Nothing really fantastic happens without real commitment. Yes, on a rare occasion someone gets lucky and something amazing just falls into their lap. But it’s luck! And even then, it takes commitment to sustain whatever was so good over a long time.
I’ve seen some great marriages (not perfect ones) and I am blessed to have one. All got there by consistent commitment. In fact, commitment is the very foundation of a great marriage. I’ve been enjoying watching some of the winter Olympics (not curling). Often the commentators will tell stories about an athlete’s commitment over many years that got them to be able to win a gold medal and stand on the podium; waking up at 4am every morning to train seven days a week. Then going to work. Then training after work. The most rewarding things in life are intimately connected to commitment.
That is true with faith as well. A casual commitment in following Jesus results in a dissatisfying faith. In a casual faith you know what’s right, but don’t put the effort in. You like to hang around Jesus, but are not really following Jesus. There’s often a low lying guilt or shame inside us with this kind of faith. But that’s not the worse part. A casual commitment to Jesus will result in at best; a mediocre or dissatisfying life, and at worse; ruin and damage to ourselves and others. Jesus teaches over and over again that the path to a really good and blessed life now and for eternity is only found in following Jesus with our everything and nothing less.
Here’s what Jesus said about being all in Luke 9:23-24 – 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. Jesus often describes being all in as crucifixion. We give up our lives fully to Jesus and let him have his way with us. It is only in losing our lives or giving up our lives that we’ll find real life in and through Jesus. Most of us know that. Doing that is a whole different matter! This is the very essence of being all in!
So, every new year, I ask you who are part of our church to make a commitment to be all in. We made that commitment to Jesus in our baptism, whenever that was. That was a commitment for life. But we need to be reminded of that commitment and we do that yearly at Pantano. We don’t do a traditional church membership. We ask for folks who are part of Pantano to yearly commit to being All In Partners. If you were an All In Partner in the past, you have to re-up and recommit every year so the commitment is fresh and alive.
Here’s what we commit to every year as All In Partners. Being All In at Pantano means that we have publicly confessed Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as our Lord through baptism (by immersion). This was our original commitment and promise to follow Jesus. And if you are ready to make that commitment in baptism, you’ll have that opportunity this Sunday!
Bring All In means that we are passionately committed to join others at Pantano in following and becoming like Jesus. We live that out by making a commitment to share life together in a group, be generous with our time, talents and treasures, and serve others.
Being All In means that we are truly excited and invested in Pantano’s vision and mission. Our vision is to be a catalytic force to bless Southern Arizona and the world. Our mission is loving people to Jesus and launching passionate people to make our world different.
Now is the time to commit or recommit to being an All In Parter. You can sign up online or we’ll have cards in the seat and at the tables this Sunday. So far almost 600 folks have made the commitment to be All In in 2018 so we can bring the influence of Jesus to our world.