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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

Being All In and Going All Out

On Monday the twenty-first of August, our whole family, including both kids, my son-in-law, and all three grandsons, went to Baker City Oregon to view the eclipse within the path of totality. It was a truly awesome sight. What struck me the most was the remarkable difference between the partial eclipse, even when it was up to 98%, and totality.

We had gotten up very early in the morning, and my youngest grandson was feeling the results. He was a bit grumpy. We all had glasses and we watched the moon moving across the sun, but he was not all that impressed. It was fine for a few minutes, but it got boring quickly. Besides, it seemed that it would never get all the way, and he was impatient. We could see the fields in front of us get darker, but the difference wasn’t spectacular enough to keep his attention. When the sun was about 98% eclipsed he said, “This is boring. I wish we hadn’t gotten up so early and ridden so far just for this.”

Then totality. A three hundred-sixty-degree sunset. A big black ball in the sky with a perfect golden ring around it. Darkness. Stars in the sky. We felt the temperature drop noticeably. It was eerie, but it was also awesome. My grandson, bored just a few minutes before, was awestruck. “This is awesome!” he kept shouting. For the rest of the day he talked about how spectacular it was and how glad he was that we had gone to see it, even though it lasted less than two minutes. He didn’t even complain about the long drive back.

What a difference between 98% and 100%! Only at 100% did we experience how sensational an eclipse can be.

I wonder if there isn’t the same kind of difference between a 98% and a 100% commitment to God’s Kingdom. Only at a 100% commitment, where we are all in and are going all out, do we experience how awesome the Kingdom really is.

I thought about this a lot when Ione and I were in Cuba. I was impressed that the pastors there who I taught really were all in. It was humbling to know pastors and their families would ride for ten hours in the back of an uncovered flatbed truck in 100-degree temperatures just to have the opportunity for continuing education and learning. It was humbling to talk to pastors who had churches 20 miles apart with no car and only a bicycle to travel back and forth. They truly go all out for the Kingdom.

It may be harder for us because we have so many distractions. After returning from Cuba, I had to stop and stare when I walked into our supermarket, noticing all the fresh fruit and vegetables in the produce section—anything a person might want to eat. It is a far cry from the beans and rice that made up the major part of almost every Cuban meal. We seem to have it all. But, let’s make sure we are not like the rich young ruler Jesus encountered who had it all, but lacked one thing: a total commitment to the Kingdom. I suspect there is a big difference between 98% and 100%. We only find out how awesome God really is when we are 100% “all in” for the Kingdom, and are going “all out” to live it, every day.

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Contributed by Pastor John Brunt in the September 2017 issue of The Good News Letter


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