Caesarea Philippi: Are You All In?
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35).
You have to make up your mind sooner or later.
That’s always true, isn’t it? You can think about a job offer for a while, but eventually you’ve got to say yes or no. You can interview at six different colleges and be accepted by four of them, and then you can agonize over your decision. But sooner or later you’ve got to say yes to one and no to all the others. You can dream about where you’re going to move, and you can even visit Rock Springs, Charleston, St. Paul, or Norwalk, but somewhere along the line, you’ve got to choose a city.
You can’t sit on the fence forever.
The same is true in the spiritual life. Jesus is meeting with his men at Caesarea Philippi, a city outside the borders of Israel. There Peter makes the great confession: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus then reveals the fact of his coming crucifixion in Jerusalem. What’s left to say? Only one thing.
We all have just one life to spend. The challenge for all of us is the same. In the few years we have on planet earth, what will we do with the life God gave us?
You can “save your life” now only to lose it later or you can “lose your life” by following Jesus only to save it in the end. Here’s the kicker. You’ve got to decide, and when you do, everything will change for you.
At some point you’ve got to go “all in.” The martyred missionary Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
If you live for your career, what difference will it make ten seconds after you die? If you spend your life in the service of the kingdom of God, the road may not be easy, but 10,000 years from now you’ll never regret your decision.
So what’s it going to be? Are you “all in” for Jesus?
Lord, may we not be ashamed of you, not even a little bit. Grant us courage to go “all in” on following you today. Amen.