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  • Best chapter
  • Best quotes
  • Best illustration
  • Best idea
  • Best take away
  • Recommendation

All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life

Author: Mark Batterson

Publisher: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 2013, 172 pages. Also available in Kindle format (B00BW293KS).

ISBN: 978-0-310-333-005


Batterson, author of the popular book The Circle Maker, implores believers in this new book to exercise the Lordship of Christ in everything. His premise is that grace doesn’t cost anything, but demands everything. It demands placing all that we have into God’s hands. The message is simple: if Jesus is not Lord of all then Jesus is not Lord at all. It’s all or nothing. It’s now or never. Kneeling at the foot of cross of Christ and surrendering to His Lordship is a radical act of dethroning yourself and enthroning Christ as King. The book is filled with vivid, contemporary illustrations as well as biblical characters that portray this biblical truth.

 Best chapter

Chapter 2: The Inverted Gospel

“Most people in most churches think they are following Jesus, but I’m not so sure. They may think they are following Jesus, but the reality is this: they have invited Jesus to follow them. They call Him Savior, but they’ve never surrendered to Him as Lord.” Kindle location 62

“When I invited people to follow Jesus, about 50 percent would typically respond. What’s astounding about that percentage is the simple fact that 100 percent of them thought they were already following Jesus. They weren’t. They had inverted the gospel. They bought in, but they hadn’t sold out. They were half in and half out.” Kindle location 89

“You are only one decision away from a totally different life. Of course, it will probably be the toughest decision you’ll ever make. But if you have the courage to completely surrender yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ, there is no telling what God will do. All bets are off because all bets are on God.” Kindle location 102

“My greatest concern as a pastor is that people can go to church every week of their lives and never go all in with Jesus Christ. They can follow the rules but never follow Christ. I’m afraid we’ve cheapened the gospel by allowing people to buy in without selling out.” Kindle location 132

“You cannot be in the presence of God and be bored at the same time. For that matter, you cannot be in the will of God and be bored at the same time. If you follow in the footsteps of Jesus, it will be anything but boring.” Kindle location 137

Best quotes

“Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. Faithfulness is not holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of hell.” Kindle location 47

“We’re too Christian to enjoy sin and too sinful to enjoy Christ. We’ve got just enough Jesus to be informed, but not enough to be transformed.” Kindle location 196

“This may seem counterintuitive, but I’m convinced it’s true: the key to self-fulfillment is self-denial. Self-denial is shorthand for delayed gratification. And by delay, I don’t mean days or months or years. I mean a lifetime. Our delayed gratification on earth translates into eternal glory in heaven.” Kindle location 210

“But in God’s upside-down economy, our logic is backward. You ultimately lose whatever you keep and you ultimately keep whatever you lose for the cause of Christ.” Kindle location 222

“In the eyes of God, little things are big things. And I’ve learned that if we do the little things like they are big things, then God will do big things like they are little things. That is how the kingdom of God advances. Going all in means the courage to not look back.” Kindle location 340

“God tests us for two primary reasons. First, it’s an opportunity for God to prove Himself to us. Second, it’s an opportunity for us to prove ourselves to God. That’s why we should consider it joy when we experience trials.” Kindle location 406

“One of my recurrent prayers is this: Lord, don’t let my gifts take me farther than my character can sustain me. As we cultivate the gifts God has given us, we can begin to rely on those gifts instead of relying on God. That’s when our greatest strength becomes our greatest weakness.” Kindle location 436

“God-ordained dreams aren’t just born. They are reborn. If they become more important to you than God, you have to sacrifice them for the sake of your soul. You have to put them on the altar and raise the knife. And once the dream is dead and buried, it can be resurrected for God’s glory.” Kindle location 459

“I’d rather have one God-idea than a thousand good ideas. Good ideas are good, but God-ideas change the course of history. You can get good ideas in a lot of different places — classrooms, conferences, and bookstores. But God-ideas only come from one place — the Holy Spirit Himself.” Kindle location 470

“Most of us get stuck spiritually because we keep doing the same thing while expecting different results. Spiritual routines are a crucial part of spiritual growth, but when the routine becomes routine, you need to change it. What got you to where you are may not get you to where God wants you to go next.” Kindle location 613

