Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This messages talks about how to go "All In" spiritually ...and if its worth the risk...

In 2003 a guy by the name of Chris Moneymaker changed the face of poker when he turned $39 into 2.5 million by winning the World Series of Poker. Can you imagine that - he was playing a satellite tournament for $39, then he played another tournament to win a seat in the WSOP main event. Then he won the tournament... Chris Moneymaker had never played in a live poker tournament at a casino. The World Series would be his first. Chris began with thoughts of salvaging his pride and surviving the first day. But his chip stack began to grow and his strategy and hopes started to change. Chris now wanted to make the money.

One defining hand of the tournament was a play that Chris made against Russ "Dutch" Boyd. Moneymaker was holding pocket threes against Dutch’s KQ. The flop was a 925 and Chris came out betting. Dutch Boyd either thought Chris was bluffing or decided to try a bluff of his own and went all-in. After a long pause, Chris made the call and was happy to see Boyd’s two high cards and no made hand. Chris’ huge call won him a crucial pot and allowed him to make the final table.

Often our life can be summed up by those moments - Is it time to take a risk? No one likes that choice of pushing it all in. Is it time to play safe and cautious? Often we are paralyzed by a choice and it passes us by...

For the next few weeks we are going to look at 4 all in moments: We are going to look at going “all in” in our relationships; “All in” in our finances; and “all in” in for a cause - and tonight we are going to look at risking it all for a relationship with God.

When it comes to spirituality, most of us play it pretty safe. Very few of us really risk anything, and that’s probably why we don’t see very much reward. When we play it safe we miss the real blessing... In my life, those moments where I stepped out of my comfort zone and risked something for God - that’s where God really did something cool. I don’t always make the right choice though...

There’s a story of a guy in scripture like that - He’s described as wealthy and bright - full of potential and he comes to Jesus wanting to follow him. Jesus says, “Okay, sell all you have and come follow me.” In one instance he faces his degree all in moment... All or nothing. One of the saddest verses in the whole Bible is Matthew 19:22 “But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”

I don’t know why, but often we think the call to follow Christ is easy. Maybe it’s because the gospel message is so simple: The bible says we are sinners, and because of our sin we are condemned - but Jesus Christ, God’s Son came and lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sin - he took our place - then three days later he rose again. If we put our faith in him he promises to forgive us and give us new life... That’s a simple message - but it is no easy commitment.

if you choose to follow Jesus it will require everything you have.

In Luke 14:25-30, it says... “A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

Great crowds were following Jesus - but Jesus says, wait a second - don’t follow me unless you are ready to give your all. Don’t say yes, until you are ready to go all in...

One guy who understood that kin of sacrifice was the apostle Paul. he had started out as a jew persecuting Christians, but on the road to Damascus Jesus spoke to him. When he said yes to following Christ he gave it everything he had. Listen to some of what he endured... Acts 11: 24-27 “Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.:

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