Something about 50-50 sounds fair. Half for you, half for me. We share and share alike. Neither is favored above the other.
Is this what God is looking for, an equal, fair and square arrangement? Does he want half our interest, half our time, half our commitment, with an equal amount going another direction?
Think of it in terms of HIS part and OUR part… what He is promising and CAN DO for us, compared to what WE can do for HIM—which is next to nothing at all? There is nothing EQUAL here! It isn’t even a comparison of 99 to 1!
He wants ALL for what He is offering—and is that unreasonable when He is offering ETERNAL LIFE?
We can surely see why He wanted FIRST place even in His national law
Hear the first commandment under the law for Israel:
Exodus 20:1–3 1And God spoke all these words, saying: 2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3“You shall have no other gods before Me.
NO other gods. No 50-50 option here! There was to be NO competing loyalty. He demanded 100%. No less. Nothing for any other loyalty, any other deity, any other allegiance.
What Jesus classified as the greatest commandment certainly confirmed this.
Mark 12:30 30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
Let’s change just one word in each phrase now, and read it again:
30And you shall love the Lord your God with HALF your heart, with HALF your soul, with HALF your mind, and with HALF your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
How is that for a change! What a different impression it conveys. Half for you, half for me. It would be like the Lord saying, I’ll take half, and you are free to do what you wish with the rest. That’ll give you plenty of time to enjoy what you want to do. Is that God’s way?
No, it isn’t God’s way to think in terms of anything less than ALL.
James said it very differently, but with the same point:
James 1:8 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
No 50-50 will do, God wants our all.
Sister Donna has a reading for us this morning.
The great Teacher of Galilee sets forth as the first of all the commandments,
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”
Nothing left for the service of mammon. And James warns us that no 50-50 service will do.
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let not that man think he shall receive anything eternal of the Lord.”
It is perfectly possible to divide our effort, to spend part of our time serving God and the rest serving self, if that is our choice. But we have deceived ourselves only, for a part-time service is not recognized by the Judge of all.
In our dealings with the Eternal we must bring to Him the best, the whole best and nothing but the best.
The tendency has ever been present to substitute the lesser for the best whether the offering be of material or service. The Eternal’s choice fruits of all the Earth will be those who form characters without spot or blemish in his sight. No 50-50 or 99 offering will do. He will accept 100% service only. This is what Jesus had in mind when he told his disciples that their righteousness must far exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees; they must out distance the best that their contemporary religious world could produce.
Fully surrendered Christians find that the real sacrifice in service comes in leaving behind the good and seeking at whatever cost to win the best
Let us resolve here and now: all my bad must be good, all my good must be better, all my better must and shall be best, and all my best HIS best. Nothing reserved for secondary interest. Remember above all that there can be no compromise, no 50-50 or 99 but 100% service.
This requires clear thinking and constant vigilance. There is no place in the army of the living God for the double-minded, the divided allegiance, the in and outers, the maybe-yes and maybe-no soldier. The theme of the Book from the beginning to the end is the one thing or the other, with firm decisions in our service to God. Nothing 50-50 or 99 will do. God wants 100% of our affections. He” hates men who are half and half.”
In every instance when the Lord commanded men to serve him the command was qualified with the words “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.” Anything short of this is divided loyalty. When the service was divided God rejected it.
God never showers a hundred percent blessing on a 50% consecration. It must be all or nothing. When the lips utter words and prayers of apparent sincerity and the actions run counter, it is lip service only. Even the tithes of mint and anise and cummin are not acceptable to God when the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith are omitted.
God can be found but not by men of divided loyalties aims and purposes.
Does this end time find us lacking in faith, at all hesitant to make a full surrender? Do we wonder why our God is so demanding, why he insists that we give our very all? The answer is simple: He makes these demands because of His eagerness to give His all to us.
From the great man whom we know to be totally fully 100% Christian we hear some potent words urging us to get done the work we honestly, earnestly long to do.
The following is from a sermon by Brother Nichols over 100 years ago.
“Our devotion to truth must be so deep that we will make all we have and are subservient to the will of God that is in choir who among us is in reality become thus invigorated and energized
“In answering this inquiry we look not for words only but for words backed up by unmistakable works of righteousness works that will show that we are indeed fully engaged in the work of the Lord
“The nearness of the coming of our Master should cause us to enter into this inquiry with greater longing and with more true heartfelt desire than ever before to know our real standing before God. It should cause us to have a growing desire to know ourselves just as God sees and knows us. Indeed we should have greater impressions of heart and should make greater searchings of heart until we seek out and drive from our heart every evil.
“To have a right to enter through the pearly gates and compose a part of the happy throng that will glow with grandeur and beauty, that will thrill with the praise to the Creator as we meet and greet and partake of the beatitudes of the future. Such blessings are too wonderful for the human heart to comprehend. They are beyond, yes, says Paul, they are exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.
“Our devotion to God should be so pure, of such sterling quality, so unmixed with lesser considerations that we will ever be found reverentially bowing in meek submission to His sovereign will. Our devotion should be such that we will lovingly, willingly and joyfully get rid of our stiff necks and throw away our hard hearts and no longer refuse to obey His voice, no longer refuse correction.
“Our devotion should cause us to draw near to the Omnipotent One who has offered us every future blessing upon such easy terms. He asks only that we seek the good and refuse the evil. He requires that we perform only those things which will make us noble in his sight, that will make us more joyful now and in the end secure for ourselves the endless the beatitudes and triumphant joys of the angels.
“Each move, each turn, every moment will increase our joy as we onward progress upon the unending plane of eternity, as we are introduced perhaps by a Gabriel to new worlds on high and are permitted to view their glory and participate in their celestial joy and gladness; we shall indeed stand filled with joyful astonishment and happy amazement and will be led to exclaim in the language of the Revelator,
“Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are thy ways thou King of saints. Who shall fear thee O Lord and glorify Thy name!” – Rev. 15:3
Brethren, in view or such a reward can we any longer remain 50-50 Christians? A song says it well.
A 50-50 Christian is what I used to be,
One half my life for Jesus the other half for me.
I compromised with pleasure as many others do,
But found that 50-50 would never take me through.
No 50-50 will do, God wants 100
Be it great or small God wants your all,
Not 50-50, not 99, but all (your very all)
Be it great or small, God wants your all.
A 50-50 Christian all full of self and sin,
I’d hoped to get to Zion a golden crown to win;
My life and my profession was 50-50 strong
The surface-50 righteous, the hidden-50 wrong.
God wants no lukewarm Christians, no 50-50 kind,
He wants a yielded spirit, the body, soul and mind,
God will not bless our offering though it be 99,
God wants are all or nothing, He wants 100 fine.
God never showers a hundred percent blessing on a 50% consecration.
So how do we answer: what will YOU give? Will it be 50-50—or 99? No, make it 100!
It is OUR all for HIS ALL—which is
“exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think!” –Eph. 3:20