Summary: If you were going on vacation would you be satisfied with getting halfway there? If you left a job half finished do you think your boss would be satisfied? If you gave it 50% would you be considered a real team player? Going halfway, giving it 50% doesn’t
It’s All or Nothing
INTRODUCTION: If you were going on vacation would you be satisfied with getting halfway there? If you left a job half finished do you think your boss would be satisfied? If you gave it 50% would you be considered a real team player? Going halfway, giving it 50% doesn’t fare well in any aspect of life, especially the Christian life. Yet we get the notion that half-hearted devotion is okay. We think Jesus should be satisfied with 50%. It’s too extreme to be sold-out for Jesus. It’s too radical to be completely loyal to Christ. When it comes to living for Jesus we shouldn’t be giving it anything less than our all.
1) It’s all or nothing.
• Matt 6:19-24. Jesus didn’t say, “store up some treasures on earth and some in heaven”. He said don’t store up on earth but do store up in heaven. It wasn’t a 50/50 deal. It’s a 0/100 deal. Not that it’s wrong to obtain worldly goods. God gives us material things to enjoy. But where is our heart? Our heart can’t be 50% geared toward self-gratification and 50% geared toward Christ-glorification. If we’re Christians but our eyes are fixated on worldly things instead of heavenly things then the light of Christ within us is shrouded in darkness. And how great is that darkness since we have the light of Christ in us yet we choose to pursue the lusts of the flesh? We cannot serve two masters. We can’t be 50% Christian and 50% worldly. It doesn’t work that way. We can’t say we love Jesus if we’re living to gratify self. We might think we’re totally devoted to Jesus but we need the light of Christ to highlight if we’re trying to live a double life. Have we compromised for the sake of self? We can’t be sold-out to Jesus if we sell out to the world.
• Rev. 3:14-16. We might think that half-hearted devotion is better than no devotion at all. Not so. Jesus would rather have us cold than lukewarm. If we’re cold we know we’re cold. If we’re hot we know we’re hot. If we’re lukewarm we think we’re hot when we’re not. Jesus doesn’t want us to be deceived. Plus, if we’re lukewarm we’re being a bad witness. If I’m cold I’m not claiming to be a Christian. I might not be living like a Christian but at least I’m not leading anyone astray by saying I am a Christian. But if I’m lukewarm I’m hurting the cause of Christ because I’m saying I’m a Christian but my lifestyle doesn’t reflect that. We can’t get away with straddling the fence. We can’t think that being lukewarm is good enough. Being lukewarm is distasteful to Jesus. If we don’t want to become spit on the ground then we need to realize that it’s all or nothing.
• Jeremiah 29:11-13. God has plans for us. He wants us to prosper; he wants to give us hope. But these plans will materialize, the prosperity will come, the hope will be real when we seek him with all our heart. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind. If we invest half our heart we will not find God. If our hearts aren’t fully devoted we will not experience the magnitude of who God is and what he has for us. If we put restrictions on our devotion to God or if we have stipulations we are shortchanging God and more so ourselves. We can’t be like, “God, I’ll be devoted to you as long as you do A, B and C.” If our loyalty to God is contingent on him fulfilling our requirements then we are not a 100% follower of Christ. The plans God had for me (having a wonderful family, writing a book, becoming a minister, etc.) did not come to fruition until I put away what was standing in the way of me being sold-out for him.
2) Jesus offers us his all.
• John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus desires to give us all there is. He has come that we may have the fullness of life. But when we are halfhearted, when we give it 50% we allow the devil to steal that fullness of life from us. We will not experience the fullness of life unless we are willing to give him the fullness of our life. Satan will try to convince us that the fullness of life is found in having the best of both worlds. Have your cake and eat it too, he says. But Satan is a liar. He wants to keep us from experiencing the full life. Through worldly pleasures Satan, like Miller beer, offers us the “high life”. But, if I realize that the best life is not found in giving half my heart to the world and half to the Lord but rather in giving 100% of my heart to Jesus then I can experience the full life. John 1:16, “From the fullness of his [Jesus’] grace we have all received one blessing after another.” The fullness of life is found only in Jesus Christ.