Monthly Archives: January 2013

ALL IN – DAY 14 of 60!

1 Corinthians 6:9-12

(9) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders (10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (12) “Everything is permissible for me”?but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”?but I will not be mastered by anything.”

How can Paul give a long list of stuff God says you can’t do and then say, “All things are lawful for me”? Did he have special permission to commit sin? Can we have the same rights Paul had? What exactly does “All things are lawful for me” mean?

Better translations are “I have permission to do anything,” “I am free to do anything,” or “I may do anything.” Paul is referring to our God-given free-moral agency – the right to make our own choices, including sin.

This freedom to sin appears in Deuteronomy 30:15-20, where God says we are free to choose either death or life, but He commands us to choose life, clearly implying that we are also free to choose death! Sadly, both now and in the past, mankind, under the influence of Satan, human nature, and this world, have overwhelmingly chosen death and become slaves to wrong choices.

When we go All In we realize God has called us. He opens our minds to who we are, the seriousness of life, the certainty of death, and the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf.

We then freely choose to enter into a covenant with Him, and receive His Spirit, and He frees us from our slavery to Satan, human nature, sin, and death. As a result, we can see why Paul says, in paraphrase, “As a son of God, I still have permission to do anything, but not everything is helpful, or expedient, to fulfilling God’s purpose for me if I desire to fulfill the covenant and enter God’s Kingdom.”

He then makes the strong statement, paraphrasing verse 12, “I will not allow myself to be mastered by human nature’s lustful desires. I will control myself because, otherwise, I’d just be serving myself, not God or my fellow men.” I Corinthians 9:27 confirms Paul strong desire to be All In and guard himself against sin: “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

Are you choosing life in every situation/choice?

YIC – Pastor James L Henley, Jr.

ALL – IN: DAY 13 of 60!

The distance between the North Pole and the South Pole “as the crow flies” is around 20,014 kilometres, or 12,416 miles. If it was possible to travel directly through the earth, it would be 12,800km. King David noted in Psalm 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” This tells me God doesn’t want those who have gone ALL-IN to ever worry about our past confessed sins being put back in our face again. Why? Because you cannot calculate the distance between the east and west. You can keep going east forever. So whatever the enemy is using to try and slow your progress simply remind him your God has already set you free. The past is just that – the past.

YIC – Pastor James L Henley, Jr.

ALL IN – DAY 12 of 60!

DAY 12 of 60 ALL IN!
We live in times that appear uncertain and perilous, thus fear is a reality we all will face at some time. What should wake us all up is the fact that fear appears in a list in Revelation 21:8 describing those who will be cast into the Lake of Fire: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (fear equates to cowardly).

I wonder why fear is first in Revelation 21:8? The New Living Translation (NLT) provides an answer to that question by rendering the verse’s opening words as, “But cowards who turn away from me. . . .” You see cowards, in fear, run from the battle, showing disloyalty to their Lord and King. In the spiritual realm, they put their self-interest above everything else. They completely forget God and desert His ways when challenged or facing trials. Cowards retreat instead of by faith going All-In. Thus it makes sense that fear would be first in the list in that it directly violates that first great commandment (Matthew 22:36-38). No need to fear because Jesus never leaves or forsakes His own. Are you His?

ALL IN – DAY 11 OF 60!

Remember word problems in math? How many turns must I make if I have been traveling West for 7, 8, 29, or 79 miles when I should have been traveling East. Answer 1! Similarly if I am to be focused on seeking first the kingdom of God as Matthew 6:33 tells me I must be headed in the right direction. Thus, since John 14 tells me there is only one way to the Father, through Jesus Christ, I must make sure I have made one decisive turn from sin regardless of how long I have traveled that road. All in requires I begin going the other way. See word problems are not that hard after all.

YIC – Pastor James L Henley, Jr.

ALL IN! Day 10 of 60

All-in requires seeing beyond your present circumstances. It requires you to allow God to stretch your mind beyond its’ current capacity. In a way it’s like trying to touch your toes. Unless you continue to stretch daily you will never be able to touch your toes. And when you finally do touch them, you have to keep stretching to not lose your expanded capacity. You can’t quit. The capacity to reach and do what you have never done before became a part of you the moment you accepted Christ into your life. Start expanding your capacity to be used by stretching out of the old you into the new you. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

ALL IN! Day 9 of 60

DAY 9
 
Often to determine what causes our ups and downs in life,  we examine factors such as our finances, social conditions, and physical strength. However, God reminds us in Zechariah that it is only through His Spirit that we are able to accomplish His purpose in this life. Thus, to the extent you rely on your money, social status or physical might – you will fail. Success only comes as you allow the Holy Spirit of Christ to flow All-In you in all you do.
“So he said to me, “This is the word of the  Lord  to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the  Lord  Almighty. “(Zechariah 4:6 NIV84)
 
YIC – Pastor James L. Henley, Jr.

ALL IN! Day 8 of 60

DAY 8

Changing our thought life is tough.  Yet to truly be All-In we must transform our minds from the established pattern prior to our commitment to an All-In attitude. To accomplish this we must ask ourselves, “What are primary influences in your life?”

What have I been watching, listening to and reading on a consistent basis? What images have been imputed into my mind as a direct result of my investment of time to those sources? Are they wholesome (holy)? All-In requires you and I to invest in positive things. The primary investment would be in reading and studying the scriptures. Are you investing quality daily time in the Word of God? Do you know what Romans 12:1-2 states about being All-In.

ALL IN! Day 7 of 60

DAY 7

All-In means you can’t live in isolation. We need to be an active part of the community. The problem is that technology has advanced so much that many of us feel no need to directly interact with each other. The result is a lack of concern for others. Yet, God tells us in Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” I believe an important reason for this is so that via our interaction we can sharpen each others minds through our person to person interaction. Remember Proverbs 27:17 makes clear “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Been sharpening lately?
 
YIC – Pastor James L. Henley, Jr.

ALL IN! Day 6 of 60

I don’t have time right now. Can we do it later? Can’t it wait until tomorrow? Hebrews 3:13 says we are to encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. For so long we have been taught to put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today. God wants your All-In everyday because each day He presents you with opportunities to worship Him through your encouragement of others. But in order to do reap the rewards He has waiting on us for our obedience we have to first be All-In on His command to esteem others higher than ourselves. Only then will we stop what we are doing, listen to the request being made, determine if what we are doing is REALLY as important as we are making it to be (finish television show, finish game, finish nap, finish gossipy phone call, finish surfing net, etc.), and if not help. Most of the time, if honest, we do have time to help out. Our example still remains Jesus Christ! Are you allowing Him to continue serving through you daily by helping others?
 
YIC – Pastor James L. Henley, Jr.

ALL IN! Day 5 of 60

DAY 5

In John 3:3 Jesus told Nicodemus “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” In other words, unless you have completely given over all of  your life to Christ – you can’t be all in. A lot of people are like Nicodemus – as a Pharisee he went to church each week, fasted twice a week, tithed, believed in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob and he even believed Jesus came from God. However, he was missing the important part – which is the change that occurs when you have truly accepted Christ as your Lord and King. When His Spirit begins to live in you – you will begin to see the kingdom of God not just when you depart this world but also in the abundant life you will gain as you constantly seek first his kingdom. I HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN – HAVE YOU?

 
YIC – Pastor James L. Henley, Jr.