all in but we are not playing poker

MATT damon plays mike MCDERMOTT in the 1998 movie rounders. he goes ALL-IN

MATT damon plays mike MCDERMOTT in the 1998 movie rounders. he goes ALL-IN

what a weekend.

if you didn’t know, i spent the weekend with forty-six students, leaders, and volunteers in the middle of the western virginia woods, playing tackle football, asking deep questions like, “where is your spoon?’ and building a community of disciples of Jesus. my friend Chris Craddock and his family came as our speaker and talked about life with Jesus and how our ideas of life with Him comes down to one question?

am i all in?

the point starts in revelation 3 where Jesus is speaking to the church of laodicea: he says ““I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth … Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Jesus is talking to christians. he is saying christianity as a hobby is stupid. you’re either hot or cold, being lukewarm is meaningless and useless.

our talk took us to galatians 1:10 where paul, who is being attacked by false teachers, defends his ministry by saying: For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I tryingto please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

our point to the students is being a christian is an all or nothing thing. it’s a daily grind. it’s a day-in, day-out life. chris gave examples from his testimony, but it still comes back to the one idea … i am trying to please people (myself included) or am i trying to please the Lord?

why does being all in matter? because in Jesus there is the full life; the abundant life; the life well lived with purpose and meaning and joy in all things. Jesus tells us this in john 10. the theif comes to steal and kill and destroy but Jesus came to bring life.

oh that we may understand that the full life, the good life is not found in indulging in ourselves and indulging in the things of this world but are found in things from above; from God.

in mere christianity, cs lewis says: “if i find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that i was made for another world.” and it is true. we are meant for another world. a world without sin. a world without brokenness.

the world that we live in now was not the way that God created it to be. it is broken. longing for something greater. some one greater. people and objects were not meant to be praised and worshiped and craved for. God was. sin has distorted and altered everything in this world.

so we set our eyes on things unseen, things in heaven. we set our eyes on Jesus. for what is seen does not give us meaning. for what is seen is not meant to receive our affection. it is light and momentary. what is unseen is eternal. and filled with the promise of restoration in a dying and decaying world. what is unseen is the life that Jesus has for us. full and abundant. filled with joy and peace. filled with the promise of restoration of all things.

filled with the promise that God is for us and nothing can separate us from Him.

but that was what the weekend was about … do you know what your son or daughter got out of it?

[digging deeper]

have you talked to your son or daughter about what they learned from this weekend? do you know their favorite moment?

what was their favorite skit? what did the get from their small group time?

these are good continual questions to ask your teen about the weekend?

this week would be a great time start and build a time in for you and your son/daughter to grow together in faith. they need help! they need you to help pull them along, to help encourage them and love them well. they need you to help them organize some time to get into the word.

this is a free devotional book from desiring God (john piper) for advent. this is a beautiful resource to help you grow and disciple your son/daughter through the advent season.