Being All-In for Christ
As we enter the late weeks of September, the changing of the seasons becomes more apparent every day. School is back in session, the sun sets a little earlier each day, the leaves will soon start to change color, and pumpkin spice has begun its annual invasion. Also coming with the fall is the return of football season. And whether you watch professional football, college football, or your local alma mater, the game of football becomes an integral part of the schedule of many throughout the fall and into the early winter.
This past Monday night, the Denver Broncos lost their season opener to the Seattle Seahawks in a close 17-16 matchup. Russell Wilson, who is in his first year as starting quarterback for the Broncos, made his first start of the year in a familiar setting, after having been the Seahawks’ quarterback for the past 10 years. For the first time in his career, Wilson walked into Lumen Field not to the raining applause of the Seahawks’ fan base, but rather to a torrent of boos from former fans. To add insult to injury, the Broncos lost the game in the final minute after missing a 64-yard field goal, handing Wilson his first loss with the Broncos, against his former team no less.
During the post-game press conference, Wilson was asked about his reception from the Seahawks' fans. He responded “They’ll love you one day, and they’ll hate you the next. That’s sports. At the end of the day, I’m going to keep competing. I’m going to keep battling. I know who I am. First of all, I think for me, I’m just grateful God’s given me the chance to play this game”
Wilson, a devout believer from an early age, continued his interview stating “It’s all for His glory, and His glory alone…I play for an audience of One, and that’s just for Him. And so, I’m just grateful I get to be with these guys in this locker room. I’ve been around some amazing teammates in the past, and I’ve got some amazing teammates currently.”
While this new season of his life may find him in a different city, in a different situation, and with different people around him, Wilson recognizes that, at the end of the day, his purpose has not changed. He is all in.
In our current series, Billy has talked a lot about how God calls us to be All-In. Jesus wants us to be all-in on His work, His plan, and His purposes wherever He has placed us. He doesn’t want us to live our lives as if He is but one aspect of our lives that we give a veiled effort in. He wants us to be all-in for Him and Him alone.
That all-in mentality is something that Dallas Willard knew quite well. In his book Hearing God, Willard makes explains:
“I am living for one thing and one thing only — to be like Christ, to do His work and live among His people and serve them and Him in this world. My life is to bless others in the name of God” (p. 92).
To be like Christ, to do His work, and to live among and serve His people. Looking throughout Scripture, you can find these general calls over our lives to be very apparent.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” - Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” - Ephesians 2:10 ESV
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” - 1 Peter 4:10 ESV
The Scriptures make it clear that, as believers, we are called to be more like Christ, to love our neighbors, and to share the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection to the nations. Whether you are a professional athlete, a nurse, a student, an accountant, or a carpenter, you are called by Christ to proclaim the good news to those God has placed around you.