Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16: 24-25, NIV
During my college years, I remember when a Texas hold’em craze took the sports world by storm. My much-needed break from classes to watch highlights of my favorite teams on ESPN somehow turned into live coverage of poker tournaments across the country. After watching for a short time, I picked up on certain terms, and one that stuck with me was “all in.”
In poker, when a player pushes their chips to the center of the table, it signals the utmost confidence in the cards they hold. Only the player pushing in the chips knows what lies behind those cards when he or she declares, “I am all in.”
In Matthew, the Lord himself tells us how to live a life that is “all in” in obedience to Him. We are to live a life fully surrendered to Jesus—a life full of joy—because of the One who lives in us. This is not simply living our lives for Him on Sunday mornings during our set time of worship. It means living our lives for Him each day.
Today, let’s go “all in,” brothers and sisters! Let’s be bold, let’s be courageous, and let’s push our chips “all in” with the utmost confidence, knowing we have the winning hand—not because of our own merit, but because we have Him.
Lord, help us to keep our eyes focused on You during our best days in the classroom as well as those days when we need extra encouragement. We know the hand that we have been dealt is because of You. You have placed us in this vocation: the mission field of education. Help us to live boldly for You each day, as we want to be Your Light in the hallways and in the communities we serve. We want to be “all in” for you now and always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright Tom Milbrandt.
Tom is a member and a high school math teacher from North Dakota.