Editor’s Note: Throughout the years, TheReb has published thousands of articles, each challenging and encouraging Rebelutionaries to do hard things and seek God. But among these posts, some have especially resonated with you, our readers. So over the next few weeks and months, we’re bringing back these classics, reposting our most popular and well-read articles every Thursday. May they encourage and remind you of God’s unchanging truth!
God is calling this generation to its true purpose in Christ.
This is an appeal for this generation to live up to that purpose and become what it was destined to be. “All or nothing” is a battle cry; a cry to rally and stir up a generation that will give God our all or nothing at all.
A generation that does not make Christ simply a part of our lives, but a generation that puts Christ at the center of everything we do.
We live in a generation where apathy is the norm, not the exception. We are known for our addiction to video games, lack of interest, and irresponsibility. Researchers suggest that this is the most Biblically illiterate generation in history!
It’s time to change that.
When Jesus tells us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” this is not a suggestion–but a command. So let’s be the generation of David’s, the generation of Joshua’s and Caleb’s; the ones who boldly take a stand for the one true God.
Stop Holding Back
We live in a time when the most we are called to give God is a few hours a week for youth group and maybe a couple more on Sundays. We say, “Here God, take this part of me, but I’m going to keep the rest.” We compromise.
Giving God everything isn’t even on the radar. Sports, media, and friendships fill up our time and deplete our physical energy when it should be devoted to God. Not that sports, friends, and Facebook are bad in and of themselves, but when we put them in a place above God it becomes idolatry.
“When we build our lives on anything but God, that thing – though a good thing – becomes an enslaving addiction, something we have to have in order to be happy” says pastor and author Timothy Keller.
Tear Down Your Idols
I love the story of King Josiah. Josiah became king of Judah at eight years old and was one of the best kings that nation ever had. Why? Because he went throughout the nation and tore down the idols and turned his people back to the one true God. He was sold out for God. For him, it was all or nothing.
Idols can be the love of money or of fame, or maybe it’s acceptance we are lusting after. It could be our sports teams, music, or whatever it is that we are passionate about. It can be anything in which we spend our time trying to succeed, but our generation has a warped view of success.
We spend so much time trying to gain popularity or strive to excel in things that have no ultimate impact. Francis Chan says, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
Even as I am writing this I’m thinking to myself, “Do we really have to give God everything?” But the Bible says in Revelation 3:16, “So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. I wish you were either one or the other!” God would rather us be totally indifferent towards Him than halfheartedly for Him. We are either in or out, hot or cold, against Him or for Him. There is no middle ground with God.
Give Him All–Because He Gave You All
You may be asking the same question that I am right now, “Is it worth it?” But let’s take a look at who we would be giving our all for.
Jesus Christ was beaten to the point where he was barely even recognizable as human. He was nailed to a cross and the punishment and shame for our sins were thrust upon his soul. The King of kings willingly left the perfection of heaven and became a man; the only one who is truly worthy to be served “came to serve, not to be served.”
He was beaten, bruised, and broken. His skin was torn to pieces by whips composed of broken pieces glass and bone that shredded him to pieces. All of this he bore willingly, so that the people who placed him on that cross could be forgiven.
If Christ did all of this for us – taking what we deserved – isn’t he worth every ounce of passion, talent, and energy that we have?
The very least Christ deserves is the very best we can give him.The very least Christ deserves is the very best we can give him. Click To Tweet
One day, we will all have to stand before God and give an account of our lives. Nancy Guthrie writes about this day, saying that many of us will stand before the throne and “The judge will be the One [we] claimed to love but did not truly love. He will be the One that [we] mocked or merely dismissed as unnecessary or unworthy.” (emphasis mine)
We don’t give God our all because we either view giving God everything as unnecessary or view God unworthy of our all. We don’t think giving God our everything is worth it.
Give it all So You Don’t Miss God’s Best
I don’t say this to be harsh. I don’t say this to be condescending. This article is as much to myself as to anyone else. I say all of this because I believe our generation is missing out.
Dietrich Bonheoffer was a man who was martyred standing for Christ against the Nazi regimes. He says in his book, The Cost of Discipleship, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Jesus says to us “take up your cross and follow me” (Luke 9:23). That doesn’t sound very halfhearted. The words of the young missionary and martyr, Jim Elliot, ring loud and clear when he says, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Our generation tries to compromise what Jesus has commanded us to do, or maybe it’s that we are not willing to compromise. We are not willing to compromise our reputation or friendships in order to give God everything.
We hear it so often that God has a plan for us beyond any of our wildest dreams, but do we really believe it? We have been given a purpose, and the only way to live up to and fulfill that purpose is to give God everything we have.
Transform Your Life Into Tools for Him
Let’s take those idols that are impeding God’s power in our lives and not only tear them down, but turn them around. We are no longer athletes; we are ambassadors for Christ disguised as athletes. We are no longer musicians, but ambassadors for Christ disguised as musicians.
Let’s use those things that used to take our passion, time, and effort and use them as methods to share the gospel of Christ’s love and power in the lives of the hundreds of people that we come in contact with everyday.
