All In

All In

“And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Acts 20:20-21

I enjoyed watching the National Basketball Association games this year, in particular the drive of the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals. As the season came to a close and the postseason began, The Cavs adopted a slogan “All In.” It was printed on banners and t-shirts. The idea was that this struggling team, with the return of Lebron James for a new season, would buy into the coaches leadership and the team would fully commit to working together to achieve the status of “world champions.” They sure did come close. Congratulations to Golden State for the win. MVP Andre Iguodala and Coach Steve Kerr performed with excellence. The Warriors played with greater teamwork. Andre had even given up his career “starter” position to come off the bench for the entire regular season. Many players on both teams made personal sacrifices for their teams to arrive at the final game.

As Paul is traveling to go to Jerusalem. While stopping for a while in Miletus, he asks for the leaders of the church at Ephesus to come and visit with him. These leaders travel south almost 50 miles and meet with Paul. Then he gives them the message of Acts 20. He says things like: “I kept back nothing. I testified that anyone can be saved by Jesus. I want to finish my course with joy. You will never see me again. Feed the flock of God. Watch out for false teachers.”

Paul had lived in Ephesus for 3 years. He gave them the best teaching, preaching, and ministry that he could give. The church had witnessed real sacrifice and dedication in the life of Paul. He was “All In” the ministry at Ephesus. Pastors, church leaders, and church members should have the same commitment. Even the departing speech he gave is like what a father would give his son; final words of advice, words of wisdom, and words to live by. Paul was totally committed to the success of the church at Ephesus.  Are you as committed to the success of your local church?  Are you “All In” as a team player?

Published by Pastor Steve

Steve Harness and his beautiful wife, Natalie, are blessed with three children. They have served in ministry together for nearly 20 years and have been in Wilton, NY since 2009. Pastor Steve enjoys drinking Dunkin coffee and watching the New York Yankees baseball and Memphis Grizzlies basketball. Steve has a varied ministerial education, including a Bachelor of Bible from Pensacola Christian College, a Master of Ministry from Bethany Divinity Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Christian Counseling from Bethany. Currently, he is enrolled in the Master of Divinity (Christian Education) program at Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to pastoring the Wilton Baptist Church, he is also the principal of the Wilton Baptist Academy in Wilton, NY. He serves on the board of the New York Association of Christian Schools. Both Steve and Natalie are thankful for each opportunity the Lord has given to them, and they desire to “serve the Lord with gladness” while seeing people saved and advancing in their walk with Jesus.

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