OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
“My all.” The words involve an enormous commitment. The words must also encompass a very significant endeavor. “My all” refers to my body, my mind, my money, my talents, my time, and my life. “My all” encompasses everything. “My all” excludes nothing.
Only a handful of individuals have ever given their all to anything significant. It is difficult to give. We all have the desire to keep back a little something for self. In many causes, this is acceptable. “My all” in these causes only means “the majority of myself.” However, this lack of giving all causes us to misunderstand the true meaning of the words “my all.”
In Philippians 3:7-8, the apostle Paul writes: “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Twice, this man of God declares that he lost “all things” for Christ. He kept back nothing for himself. Paul was willing to give his all for Jesus. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
As Christians, we, too, are to give our all for the Master. First, this is what He desires. “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29-30). Behind all of God’s commands are His desires for our lives. When Jesus reveals the “first command,” He uses four words to denote the whole of man: heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus does not want us to be torn in our loyalties. He knows that serving two masters is impossible. It was Jesus who affirmed that “no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammom” (Matt. 6:24).
Second, the Lord demands my all. The Lord commanded Israel, saying: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exo. 20:3). When Satan attempted to get Jesus to worship him, Jesus responded with this powerful statement: “Get thee hence Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10). Our allegiance is to be given to none other than God. All of our service is to be rendered to God. Dear readers, these are God’s desires, but they are more than that. They are His demands. This is what He has commanded of us. It is a demand that has been placed upon our lives.
Third, the Lord delights in my all. On one occasion in the life of Christ, He watched as people cast money into the treasury. “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing” (Mark 12:42). When this woman put in her offering, Jesus was delighted with the gift. In fact, He called attention to this sacrificial woman before His disciples. “And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they that cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:43-44). Twice Jesus used the word “all” in His assessment of this woman’s gift: “all that she had” and “even all her living.” He did not allow her generosity to go unnoticed. No, it delighted Him. He held her up as an example to be imitated. When anyone gives all to the Lord, the Lord is delighted and recognizes their sacrifice. Remember, when Stephen gave all, the Lord stood on the right hand of God (Acts 7:55).
Fourth, the Lord deserves my all. The word “deserves” means “to merit, to qualify for, to be worthy of.” Why is God worthy of our all? Because, He gave His all. He gave His only begotten Son for us (John 3:16). It pleased the Father to bruise Him and put Him to grief and to make His soul an offering of sin on our behalf (Isa. 55:10). He made Him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor. 5:21). This redemption price merits our all. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:20).
“My all.” It is a huge expenditure. Some have never grasped the significance of the words. Some believe that it is too much. Some understand the words, but also struggle with giving all. Still others push themselves every day to give all to the Lord. It is a huge cost. The Lord encourages us all to count the cost. “And whosever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27-33). Yes, we must count the cost. If the cost concerns you, please think about this: “What will the cost be of not giving your all?”