But the phrase kept working around in my head. Eventually it worked into a full fledged theme for a lock in. Now I like to talk to our youth about God. During our lock ins I generally do three devotions during the night. This time I had lots to say so I spoke 5 times. Though I am not a big poker player, I do love some great movies that have poker in them (Casino Royal, Maverick, Oceans 11 etc). But the phrase 'All In' just screams poker.
As I explored the theme, I realize each of us gets dealt a hand in life. Alot of times, we hear this in a negative manner when people have to deal with hard times. But I think instead we need to focus on the amazing hand that we ALL have been blessed with.
Ace - God: God trumps everything. He is our Creator. He is the source of all that is good in the world. He is also our first card. God provides. Period. He provides this world and the people in it to ensure we have what we need. When we seek to do his will, he will provide the means for that work to be carried out.
19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
King- Jesus. I saw a store today called 'Jesus Saves'. How amazingly true that statement is! Jesus did do wondrous things while he walked among us, but it is what he did at the very end is the most impressive. He died for everyone. The believers, the haters, the good, the bad, those who were already dead and those not yet born. But sometimes we forget the important result of this sacrifice. Jesus justifies. He brings us into alignment with God's plans for us and makes us good enough. We have no excuses. Jesus died to strip away everything that would keep us from being usable by God.
Queen- The Church. Oh the Church. Such and odd word that means so many things to so many people. For some, church is building. For others it is a certain denomination, for others a religion. For others it means the entire body of Christ: all past, current and future believers. I think we have to think of it in all these ways. Because this card is our support system. The VAST ARMY of BELIEVERS we have to turn to for support. We are not alone. Sometimes it may seem like it and that may keep us from reaching out to minister to others. As I pointed out to those at the lock in, everything we do in the church takes many people. A simple lock in takes dozens of people in the church to make it happen. Surely those same people and many more are there to support us when we seek to do more than just a lock in.
Jack- Holy Spirit: Of all the parts of the Trinity, I think we all struggle with figuring out what the Holy Spirit is. So here is what I tried: we played dance music really loud. I just started playing it people wandered around the church. Eventually people began filtering in. And they began dancing. And laughing. And even asking for more of certain songs. And this is a little bit of what the Holy Spirit is. The Spirit moves around us and enters into us. When this happens, we are inspired. Our emotions and body are stirred up and we are moved to action. This is what the Spirit does. But the Spirit goes one step further. He gives us the gifts we need to do what we have been inspired to do. How awesome is that!
10- You. Now our last talk each lock in is usually our 'serious' one. It's always in the sanctuary with the lights out, candles burning and soft music. We wrapped up the night we two thoughts. First, each and everyone of us is a perfect 10. God made us just so. To often we forget it because we see ourselves as the world sees us and not how God our FATHER sees us. He sees as he made us: perfect. Secondly, if we do not see ourselves this way our hand is a waste. A royal flush, the best hand possible, only works if all five cards are present. Without one of them, it falls apart. Oh, it may still win. It may get lucky and still do good with a card or two missing and others in its place. But only with these five is it powerful
The had we have does it all:
1) it provides all we need to succeed
2) It makes it so we are in alignment
3) It gives us a support system and an 'army' to work with
4) It moves us into action and gives us the abilities we need
5) It has the perfect person to do amazing things: us
Now here is the kicker: If you have such a great hand, why haven't you gone 'ALL IN'?