All in! This is a phrase that many times is connected to some athletic team that communicates a high level of commitment as well as a willingness to put everything on the line for that particular cause. I love the picture that this paints for us and I believe that this is a phrase that needs to accompany those who have connected themselves to the Bride of Christ, the church.
In John 15:1—5, Jesus tells us, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” This is truly a picture of being “All in.” And a major key to this is found in the last part of verse 5, where Jesus says, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” So to be “All in”, we must abide in Christ.
The question now becomes, what does this look like for us as we seek to become more like Christ and to abide with Him? I think putting basic disciplines in practice will not only keep us connected to Christ, but will be the miracle grow formula to great growth in Christ personally and in the churches we serve.
• We must constantly be developing our relationship with Christ. This is not just for the congregation, but for the pastors of our churches.
• We must constantly create time for God in the course of each day. We know that life gets busy and things come up, but creatively carving out the best of our day to connect with Christ is key.
• We must be consistent and committed to the process. Don’t give up. Keep doing what God has called you to do. Stay consistent and committed, believe in the process.
• We must choose to be a regular giver. This giving is of our time, energy, resources, everything. I think this applies personally as well as corporately, through our CP gifts. We know that our people can accomplish great things when we come together and that is magnified exponentially when our churches come together.
• We must fully utilize our talents and gifts. When we use what God has gifted us with for the purposes of kingdom advancement and life change, we see miraculous acts of God.
• We must place everything in the hands of God. Not just the things we can’t handle, but every single thing, the good, the bad and the ugly.
When we abide in Christ, He fuels our hunger for change and our thirst for righteousness and we see a tree that bears much fruit for the kingdom of God.
Thank you for your faithfulness to the preaching of God’s Word, the care for His church, your ministry to your communities, the work of Mission Ohio and the cooperative work of seeing the Gospel move through all parts of our world.
Live Life With Your Head Up,
David Starry - SCBO President