Several years ago two ships collided. It happened far out in the calm quiet Atlantic ocean on a dark foggy night. The smaller ship with two hundred and six people on board sank within thirty minutes. Immediately the larger ship put out life boats to retrieve the passengers who were floating in the placid sea. Only thirty four were found!? They were all picked up and saved. At first it seemed a great mystery why a hundred seventy two people were lost and so few were saved. The problem was not a lack of life jackets.
Later it was found that the primary reason so few were saved was that most if not all of them had busied themselves during those last thirty minutes in seizing their gold and silver and securing it to their clothes or belting it around their waist. They were weighted down and unable to remain afloat until the life boats could reach them. They lost both their life and their money. They were Jeopardized by greed.
What hinders you from giving Christ your all? Cast off the carnal things that weigh you down. Voluminous numbers of Christians are like a waterlogged raft, they are just barely afloat. They have soaked up so much worldliness and are so permeated with little sinful traits that it is almost impossible for them to be towed into the heavenly harbor.
Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
You can't have your pie and eat it too. No heart can mature two crops at the same time. We must decide which is more important. Immerse yourself in Jesus. Lighten your load of temporal doodads. Give Jesus your total heart and life.
When an immigrant comes to America, before he can become a citizen he must renounce all his commitments and allegiance to his former homeland and pledge one hundred percent allegiance to America. Then and only then will the U.S. Government grant him citizenship. That's the way it is with Jesus. When you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, you renounce Satan completely. You can't "split time" by serving Satan part-time and Christ part-time. No moonlighting with the world.
It is impossible to have one foot in the world and one foot in the church. Very quickly you would have to do the splits because the path of the church and the world are zeroing in at two very different destinations. Like a boat leaving the dock, you can't have one foot on the boat and one foot on the dock for very long or you will end up in the drink.
An individual who Divides his heart between God and the world will eventually be wholehearted for the world and fainthearted for God! You can't dine at the Devils table on Friday and at the Lord's table on Sabbath. You can't sing "All The Way" in the pew and swear at the fax machine at work.
Is my preaching too hard? You realize that one of the objectives of consequential preaching is to comfort the afflicted while at the same time to afflict the comfortable. Zeroing in on Sin!
Luke 14:33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
We must be willing to give up everything. You can't hold onto the world and its knickknacks with all your strength and equally hold onto Jesus. You can't get your high from Jesus on Sabbath and get your "High" from drugs on Saturday night. Kowtowing to Satan when you are with the crowd and acting sanctimonious at church makes one a low down hypocrite! 1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. One hundred percent. Entirely. Totally. All or nothing. Lock, stock, and barrel Christians! No heart can mature two crops at the same time.
I remember as a boy in Indiana we drove across the "Crick" and I reckon we hadn't gone a stone's throw before we came to a vacant lot. The problem was that it had not been empty just a few days before. A family had lived there in a mobile home. My dad said, "Boy, they moved out Lock, Stock and Barrel!" The clothes line was gone, the mail box, and even the dog house was gone.
Isaiah 29:13 God says, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me
We sing songs like "I'll go where you want me to go Dear Lord... I'll do what you want me to do..." "But don't ask me to sing in the choir or play the hand bells, or teach in the little kid's department or help with Vacation Bible School or sit on a committee. I just want to sit among the saints. I don't want to be involved."
God's yardstick is total devotion or none at all. We modern Christians come to the celestial check out lane and when we reach the cash register we say,
David eventually became a man after God's heart by going all the way with total commitment. Psalms 119:2 David says: Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. Those who seek him with all their heart.
I've had a lot of people come to my office over the years. They say, "Pastor, you know I just can't get victory over sin. I'm trying to be a good Christian and I just can't do it. How do I get strength to live the Christian life?" "Well, I'll tell you how to get Christian strength. You seek it with all your heart. You're going to get what you're really seeking." If you go at it with all your heart you will find. You will.
Do you know what God's minimum requirement is? He is the celestial Teacher, we're the students in the classroom. As our Divine Teacher, in the great schoolhouse of life, passing is not 70%. Passing is not even 90%. Passing is 100%. God wants your heart, the whole heart, and nothing but the whole heart. He wants all of you or He doesn't want you at all. Lock, stock, and barrel commitment is what God is looking for in His people in these last days. Unless you love Him totally, you do not love Him at all. There is no such thing as lackadaisical commitment. If you don't crown Him Lord of All, you really do not crown Him at All.
Notice that our heavenly Father does not expect what He is not willing to give. Does God give totally? Does He? Yes, He does. Does He give half-way? Do we have a part time daddy? Our awesome God gives totally! The bible is full of examples of how God give totally. But let's look at Luke 8:48 (KJV). And He said unto her, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." Does God heal us half-way? No. He heals us all the way. Her faith had made her whole. She was not healed half- way.
