All In (1 Nephi 2)
Note: This article is part of a series on 1 Nephi. Click here to read the first article.
I’ve seen the phrase “All In” used in various scenarios. A baseball team that feels it has a good chance to win this year may be willing to sacrifice future young talent in order to go for the championship this year. The team is considered to be “all in” for the year. A card player who feels he has a winning hand may push all his chips into the middle of the table. At that point, he is “all in” for that hand, holding nothing back.
It’s easy to draw parallels to our service to God. The concept of being willing to sacrifice and hold nothing back because we know we have a “winning hand” or that we’re on the “winning team” is something we should all strive for to be effective servants of God.
In 1 Nephi 2, Lehi is commanded by the Lord to take his family and leave Jerusalem. It should be noted that Lehi was already doing what was pleasing to God — God recognizes his faithfulness in verse 1. Yet, Lehi was asked to go “all in” for God and sacrifice everything to follow His commandment. In this case, holding nothing back meant leaving behind gold, silver and the most valuable possession of all — the land of his inheritance.
Although it would have been “understandable” to have made other arrangements, Lehi followed the Lord’s commandment and took nothing with him except his family, tents, and some food, and he made his way into the wilderness, going all in with the Lord. The result was that he and his family were spared from being killed and they were used to begin a new nation in the Americas.
In Matthew 19, Jesus encounters a young man who is keeping all the commandments. But “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:21-22). Jesus wanted the man to be “all in,” holding nothing back, in exchange for treasure in heaven, but he just couldn’t push his large pile of chips into the center of the table, even for a winning hand.
What are we holding back today that prevents us from being all in with God?
- Time – Are we satisfied with just attending church meetings? Or are we willing to spend our time during the week doing what we can to further the cause of Christ? Or are we “so busy” that we have to hold back our time? A well-placed visit or phone call can make a huge difference.
- Money – Are we donating to the Lord according to how He has blessed us? Or do we “buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t care about," leaving little or nothing to give to the Lord? The widow who gave the two mites in the Bible is an example of someone who was all in.
- Gifts and Talents – Many of us have experienced success in our careers or in things we set out to accomplish in life. Often, this takes creativity, ingenuity, intelligence, wisdom, sound judgment, persistence, etc. Can we put more of “ourselves” into our service to God rather than holding it all back to be used only in personal pursuits?
When Jesus went to the cross, He went all in for us. Can we go all in for Him?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.