Matthew 16:24-26: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

If you have ever played poker then you may be familiar with the term “all in.” It means all your chips are on the table and you have nothing left to play. It is an all or nothing move that could very well cost you everything. Jesus in these passage is stating that discipleship is about going all in. He is pointing out the temptation to place our own will above God’s and to take back rights which were relinquished to him. It is one step in and one step out. That is what makes these verses difficult.
While reflecting on these verses I was reminded of a devotion I read some time back. Here is the excerpt:
When Ignatius Loyola was guiding Francis Xavier in the early days of his discovery of God’s love, he repeated, over and over, that sentence; “Francis, what will it profit…? He obviously felt that Francis was stuck in some unfreedom and needed a bit of prodding.
 
What about us? What holds us back from giving ourselves in trust and love to the Lord? What are we afraid of losing? Has it to do with comforts, other people’s opinion of us, our need to be in control? Something else? Do we want to be prodded into freedom?
 
Being a disciple is costly and spelt out in these sayings of Jesus. He speaks about denying oneself, taking myself out of the centre of the picture so that Jesus and his cause is the essential. This may mean carrying a cross like he did. It means that we carry the cross of the injustice and violence of the world as he did, and that we wince and feel pain at needless human suffering. We can let this human reality enter our prayer -praying both for those who suffer needlessly and that we can be people who feel the pain of others in such a way as to improve and redeem their lives.  ~Adopted from mysacredspace.ie

This fall, we want to explore how we can be the kind of disciples who go all in. We want will look at the life and faith of Abraham with the goal of learning what it means to be a fearless follower. Our hope is this study will among other things, help us move together toward deeper discipleship and stronger community. Here is a brief outline of the study:

 

Week 1: God asks Abraham to trust Him and takes a leap into the unknown
Week 2: Abraham takes a leap for the sake of family
Week 3: Abraham believes God can overcome the impossible
Week 4: Abraham leaps into his mission
Week 5: Abraham goes all in

Week 6: What does it mean to be all in for Jesus?

Groups meet at Ridge Point at 5:30p for dinner and discussion. We will also offer childcare.

You can register here to be part of this study.

We look forward to journeying with you through the life of Abraham.

Grace and Peace,
Jerry Rawlings
Rooted and Groups
Ridge Point Community Church