Joke: A 65 year old woman got a blind date with a 93 year old man. When she got back home to her daughter’s house, her daughter asked her how it went. She replied, “I had to slap that man 3 times!” Her daughter asked, “You mean he tried to get fresh with you?” She said, “No! I thought he was dead!”
Intro: The theme this month is “All In”. By the way, this is not a new concept; this is not just some promotional idea. The early church can be characterized by the phrase “All In”.
“All In” is not a frame of mind, or an opinion. It is an action.
- Being “All In” is a statement.
- Being “All In” is something that every person can be.
- Being “All In” is a conscientious decision that tells the world…
- You may not be a preacher, but you can be “All In”.
- You may not be able to sing, but you can be “All In”.
- You might not be missionary material, but you can be “All In”.
- You may not be a deacon, but you can be “All In”.
- There is absolutely no telling what God will do in a church that is ALL IN!!!
Being “All In” means that the:
I. Sacrifices will be Personal – vs. 57, 58
1. “All In” with your Attendance
- Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
What God did in that ONE service changed that church.
What God did in that ONE service changed the eternal destiny of THOUSANDS of people.
What God did in that ONE service changed the world.
God knew the importance – that is why Jesus instructed the disciples to ‘TARRY IN JERSUSALEM’.
- Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
NOTE: They had NO IDEA when this would happen.
He didn’t give them a date.
He didn’t make fliers and pass them out.
He didn’t offer a potluck dinner to bribe the unfaithful to come.
He didn’t have a special preacher booked.
He didn’t even have it on the calendar.
He just told them to tarry – to wait.
The word TARRY means – to have fixed one’s abode, to sojourn, to settle, settle down
Notice the importance of “All In” the same place
- Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
- They were in the Same Place – 1:14; 2:1
- They were all praying the Same Prayers – 1:14
- They were filled with the Same Power – 2:3
- They preached about the Same Person – 2:11
- They had the Same Passions – 2:42-46
- They achieved the Same Purpose – 2:47
2. “All In” with your Assets
Jesus was definitely not a “used car salesman”.
He wasn’t in the business of glossing over the facts.
Here’s a man that came to Jesus, volunteering to be a follower and a disciple.
Matthew 8:19 tells us that this man was a scribe.
Imagine how excited the average pastor would be today to have someone of that importance in their church!
This man not only knew the Scripture, but his occupation was copying it and publishing it for others!
Yet Jesus looked at him and knew his heart.
Jesus knew that this man had a desire for personal comfort and security.
Jesus’ answer to him was a real “buzz-kill”.
- Luke 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
“All In” means being willing to make personal sacrifices. Notice this poor widow woman in Mark 12.
- Mark 12:41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
QUESTION: What do you think ever became of her? Think she went home and died of starvation?
Do you think she got evicted from the nursing home and lived in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere?
Do you think she lay shivering in the rain and in the cold regretting that she had made a decision to be “All In”?
Illustration: Look at 2 Samuel 24
In 2 Samuel 24, David needed to get ahold of God and offer some sacrifices. The prophet Gad came up to David in verse 18 and told him to rear up an altar. David approached Araunah the Jebusite and Araunah offered to give David the threshingfloor, the wood and the oxen for burnt sacrifice. David refused it. He said:
- 2 Samuel 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
Being “All In” means you refuse to let others pay for your worship experience.
Being “All In” means you will not sit back and let others make all the sacrifices and enjoy the benefits of it.
Being “All In” means you are involved in the sacrificing of your assets in order to be a part of what God is doing.
3. “All In” with your Assistance
- Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
“All In” means you understand that you have a significant role to play in the work of God.
“All In” means that you are willing to be inconvenienced and make personal sacrifices in order to assist the church.
“All In” means you are pulling your share of the load and doing your share of the work.
Notice the verse – Eph. 4:16 – WHOLE BODY – JOINED TOGETHER – EVERY JOINT SUPPLIETH – EVERY PART…
The Body of Christ is a joint effort – a mutually beneficial sharing of the work, the effort, the labor, the furtherance.
II. Serving will be a Priority – vs. 59, 60
There is a word that is used in verse 59 that is used every single day by “disciples of Christ”.
It is the word “first”.
Lord, suffer me FIRST…
What they are saying is this: You are my Lord and Master, but I have some things I need to do FIRST before I can serve you.
I need you to just wait – put my service – put my responsibilities on hold – until I do what I need to do FIRST.
I want to follow you – I want to serve you – I want to spread the gospel – but I have some personal things to do FIRST.
Notice what Jesus said in:
- Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
There are things that lost people can perform, and there are things that only God’s people can do.
There is a problem when we fail to do what only God’s people can do, and get distracted doing what the world can do.
What Jesus was saying was this: Don’t get preoccupied with dead things, and dead works, and dead relationships.
Spread the message of One who lives! One who can raise the dead! One who can give life!!
III. Savior will be Preeminent – vs. 61, 62
Here we find that word “first” used again. “Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell…”
Discipleship is not a part-time job.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ is a 24/7 lifestyle.
- Following Jesus will take precedence over family.
- Following Jesus will take precedence over friends.
- Following Jesus will be all that matters.
Looking back is not an option.
Looking back at what you left behind will not occupy your time.
Looking back at what you could be doing or could have had will not enter your mind.
Being “All In” means you will put your Savior first, and look only at His will, His plan and His purpose for your life.
Conclusion: In each of these three instances, these people had good intentions. They volunteered to follow Jesus.
They all three volunteered to go anywhere and do anything.
But Jesus looked into their hearts and knew their hang-ups.
He knew exactly what it was that was keeping them from being “All In”, and he addressed it.
What is keeping you from being “All In”?
Which of these three points is God preaching to you about today??