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Leave It "All" On The Field

Leave It “All” On The Field

     We’ve all heard this type of advice. In most cases, this guidance is offered to those in sports. We all know that this means: to commit wholly to, or to try one's best at, a sport or a game.   When this is the case, one is being told to use all their strength and ability to accomplish the desired results if at all possible.   I’m sure when this is applied to work or other areas of life there are other quotes that best fit the particular scenario.  
     One thing is for sure. We have a limited time in which to accomplish what we intend to do in life. This is certain in regard to a ball game or other athletic contests as there is usually a specified period allowed for such contests. The same could be said in regard to life. In fact, the Spirit had the “wise man” pen the Words we find in Ecclesiastes 9:5 that we are to “give it our all” while we occupy this earth. When you think of it, that is the only period in which these things can happen. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. Sounds like we are to put our full efforts into whatever we endeavor to accomplish in life, doesn’t it?
      The Spirit had Solomon follow this verse with the warning we read in the next two verses.   He had him write: I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. 12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. Ecclesiastes 9:11-12.   We only have a limited time in which to do that which we desire to do as we live.   However, we don’t know “how long” we have. We must “leave it all on the field” every day, as each day could be our last.
       Have we ever considered that Jesus Himself was acutely aware of this? He knew exactly why He came and how His earthly existence would end. In John 9:4 He stated: I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. This is clearly indicated in the New Testament in several places. One of the most quoted of these can be found in James 4:13-14. Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
       But, what to do in the meantime? No doubt we have many things which vie for our time. We all have obligations. We have things which we consider to be of great importance for the good of ourselves and for our family. Again, we rely upon the Lord for direction. As Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6:31 He reminded those Jews: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? Are these things not important? Of course, they are. But Jesus was pointing out that there was something that MUST take precedence over these, because in verses 33-34 He tells us what this is.   But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
     To “seek the kingdom of God” first, was direction for the Jews of that day, to whom Jesus was speaking. The kingdom had not yet come at that time. There was a great deal of work that would need to be done once the kingdom came. In John 4:35 as He spoke to His disciples, Jesus said: Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. He was telling them this because there would be so few laborers to do the needed work of evangelism.   In Matthew 9:37 He told them: The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
     This also holds true today. Folks today are to “seek the kingdom”, and are to become part of it through obedience to the gospel. As they do, they too become “laborers” for the Lord.   In 1Corinthians 3:9a, the Spirit had Paul write regarding himself and Apollos: “For we are labourers together with God . . . “. Paul and Apollos “sowed the seed of the kingdom”, in preaching and teaching the Word of God. They “gave their all” to convert sinners to Christ. In other words, they “left it all on the field”.  
     In 2Timothy 4:2, the Spirit had Paul instruct his young protégé about this. He was directed to write: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. In essence, Timothy was being told: “Leave it all on the field”- “Give it your all”.
     Christians are to do the same today. We are to “leave it all on the field” in service to Him.   We are to give of our absolute best to the Master. Anything less makes us slothful and slovenly.   Did not God give His best when He gave His Son for our benefit? In your service to God, leave it all on the field. Take His message to everyone. Do it while there’s still time! Souls are at stake.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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