Many guys follow sports teams so enthusiastically that you could say they are obsessed. They might even admit it! Men show they are devoted in many ways - to their family, a hobby, hunting, or their job. Maybe it’s a political agenda that has captured his attention, or a social or environmental cause that motivates him. While being devoted to some of these things can have a positive impact on our world, what ultimately matters is whether a man is “all in” for Jesus. That’s what All In Men (AIM) is supporting across southern Maryland and it is reflected in AIM’s mission statement: encourage and equip men, through fellowship, outreach, and service, to walk closely with Jesus Christ and bring glory to God. (see www.allinmen.org for more info) The Bible teaches that we should all be devoted followers of the Lord Jesus. The highest commitment in our lives should be to God. Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37–38). When a man is following Jesus wholeheartedly then his best energies are being invested in God’s Kingdom. It may be at home, at work, at church, or on the ball field, but when a man is all in for his Lord, all of it is ‘Kingdom work.’ On the other hand, anyone who isn’t all in for Jesus faces the warning in Matthew 6:24, that we cannot serve two masters. There are no half measures; either a guy is all in for God, or he is not. The Bible has a few more words for us. We are to have “sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). We are to be devoted to prayer (Colossians 4:2) and to fellow believers: “Be devoted to one another in love” (Romans 12:10). Those who love God are to hate evil (Psalm 97:10), so being devoted to God is to practice personal holiness. The early church is described as being all in when it came to four important things: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). All In Men are doing all of these things right here in SoMD…we just call it grillin’ out! Problems can arise when men decide to be all in, even at church. The religious leaders around Jesus were extremely devoted to their rules and laws, but Jesus said they were only performing for show (Matthew 23:5). The Lord told these teachers of the law that they were studying the Scriptures diligently because they expected to find eternal life in those words. “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40). Outward religious showiness is prideful self-righteousness. God wants guys who can follow—those who truly seek Him and follow Him—not religious men who trust in their own strength, rules, or traditions, thinking these will earn God’s pleasure. Guys who are followers of Jesus can’t claim to follow Him and still live in a way that conforms to the world. Do people at your work know about your faith or are you a covert Christian? In Revelation 3:15–16, the Lord says He will spit out the lukewarm—those who are neither hot nor cold. The Creator of the universe calls men (and women) to turn from our sinful ways and to follow Him: “If you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15). We are called to be all in, living wholeheartedly for the One who loves us and gave everything for us. We hope you will subscribe to All In Men (go to the bottom of the page), check out the AIM website for men’s events, and show up to make friends with other guys who are all in for Jesus.
A lot of credit for this article goes to the Got Questions webpage, “What does it mean to be devout?” All In is the new devout! Blessings, Ben