“The anointing is difficult to define, but here’s my take. The anointing is the difference between what you can do and what God can do. It’s the place where the power of God and the favor of God intersect. It’s the difference between the natural and the supernatural. It’s the difference between the temporal and the eternal. It’s the difference between success and failure.” Kindle location 690

“Pharisees treat people based on past performance. Prophets treat people based on future potential. Pharisees give people something to live down to. Prophets give people something to live up to. Pharisees write people off.” Kindle location 857

“Prophets write people in. Pharisees see sin. Prophets see the image of God. Pharisees give up on people. Prophets give them a second chance.” Kindle location 860

“We wonder why we’re bored with our faith. It’s because we’re holding out. We want joy without sacrifice. We want character without suffering. We want success without failure. We want gain without pain. We want a testimony without the test. We want it all without going all out for it.” Kindle location 925

“In God’s kingdom, calling trumps credentials every time! God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. And the litmus test isn’t experience or expertise. It’s availability and teachability. If you are willing to go when God gives you a green light, He will take you to inaccessible places to do impossible things.” Kindle location 1365

“The good news is this: you are only one decision away from a totally different life. One risk can revolutionize your life. One change can change everything. If you start small and stay consistent, anything is possible. A 1 percent change, given enough time, can make a 99 percent difference in your life. But you cannot leave change to chance.” Kindle location 1491

“Soli Deo Gloria is the Rosetta Stone that makes life make sense. It’s not about success and failure. It’s not about good days and bad days. It’s not about wealth or poverty. It’s not about health or sickness. It’s not even about life or death. It’s about glorifying God in whatever circumstance you find yourself in.” Kindle location 1511

“If you go all in and all out for the cause of Christ, there will be setbacks along the way. But remember this: without a crucifixion there can be no resurrection! And when you have a setback, you do not take a step back, because God is already preparing your comeback.” Kindle location 1608

“No matter how we slice it, sin leaves us with the short end of the stick. Sin always overpromises and underdelivers, while righteousness pays dividends for eternity. Yet we sell out for one marshmallow now instead of holding out for two marshmallows later. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. Samson sold his secret for a one-night stand. Judas sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver.” Kindle location 1981

“There never has been and never will be anyone like you, but that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. And that means no one can worship God like you or for you. You are absolutely irreplaceable in God’s grand scheme. And God is jealous for you — all of you.” Kindle location 2137

“There is nothing God cannot do in and through a person who is fully consecrated to Him. We want to do amazing things for God, but that isn’t our job. That’s God’s job. Our job is to fully surrender all that we have and all that we are to the Lord Jesus Christ. And if we do our job, God will most certainly do His.” Kindle location 2667

Best illustration

“The more God blesses you, the harder it is to keep that blessing from becoming an idol in your life. Money may be the best example. The more money you make, the harder it is to trust Almighty God and the easier it is to trust the Almighty Dollar. Isn’t it ironic that “In God We Trust” is printed on the very thing we find it most difficult to trust God with? If you are financially blessed, it is a gift from God. But God doesn’t financially bless us so we can use it selfishly to acquire more things. He blesses us more so we can be more of a blessing.” Kindle location 510

 Best idea

“Even if there are no reinforcements and you’re out of ammunition, you need to charge the problem, charge the dream, charge the goal. Quit making excuses! Look for opportunities. Stop playing defense and start playing offense. You need to charge your marriage. You need to charge your finances. You need to charge your health. You need to charge your addiction. You need to charge your children. You need to charge your goals. You need to charge kingdom causes. You need to charge.” Kindle location 378

 Best take away

“Stop trying to do God’s job for Him. You don’t have to do amazing things. You can’t do amazing things. Amazing always begins with consecration. It’s the catalyst behind every spiritual growth spurt, every kingdom cause, and every revival. And just as amazing always begins with consecration, consecration always ends with amazing.” Kindle location 141


Are you wavering in your total commitment to Christ, even though you have been in ministry for quite a while? Are you looking for a fresh look on the theme of what it means to live under the Lordship of Christ, either for yourself or for others? If so, you will find this book inspiring you, or others you know, to a life of full surrender to Him.

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