ALL IN

The man answered, “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

// Luke 10:27 [NLT]

According to the latest edition of American Girl Doll magazine, “Mackena is a determined girl who uses her strengths to turn challenges into triumphs.” Clearly, this is why she is my favorite of all the American Girl Dolls.

Now, before you revoke my man card, understand that I know more about dolls, princesses and ponies than any male is meant to, and for good reason… I have 3 daughters. You see, being a dad of 3 girls means I had to become invested in everything pink. And let me tell you, I can 'tea party' with the best of them. You could say that as a dad, my position of ALL IN is shown in the way I go ALL OUT for them.

In Luke 10, we find a story where an expert in religious law is trying to trap Jesus, as they did any chance they could. He asks Jesus a loaded question around what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus uses the bait of the religious leader to reveal a deeper condition, a condition of the heart.  

Jesus responds to his question with a question:

[Luke 10:26-27]

26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

27 The man answered, “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

The emphasis of this command is in the pronoun ‘ALL’ which is, in fact, the key component of the command. This single word reveals the religious leaders' focus on minimum requirement. Religion is rooted in requirement and is reflected in reluctance. It looks at the outward performance whereas Jesus looks at the heart of man. This is where relationship contrasts religion. It’s a 'get to', not a 'got to’. It's a ‘want to’, not a ‘have to’, and Jesus is the ultimate model for this.You see, grace isn’t measured in just enough, its measurement is abundance. Grace covers, abounds and overflows. Jesus went ALL IN for us, holding nothing back in order to restore us to right relationship with him. His ALL IN was displayed in going ALL OUT.

This is what it means to have a heart abandoned and to hold nothing back. He has not given us a burdensome task, but called us to a position of privilege. Consider this, Jesus Christ, the Creator and Savior, desires to be in relationship with you… ALL of you… why not be ALL IN.

Then, as a follower of Jesus, when we are truly ALL in, we will be willing to go ALL out.

// Adam Smallcombe