Vol. 7, No. 12
~ Page 18 ~
"In it to win it" is an expression used everywhere to punctuate our language from references to sports teams, sales forces, fast food crews and nearly every other group activity imaginable. "In it to win it" often refers not only to a group's determination to be the best it can be and the most successful possible, but "in it to win it" characterizes each individual group member's mindset and contribution to achieving the anticipated goal.
As Christians and component parts of the church belonging to Jesus Christ, are we "in it to win it" religiously? How much activity for the Lord and with the Gospel would characterize a local congregation were each member clearly "in it to win it"? Above all others, Christians need to be "in it to win it"!
Otherwise and using biblical wording, one might say he has "whole heart" religion. "Whole heart" religion leads one to not only praise God, but to unreservedly and actively serve God, too. "I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works" (Psalm 9:1). The original language word for "whole heart" here includes one's emotions and intellect, plus suggests the deepest organ and center; from the deepest most internal part of our being we ought to fully worship and serve our God.
"Whole heart" religion leads one to enthusiastically and unconditionally worship God in his own appointed way. "Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation" (Psalm. 111:1; 119:145). The original language word for "whole heart" here means the whole or all; hence, "whole heart" religion is in no way partial but all encompassing passion. We must worship God with our whole being.
"Whole heart" religion leads one to not hedge but fully embrace the commandments of God. "Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart" (Psalm 119:2, 10, 34). "Whole heart" religion faithfully practiced permits mere mortals to appeal to the mercy of God. "I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word" (Psalm 119:58).
An outward pretension in place of "whole heart" religion is miserable folly. "And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 3:10). God planned through the church that Christians would practice "whole heart" religion better than had Judah of old. "And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart" (Jeremiah 24:7; cf. Hebrews 9:10-13.).
Brethren, "Let us draw near [to God] with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22). Unless as a child of God you are "in it to win it," you do not have "whole heart" religion.