aligned with His, being all in is natural.
- Allow God to shape your worldview and perspective – Just like our desires, our worldview has been formed over time and is a key driver in what we think is important. Being all in for Jesus involves surrendering our ideas and perspectives, even if we’ve held them all our lives. Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As we surrender, we will find that the things we held onto so tightly and belief systems we trusted in so deeply will fade in the light of Christ.
- Always be willing to repent – Humility is key in surrendering to the Lord. That’s God’s desire for us. I Peter 5:5 says “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” Humility leads us to repentance. We all sin because of our desires, our thoughts, our actions, but a repentant heart allows God to have His way in our lives again.
As we practice these things, may God continue to reveal the incredible worth and value of His kingdom and may we learn to go all in for Him.