When Jesus died on the cross, He totally paid for all my sins. His forgiveness is unmitigated. God's healing power is unbounded. When we all get to heaven, we will be given access to the immeasurable universe. He's not going to way, "Well, I'll just give you a little bit of heaven. I'll give you just a touch of it." No! Does He give us just a sample of heaven? No! He gives us the whole thing. It's ours to go. We're going to have wings we can fly. We don't have to have reservations. We just go to all these other worlds. Every corner of the universe is yours to explore. He doesn't hold back. Total freedom to go and come, to observe it all. We can obtain a knowledge that exhaustively takes in the alpha to the omega of the universe. We can fly at more than the speed of light and picnic in a far off corner of the universe. We have unlimited access. But to completely experience the joys of heaven then, you need to be totally committed to Jesus Christ today. Without that total commitment you won't be there.
Now you could say, "Well, I attend church on Sabbath morning. I'm here. I'm sitting in the pew. But when I go home, I don't dress like I'm dressed here. In fact I put on some of the world, you know. I start acting like the world. Swear words occasionally come out. That's not total commitment.
Imagine that your spouse, let's suppose that your husband or your wife says, "I'll be true to you ninety nine percent of the time." That would be pretty good, wouldn't it? Wouldn't that be great? "Ninety nine percent of the time I'll be true to you. I will." How many of you would accept that? And yet we expect God to accept that, don't we?
I was giving a Bible study to a fine young man this week. And he said, "Now let's see. Ephesians. Where is that?" I said, remember it's Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians." Well, how can I remember that?" "It's General Electric Power Company. Okay?" I thought you might like that, too. Look at Ephesians 6:11. Put on the partial armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Is that what it says? "Put on the whole armor of God."
Juvenile David was able to slay Goliath because the giant did not use the whole armor. Where did that little stone find its mark? It sank into his forehead. Where was that shield that came over his face, his helmet? Where was that shield that his shield-bearer should have had? They were missing. He didn't have the whole armor and you cannot become a Christian today without the whole armor of God. One loop hole was all it took for David's stone to transform the mammoth monster into a dead dwarf.
Ellen White speaks of Spiritual dwarfs: "Many professed Christians are in a fair way to lose both worlds. To be half a Christian and half a worldly man makes you about one-hundredth part a Christian and all the rest worldly." Testimonies, Vol. , p.264. There is no such thing as half and half. Well, you can buy it at the grocery store, I guess. But, in Christianity there is a hundred percent or nothing.
A hog sets a good example. Praise God for hogs. Visualize a chicken and a pig vacationing together. They travel for many miles and many hours. Finally they get hungry. The sharp-eyed chicken spots a restaurant. Approaching the door, they read a sign which says, "Ham and Eggs: Our Specialty!" "Hold it!" oinked the pig. "What's the matter?" clucked the chicken. "Plenty," said the hog. "All they want from you is a little compromise. They are asking me for total commitment!" That's exactly what God wants.
How do you become a lock, stock and barrel Christian? By total commitment to Jesus. How do you have a great marriage? You are committed to it. These marriages that last seventy five years, those people are committed to it. Commitment! That's what we need to pray for. When little trouble come to a great marriage, when both of them are committed to it, they're going to stick with it. They're not going to run.
Mark 8:34-36 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" That's what happens.
A few weeks ago a super fast concord jet was zooming off the runway in Paris, France, with its load of passengers. Everything was going fine. Do you realize that the pilot of a jet aircraft comes to a point of no return on that runway. It gets to going so fast and you cross a line where you have to decide to fly or stop. Once you cross that line you have no choice but to fly or to crash. The pilot of that fast jet came to that line. It seems that when he came to that point, a tire blew out and large chunks crashed into the fuel tank. The plane took off in a fireball and crashed in an explosion. We've been having trouble with tire this week haven't we? (Firestone tires delaminating on Ford Explorers.)
Unfortunately, our churches are filled with members who have never left the ground. They have been sitting on a spiritual runway for years and years gunning their spiritual engines but they never really reaching the point of total commitment, that line that you must cross as a Christian or you are not going to make it. You cannot stay on the runway and reach heaven at the same time. You've got to get committed and get off, take off.
Paul was an accountant. I think he was a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). He worked in the business office at Southern Adventist University, probably, because he has a profit an loss statement here. Philippians 3:7,8. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Praise God for Paul! That's beautiful!
Man's greatest possession. What is man's greatest possession? I would submit to you that man's greatest possession is a relationship with Jesus Christ. That's the greatest thing you can have. All else is rubbish. Jesus wants you totally: Hook, Line, and Sinker. Do you want Him that fervently?
Just pray this little prayer: "Dear God, you be the needle and I'll be the thread. You go first and I'll follow wherever you may lead." That's what thread does.
An old song goes like this: "I Surrender.. how much? All." Yielding totally to Jesus. Another song says - "All The Way My Savior Leads me!" Are you willing to go all the way with Jesus?
Hymn of Praise: #421, For All The Saints Scripture: Luke 16:11-13 Hymn of Response: #516, All The Way My Savior Leads Me 000826Gettys#236
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last updated 8/30/2000 by Bob Beckett.