So chances are you, yeah you, the one reading the page, are pretty tired in this moment. Or you’re pretty wired because you snuck Red Bulls in your bag and were chugging those suckers on the way over. Regardless, here we are in Ghent, West Virginia. You’re in your room by now, probably unpacked and sitting in or near your bunk and are staring at the book in your hands and maybe wondering what this “AllIHave2Give” stuff is all about. Give all of what? Give all of a banana split to pastor Micah’s face? Give all my strength in an Anaconda Squeeze like Nacho Libre? What is “AllIHave2Give” all about?
You’ll notice on just about every page in this book in one of the top corners it says “Love God. Love People. Matt 22:35-40”. Grab your Bible, if you don’t have one, share with a friend. If you have a Bible and see someone without one, offer to share. Open it up to those verses. Matthew is the first book in the New Testament. It’s the first of four books that we call “The Gospels”. “Gospel” means “good news”. The good news in these books is about God sending His Son, Jesus, to Earth to die for the sins of mankind. It’s all about God’s love for us. We’ll talk more about that a little later.
The setting for these verses in Matthew is this: Jesus was a Rabbi; this is similar to a pastor in our time. The Rabbi was a teacher of the Old Testament law. He took a few disciples, followers, under his wing and taught them everything He knew. One day, Jesus was teaching His disciples when some Pharisees, other religious guys who weren’t fans of Jesus’ teaching, showed up and tried to trick Him by getting Him to say one of the Old Testament laws was more important than another. Read those verses in Matthew. Go ahead I’ll wait…
Wow. I don’t know if you know anything about the Old Testament law, but what Jesus is saying here is huge. In the Old Testament there is a book called Leviticus. The entire book is pretty much a giant
list of laws that the Israelites were supposed to follow in order to make themselves pure and holy before God. Jesus is summing that entire book up with this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus is saying that all of the Levitical law is supported by these two commands.
The thing is.... these commandments are harder to obey than they are to read. See, there is one little word in those verses that changes the dynamic, the seriousness, of these commands. The word is ‘all”.
Jesus didn’t ask for us to love God with some of our hearts. He didn’t ask us to love God with some of our soul or some of our strength. He asked for all of it. He commands us, not asks us, to love with ALL we have to give. God doesn’t just want us on Sunday mornings at Daybreak or Wednesday nights at Focus Groups. He wants us Sunday through Saturday, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He wants us to love Him with our lives.
Some of you may be thinking... are you kidding me? Dude, that’s a lot of time. 24/7 is more than I’m willing to give. God must be greedy to want so much of my time, after all who is He? What has He ever done for me to deserve that kind of love?
In the same gospel you’re in, Matthew, if you look at chapters 26-28 you will read the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I’m sure, even if you’ve never been on any trip or event with PowerSource, you have at least heard of Jesus. You may have heard He was a good teacher, or a good person, or you may have heard His name as an expletive when your friend stubbed his toe. The point is, you’ve heard of Him. The truth is, Jesus was a good teacher, and He was a good person. In fact, He was perfect. Do you know anyone who is perfect? I don’t. Sometimes we see people on TV that we think are perfect. Maybe you know someone who you think looks perfect, or who is the perfect athlete, or musician, etc. Let me tell you a secret…. those people… they aren’t perfect. (gasp)* I know, I know…calm down and hear me out…we all have flaws. We all do things wrong. We can look good on the outside and be ugly and dirty on the inside. We can be great at a certain skill, but really stink when it comes to treating people like people instead of objects.
The Bible calls these things that we do wrong sin, and it is that sin that keeps us from having a relationship with God. If you look on the last page of your handbook at The Romans Road you will see a series of verses from the Bible that talk about our sin. In Romans 5:8 we see that Jesus died for our sins. He died so we wouldn’t have to. He gave All He Had To Give. He loves you that much. That’s why He deserves all you have to give. He saved your life. You just have to accept Him. Read through the rest of the page with The Romans Road on it. Then spend some time praying and asking God to show you ways to give all you have to give to Him. Write them down in this booklet so you will remember them.