The latest out by the ever-growing-popular Mark Batterson promises to be a page turner from beginning to end.
Batterson, pastor out of Washington, DC’s, National Community Church, is an extremely accomplished writer, having other popular works, including The Circle Maker, Primal, Soul Print, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day and Wild Goose Chase. However, it seems that his latest book, All In, has been able to touch a chord in so many in just the short amount of time it has been on the bookshelves.
The premise of All In focuses on the importance and benefits that come from giving all of yourself to the Lord. Just as in anything else in life, giving half of yourself or half of your effort will not help to reach your full potential. This can be seen in the discipline it takes for athletes to maintain their rigorous training, musicians in their practicing and even everyday workers that stay those long extra hours to ensure quality in their performance. The thread that holds this book together is the line, “If you don’t hold out on God, God won’t hold out on you.”
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. —Luke 6:38
A common misconception that the book touches on is the fact that many people think it is God who should follow them in their life choices. On the contrary, it is we who should seek to follow God in the choices we make in life.
All In speaks about how you can enthrone the Lord by dethroning yourself. It is important to remember that your body is not really your own.
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? —1 Corinthians 6:19
In this self-absorbed world, it can be easy to seek out the less complicated route in life rather than making the choices that may require sacrifice. However, remembering that God also made a sacrifice can start putting things into perspective into your own life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. —John 3:16-17
While reading All In, audiences have the feeling of attending a service by Mark Batterson, rather than a lecture about living one’s life. His background as a practicing pastor helps to give the book the flow of an actual sermon. Batterson uses stories within the Bible to help accentuate the message he’s trying to convey.
Readers will be reintroduced to biblical characters like Shamgar, Elisha, Noah, Ezekiel, Peter, Jonathan and even Judas to help reiterate the lessons that can be learned from these stories. However, the stories are not told as separate lessons to be learned with each passing chapter. On the contrary, Batterson uses these stories to thread together the common denominator of how one can see the work of God in the lives of these people and how it can relate to your own lives as well.
Oftentimes, Christians can find it difficult to give all of themselves in this modern day world; whether it’s having to keep your religious views out of the workplace, forgoing praying before meals at a popular restaurant or even restricting casual conversation among friends. However, nothing worth anything is ever done without some level of difficulty, and what could be more worthy than surrendering yourself to the Lord?
While the title of the book is, All In, the cover also says, “You are one decision away from a totally different life.” Making the decision to give all of yourself to the glory of God can change the trajectory of your life and it can start with one simple choice to go All In!