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All for Jesus

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“I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

If you’ve been associated with the Alliance family for long, you’ve probably come across a number of people who, as Paul describes in 1 Timothy 6:19, are taking hold of “the life that is truly life.” I’m talking about people who have freely chosen to say “no” to themselves and “yes” to Jesus. They are “all in.” Whether it is volunteering in the church library, working in the local Walmart, heading up the investment team of a major business or serving in a ministry overseas, these people have found the secret to living a life of extraordinary spiritual abundance and blessing.

Now here’s the surprise: Most of these people are ordinary folk like you and me. Let me give you a few examples. I met Richard three years ago, and his passion for abundant living was contagious. You see, Richard was 88 years’ young (he passed away earlier this year at age 91). He had contacted me about a church-building project in China, but here’s the thing that dazzled me: Richard not only wanted to give financially toward the project, but also he wanted to go help the Chinese believers erect their new church!

After he inquired with the authorities, it turned out that it wouldn’t be permissible for Richard to travel to inland China, but I was blown away at his whole-hearted commitment to using every moment of his life to advance God’s Kingdom—bad knees and all! His mantra? All for Jesus.

Another example of the kind of people I’m talking about is a collective one: the hundreds of highly trained medical personnel—doctors, nurses, technicians—who minister in remote clinics and hospitals for the sake of the gospel, turning down lucrative lifestyles in the United States or Europe. If you ask them, they are not giving up a dime. They are living rich, abundant lives in service to the King of kings. All for Jesus is their refrain.

One more example. Delores attends an Alliance church in Pennsylvania. Now retired, she wisely saved up a modest nest egg over the years. Delores heard about a matching grant opportunity to help plant a strategic church fellowship in the Middle East. She wasn’t sure how she felt about Arabs (because of the negative spin in the news), but she knew that they needed the Lord so she wrote a check for $5,000. Delores wasn’t giving to a project; she was investing spiritually in the lives of people who will one day be worshiping and praising God with her in heaven. Delores displayed what Randy Alcorn says in his book The Treasure Principle: “[God] wants people so filled with a vision for eternity that they wouldn’t dream of not investing their money, time and prayers where they will matter most.” All for Jesus.

All three examples show ordinary people living “the life that is truly life.” How does this happen? Where does this heart of gratitude and extravagance come from? One of God’s chief attributes is that He is a generous giver. He gave us His only Son (John 3:16); He gives us eternal life (John 10:28); He gives us hope and a future (Jer. 29:11); He gives us amazing grace (Eph. 4:7); He gives us our daily bread (Matt. 6:11); He gives us peace that passes understanding (John 14:27); and He meets all our needs according to the riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Since humans have been created in His image, we are most like God when we give lavishly and freely of our time, treasure and talents—not to receive personal praise or gain but to glorify God!

Jesus is our model for audacious generosity! He selflessly humbled Himself to fully identify with us. Christmas is a great time of year for believers to reflect hearts that are fully committed to Him. Not only do we traditionally give meaningful presents to friends and loved ones, but we also have opportunities to support the strategic ministries of The Alliance. Giving from our earthly treasures to advance His Kingdom is just one of the many areas of life we are called to surrender fully to the Lord.

As we get ready to push our reset buttons at the New Year, my prayer for everyone in the Alliance family is “to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life” (1 Tim. 6:19, The Message).

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