God cannot use people who are only partially devoted to him. Jesus Christ changed the world with twelve men who were willing to give everything they had – including their lives – for his purpose and plan. Guillermo Maldonado says in his book How to Walk In the Supernatural Power of God, “The only ability God requires is availability.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to stand before Christ one day and have him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Let’s be the generation that says, “God, I will give you my all because you are worthy of it.”
The generation that says, “It’s all or nothing.”
Points for consideration:
- Is Christ at the center of everything we do?
- What are the things that are taking the place of God in our lives?
- Our greatest fear shouldn’t be of failure but of succeeding in things that don’t really matter.
- Remember who we are giving our all for.
- The very least Christ deserves is the very best we can give him.
- If God is not getting everything we have, we either view him as unnecessary or unworthy.
- God would rather us be totally indifferent towards Him than halfheartedly for Him.
- The only ability God requires is availability.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” — Hebrews 12:1-3
Originally Published January 3rd, 2014
Another stellar article, Luke! There’s a quote that has always spoken to me, “Christ died for us, so that we could live for Him.” So often, I find myself majoring in the minors instead of realizing what really matters in life.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says to start something new – that’s what I plan to do! Time to live out “all or nothing.” Happy New Year, Luke!
The fact that most of our generation chooses not to give themselves entirely to our Creator is certainly the most prevalent reason that our culture has degenerated – and is continuing to degenerate – so heavily. When we give out lives to Christ, we don’t keep part. We are a “new creation.” The old has completely passed away; everything that we are belongs to our Savior. When we give Christ control of each and every part of our being, nothing will be the same; it will be far, far greater than anything we could have imagined!
Thanks for this great article! It is truly what our generation desperately needs to hear.
Great article Luke!
May we continually give our lives in full surrender to our lord and king in everything we do.
Thanks Stephen. Glad you liked it.
That is the biggest lesson I learned in 2013 – to give Christ ALL of me. And when you really look at what He’s done…. Well, it’s like the hymn: “turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
I want to live the sort of life that, if God wasn’t real (and, definitely, He IS) I would have absolutely nothing left.
Thanks for the article! It was good to be reminded of this again.
Yah, that hymn says a lot in a few words. That verse is one of my favorites. Thanks for reading!
Definitely a very convicting article, I found it particularly refreshing and it definitely made me think about purpose and why we do what we do. I definitely showed the contrast about what the world tells us to succeed at what God tells us to succeed at. Ultimately its has to be God first, then our interests, not the other way around.
Wow, what a call to arms. It is amazing how often we let the petty little “acheivements” in life get in the way of truly giving all for Christ. I used to have a kind of “I am so busy! How could I possibly have time to serve God with everything I do?!” attitude, but I have come to realize that with so much to do in this life- work, school, etc.- I don’t have time NOT to give Him my all!
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~Phillipians 3:12-14
“..let’s be the generation of David’s, the generation of Joshua’s and Caleb’s; the ones who boldly take a stand for the one true God.”
Thanks for the challenge.
That’s a really good point about the fact that we don’t have time NOT to give Christ our all! Thanks Ezra.
Amen! This is a very real view in society today. Teens seem to think that they can go to the youth event, get all the benefits of being a Christian, etc., without losing anything. We all must lose our old lives in order to take on the new one in Christ.
Also, I think the point you made about being lukewarm, (how God would rather us be totally cold or hot than lukewarm), is very eye-opening. We cannot sit on the fence, clinging to the sin in our lives and Christ at the same time. That is what Jesus tells us on the cross: will you give your all?
Thanks for this! 🙂
I totally agree with you. Great point about getting the benefits of being a Christian without losing anything. We don’t get Christ and keep everything else, we lose everything in order to fully follow Christ.
Thank you so much, Luke! I really needed to hear that. I’m getting ready to start my second semester of college…so often I get caught up in getting good grades or simply getting stuff done that I forget to make Jesus the center of all I do. I tend to get really busy and I’ve always been an overachiever, so I have to stop and get my priorities straight a lot. Your article was a wonderful reminder! Thanks again and God bless!
I hope your next semester is one of great impact on your campus! + thanks for reading.
This is an amazing article! Thank you so much! It’s exactly the message I’ve been needing to hear; to throw off everything that hinders us and run the race marked out for us. I really liked your point about how if we if we do not give God everything we have we either view Him as unnecessary or unworthy. Very true and very eye-opening. Thank you so much for this inspiring and encouraging message. I really needed it. Thank you 🙂
No problem. Thanks for reading!
Wow! This seem to come up a lot in 2013. Surrendering all to God. There have been so many times where I’ll realize that a certain thing in my life hasn’t been given to God. Then I get so scared because I want Him to have everything but sometimes it’s just so hard to give Him something since us as humans tend to be control freaks and want a say in everything. A mentor of mine once said, “You just need to put the car in drive and let God take the wheel.” When you do give God everything, it’s beautiful. Amazing things happen. I’ve seen it in my own life and also in the lives of my friends.
