Friday, August 30, 2013

All In by Mark Batterson

All In is an invitation of sorts. Batterson points out that the Gospel of Jesus invites us to be followers of Christ. We are given the right to accept this invitation and live differently, the way Jesus calls us to live. However, Batterson explains, most Christian think they are following the Gospel, when really they want Jesus to follow them. They want to be able to live the way they choose, but have the benefits of the Christian walk. They want to be blessed and have a prosperous life, but they want it on their terms. In this book, Batterson talks about what it means to be all in with Jesus, to be willing to live in the way He invites us too, and why that is the best decision we can ever make. He begins by telling us that our priorities need to line up with God's priorities. To see if they do, we need to look at how we spend our time and money. Resources are gifts from God, and if we are not using them to promote His kingdom, then we are using them selfishly. Instead, we are called to be servants in all of our resources, as Jesus became a servant to help us understand this concept. We go all in by serving rather than looking to others to serve us. Batterson goes on to say that our potential is also to be used for God. God gives us talents and potential as a gift, and how we use that potential to help others is our gift back to God. We have a responsibility to devote our talents to God's kingdom. When we do, we will be blessed. But if we only use our resources and talents because we want to be blessed, we miss out on the true blessing. We are truly blessed when we know God, not just when we know about Him. To know Him, we must be all in, all the time. There are many more examples throughout the book of how we can be all in with God. The main idea, though, is that God is the priority and a relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship we can have. To be all in, our lives must mesh with the Gospel. God must come first. He is not something we tack on to our lives; He is the reason we live. Batterson's text is easy to read and follow, as well as to understand and apply. He speaks plainly and passionately about his subject. He makes the reader excited to be part of this journey. This is definitely a book I will revisit to help me remember what it takes to be all in. Batterson encourages total surrender to Jesus, and he reassures the reader that surrender is worth it. The book does not read like a sermon, but more like a friend with a passionate plea. I look forward to reading additional titles by this author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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