All In vs Not In At All
There are three principles Jesus establishes in these verses that must DEFINE your life to be ALL IN for God:
- You view everything in this world according to its value as an eternal investment (something earning heavenly reward) versus its value as a commodity (something for present enjoyment only) (19-21).
The questions (then) I need to be asking: Does what I am planning to do/possess – or choosing to be with, help me be faithful to God (the currency of heavenly reward) or inhibit it? Does it have eternal investment value – or does it take away from my current heavenly reward? If it doesn’t have value – or potentially takes away, then it is of no value to me (i.e. I don’t waste my time on it)
Other verses to consider: (Mat 25:14-30; 1Co 9:23-27; Eph 5:15-18; Col 3:17 w/4:5; 2Ti 2:5-13; 2Ti 4:1-8; 2Jo 1:8; Eze 18:24) This is why – Job 31:1 (Consider the context: Job is defending why he sb rec’g good from God – b/c he has only pursued what would earn earthly blessings and heavenly reward).
A commodity mindset is the religion of this world – or the atheist = he who has the most experiences or toys when he dies, wins; A commodity mindset is unfortunately the mindset of many w/in Christianity and is therefore not only idolatry but frames God as nothing more than a giant Killjoy. Hence the reason Jesus says what He does in (Luk 12:15 – “life does not consist in the abundance of possessions”[i.e. having a commodity perspective on life – a major driver to coveting—hence the reason this verse begins w/ “beware of all forms of coveting”]).
What viewing everything in this world from the perspective of an eternal investment looks like:
1) My marriage to my wife. I never viewed her as a commodity that I would trade in when she got older for something younger (something people in the world do all the time). Instead, I view her as my opportunity to build a cache of reward w/God thru faithfulness to our marriage (she and our marriage our an investment that I have built of many years of faithfulness to. It is part of what I get to “cash in” before the Lord on J-DAY. Why would I throw that all away?).
2) My choice to go into ministry was for the same reason. It did not view it from the perspective of what present pleasure/benefits would it give me but rather what wb eternally if I was faithful in that kind of career (1Pe 5:4) BTW: the career you choose and its ability to be an eternal investment means more than just determining whether it is a career field acceptable to God. It also means determining whether you have the gifting/wiring to do it – since otherwise, you will not thrive for Christ in that field – i.e. it wb a bad (maybe even damning) investment (e.g. me as a lawyer).
3) My choices regarding the house I own, the land I just bought, our the car I drive. Each of those purchases were made w/eternal investment in mind (my house = a place conducive to fellowship or bible studies bc of its open design; my land = a place big enough to have multiple people stay and something that cb shared w/the church [and ultimately given to the church when I die]; my truck = what I need to pull a camper so that I can camp w/my church family!)
1.1. How (then) this “ALL IN” principle keeps me faithful and on my way to heaven = It cures the ghetto mindset of “live in the now” – which is the behind so much sin (especially coveting and sexual sin).
1.2. KEY WORD/WAY to think about this requirement = INVESTMENT (everything/everyone is a good or bad investment in respect to heaven).
- You care only about what God thinks and nobody else (22-24).
“eye is bad = Your eye is on the world and what they think which leads to being “full of darkness” or serving “money” VERSUS “your eye is healthy…full of light” = You only care what God and what He thinks and as a result “serve God”.
NOTICE you can’t do BOTH (v24).
If having a bad eye is associated w/caring what others think/seeking their approval, why does Jesus call it serving “money”? BC money is at the heart of why most people care about what others think or need their approval (money is the basis for our ability to survive and thrive – Ecc 10:19).
Other verses to consider: (Joh 12:43; 1Co 4:3; 2Ti 2:3-4; 1Jo 2:19; Pro 17:24)
2.1. How (then) this “ALL-IN” principle keeps me faithful and on my way to heaven = I can’t be corrupted (I won’t give in to “darkness”). Corruption happens bc people care/worry about the approval of others – esp. those w/resources they desire to possess).
2.2. KEY WORD/WAY to think about this requirement = LOYALTY (whose opinion you care about is who you wb most loyal to).
- You think about, pursue or do only what you believe to be in agreement w/God’s kingdom and righteousness (25-34).
“His kingdom” = God’s Church/people, “His righteousness” = God’s Law/will
Other verses to consider: (1Co 10:31; 2Co 10:5; Phi 1:21; Psa 1; Psa 119; BOTH are seen in our prayer = Mat 6:10).
3.1. How (then) this “ALL IN” principle keeps me faithful and on my way to heaven = It is hard to be steered off course (or distracted) when you live a focused life.
3.2. KEY WORD/WAY to think about this requirement = FOCUS (my focus is God and His kingdom not me and my kingdom)
Studies have shown that when you love someone/something it is these three desires: the desire to invest, the desire to be loyal and the desire to focus that are activated in the brain –which means being ALL IN for God is also how we love God –or fulfill the Greatest Commandment – Mat 22:37-38).
CLOSING CONTEMPLATION: Is this what characterizes your current life? If not, why? What lame (and damning) excuse are you using to keep you from being ALL IN for God?