This is a term used when playing poker. It means that a player has put the last of their chips into the pot at the center of the table. When a player is “all-in”, they can not perform another action because they don’t have any chips left. By pushing “all-in”, you have committed everything on the hand you are playing. You are confident that you have a winning hand, and are willing to risk it all.
Now you can ask anyone who knows me, I do not have a poker face. What you see is what you get. I am unable to hide my glee and want to share it with everyone. When watching movies set in medieval times, full of political intrigue, I am certain that had I been in a similar situation, my lack of a poker face would have landed me in deep trouble, and probably a cell in the dungeon, if not worse. The evil King would tell of his nefarious plan, and I would probably spit out, “Dude, come on, really?” And he would reply, “Off with her head!”
As I have gotten older, I find the need to speak out against injustice, which does not lend to making friends sometimes, but someone has to do it. I cannot idly stand by. Which may land me in hot water, but I must fulfill my destiny, be a person of integrity, and become more and more like Jesus each day.
What Jesus said was not popular, but spoke the truth. He didn’t sugar-coat it, but laid it out there for all who had eyes to see and those who had ears to hear. He played it all-in. There was too much at stake not to. He was not playing poker for M & M’s or pennies, He was committed to getting us back to Him, and knew He had a winning hand.
Max Lucado, excerpts from his book No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, said this:
“ God, motivated by love surprised everyone. He became a man. In an untouchable mystery, he disguised himself as a carpenter and lived in a dusty Judaean village. Determined to prove his love for his creation, he walked incognito through his own world. His callused hands touched wounds and his compassionate words touched hearts. He became one of us.”
“Have you ever seen such determination? Have you ever witnessed such a desire to communicate? God unveils the ultimate act of creative compassion. God on a cross. He who had been one are now two. Jesus, who had been with God for eternity is now alone. The Christ, who was an expression of God, is abandoned. The Trinity is dismantled. The unity is dissolved. When God turned his head, that was more than he could handle. He asked, ‘My God! Why did you abandon me.’ The Creator being sacrificed for the creation. God convincing man once and for all that forgiveness still follows failure.”
That is the perfect example of all-in to me. Jesus did not have to perform another action because when he said, “it is finished,” He pushed all His chips into the pot, because he had the winning hand, defeated Satan once and for all, and won us back into His Kingdom, if we just ask.
I am compelled to do the same. I need to live my life every day, pushing my chips all-in. I need to give it all I have telling others about the magnificent life I am living through Him. I am confident that I too have a winning hand, even when it appears my opponents have better hands and are winning, when something difficult is happening, or whatever else may be going on, I must persist and live all-in. I am willing to risk it all on Jesus. To be a follower with intestinal fortitude. To have some guts in everything I believe, say, and do..
So I praise you Lord. For when I trust in You, I am blessed beyond expression. I will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. Your constant care of me will make a deep impression on all who see it. I do not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For I am settled in my mind that You are taking care of me. That is why I am not afraid but can calmly face my foes. (Based on Ps. 112 [TLB])
Jesus has sweetened the pot with His grace and mercy by giving us the opportunity to live with Him for eternity, and the chance to show others the way to Him. We must do so with a sense of urgency. Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
So let’s go all-in my friends. I want to hear the sound of you all pushing your chips into the center of the table right now! If you also have M & M’s in your pile, push them into the center too!
“I will gladly spend myself and all I have for your spiritual good.” (2 Cor. 12:15a [NLT])
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