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Pearls of the Kingdom 9/6/23

I’ve heard the phrase, “All In” several times over the past two weeks. This brought back to memory a sermon that I did several years ago.

I started with a story about the Spaniard Conquistador, Hernan Cortes. Are you familiar with his story? With 11 ships, 508 soldiers, about 100 sailors, and 16 horses, Cortes set out to conquer the Aztec Empire. Cortes had only one plan in mind as they set sail. There would be no Plan B for Cortes if Plan A failed.

Cortes was either crazy or a brilliant leader. Cortes sealed his commitment to this expedition when he ordered that the ships should be stripped, scuttled and burned. This action prevented anyone from returning home to Cuba. Can I say that Cortes was “All In” as he sets out too conquer the Aztec Empire? There would be no Plan B to fall back on.

His story reminds me of another story found in 1 Kings 19. Here we will find the story of Elisha. He was chosen to succeed Elijah as prophet.

v-15 – 16 The Lord said to him (Elijah), “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.”

I find this verse very interesting.

v-21 “So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.”

Can I say that, Elisha was “All In” to follow and succeed Elijah as prophet? These two actions by Elisha confirm his commitment. The burning of the plow and slaughter of the oxen suggest to me that there would be no “Plan B” to fall back on for Elisha. There was no thought that if this “prophet” thing does not pan out for me, I can always go back to plowing with the oxen. There was only one direction for Elisha now. No turning back.

So I find myself singing this song. Perhaps a song we are familiar with but one that we do not sing so frequently. That song, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”

I have decided to follow Jesus;

I have decided to follow Jesus;

I have decided to follow Jesus;

No turning back, no turning back.

All in to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back,

Pastor Jeff

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