I’m so glad you wrote this article Luke! Thank you for the reminder as we go into 2014. I want this to be a year of God. I want Him to have everything! I’m seeing a blaze in this generation. It’s a fire that is not going to go out!
Yah, I agree with you. I’m really excited to see what God is going to do in and through this generation. Thanks for reading Hana.
Looks like an article worth reading.
Have a blessed new year guys!
Thank you for this article Luke! It really inspired and blessed me. By putting Christ as the center of our life, we make difference. We deny ourselves and setting our eyes towards Jesus! Our generation has changed and continually changing. the best thing that we must do is to step out and follow on what God has destined for us. When we believe on His power, our lives will never be the same again and we live not by our own purpose but God’s purpose to us when we ultimately surrender ourselves to him. God bless you more bro! Keep on serving the Lord 🙂
Thank you so much for the encouragement!
Great article, Luke! It reminds me of something Brother Andrew talked about in God’s Smuggler: Is Christ worth following personally, totally? Sure, he (Andrew) would continue to believe in God and follow the Bible, as one follows an impersonal Golden Rule, if Christ were not Someone he could completely trust.
But, if Christ were someone who leads people personally, though, then there was nothing better for Andrew to do, than to follow Christ wholeheartedly, wherever He may direct.
Thanks also for the reminder:
“Our greatest fear shouldn’t be of failure but of succeeding in things that don’t really matter.”
Have a blessed year ahead!
Wow, this article blew me away! This is something I have been thinking about these past few months as I start another season of speech and debate. I want to be an ambassador for Christ disguised as a speaker and debater. Thank you so much for posting this Luke, I can’t begin to tell you how encouraging and inspiring it is to see this kind of talk come from other teenagers!
This is amazing. I really needed this! Thanks dude!
i know I’m a little late, but you are right on dude. Thanks for writing this 🙂
Pretty much everything that @Emma Grace:disqus said, love your writing and your passion for the Lord.
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” – Dietrich Bonheoffer, The Cost of Discipleship.
Vanished our dreams, our projects, our expectations. All that mattters is our will to let God do His own will in our lives or to contest His leading with our biblical arguments.
This should we remember: God is a jealous God and He wants you totally…
I am passionate for Christ and a passionate runner. It is hard to understand at what point my running is becoming a god rather than a way of glorifying Christ. I won a race just this Sunday and tried to give God the glory, but most people insisted on praising me in stead. And I am accepting it. It is becoming for me like the hand that is making me fall that has to be cut off.
What do you guys think?
I think you’ve answered your own question… “Pride cometh before a fall…” God bless you as you pursue Him with as much fervor as you have pursued winning races!
Thanks for answering Heather. I am starting to see that being passionate for Christ (surrendered to Him) and being passionate about running is not in conflict. My running is giving me a stage and giving me a way to reach out to fellow-runners. For this I write http://www.runningwithafriend.com
How did you turn that around? What enabled you to hang on to the running and let go of the pride that was rising up five months ago? I am glad you are putting Christ first!
I think anything has the potential to become an idol if you are not fully submitted to Christ. I love this from “Mere Christianity”:
“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of
your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF
YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman,
but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a
branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand
it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants
and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and
I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in
exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My
heart, shall become your heart.”
The Lord recently gave me an edifying word for my church very similar to this. As usual, the word was just as much for the bearer as it was for the hearers! 😉
>We are no longer athletes; we are ambassadors for Christ disguised as athletes. We are no longer musicians, but ambassadors for Christ disguised as musicians.
This isn’t deep enough. Athletes and musicians have this in common – they are entertainers. Even when we genuinely come as ambassadors for Christ, we must overcome the mindset of those observing us that we are merely entertainers.
Only Christ by His Spirit can confirm in our hearts whether we should place our music or physical prowess on display. If we go out on our own, we may only be placing pearls before pigs or giving what is holy to dogs.
But if – and this is the big if – God has truly called us to do something, we can go out and perform as a soldier fights in a battle because we are not merely entertainers. We are soldiers of a mighty King fighting His battle with the weapons of love and grace that are powerful enough to tear down strongholds that keep people from obeying Christ and God.
Keep up the good fight!
Excellent message. We in the US are so blessed we are spoiled. I just finished a book called, “The Heavenly Man.” I encourage all to read. After reading I can never whine again without feeling guilty. Selling out to Christ is easy to say, but hard to do.
I read that too!
This is an awesome piece thank you for this I will use some if your points . My sabbath school program this sabbath
This is so true – can you imgine asking Jesus if it is “okay” with Him to be, or stay, lukewarm?
I am working on a message entitled, ”MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST,” and having read this article and commends from others, i learned a lot from it.Thank you luke and God bless you. I am richly blessed by this article.
I’m 53 years old with a 21 year old son, a 19 year old daughter and a 17 year old son. This is the message I want them to hear. I did a Google search 30 minutes ago “all in for Christ” and found this and immediately sent it to my three kids. God has given you a gift and an audience. Don’t stop what your doing. And, thank you.