The Winning Hand (4 of 4) by James Merritt

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The Winning Hand (4 of 4)
Series: All In
James Merritt
1 Corinthians 9:19-23


1. Of all the jewelry that people can buy and people can wear the coolest piece of jewelry to me is the ring that professional athletes get to wear when they win their world champion. Yes, they are gaudy, big, showy, bold and audacious, but I have seen them up close and they are just plain cool. After winning the Super Bowl a few years ago, the New York Giants got their rings. It looked like this [Show 1st picture of ring from the top] There are four diamond-studded trophies representing the four championships the Giants have won over the years. Since their primary color is blue it is also surrounded by blue sapphires.

2. What made this, to me, one of the coolest Super Bowl rings of all is what is inscribed on the inside [Show 2nd picture] All In! Since I'm teaching a sermon series with these words I feel like they ought to send me a complimentary ring (just kidding!)

3. Seriously, they put that inside their ring to remind every teammate that the reason they won that championship is because everybody on that team went ''all-in'' for everybody else.

4. We are concluding a series today called ''All-In'' that I hope in one sense will never end for any of us. When someone playing Poker believes they have the wining hand they go all-in; they bet the ranch, they cash out, they lay everything on the line and they empty their pockets.

5. There is one big difference between going all-in in poker and going all in in life for Jesus Christ. When you go all-in for Jesus, when you decide to become and all in and an all-out follower of Jesus Christ you do it not just for Christ, but you do it for those who don't know Christ. In fact, the very first message of this series taught us that when you go all in for Christ you take self completely out of the picture. Remember our theme verse:
''He said to all, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up hi ...

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