Occaisionally someone will say something that is so simple it's profound. My hubby said something in his sermon on Sunday that just hit me between the eyes. It was so simple, yet it has the potential to be life changing! And he isn't even related to Yogi Berra!
"ALL IS NOT SOME"
That's what he said, "all is not some", but if you think about it in Biblical terms, it's so simple, it's profound!
We throw that word around in the English language a lot, but we rarely comprehend it as "ALL". We have "All" detergent, but it doesn't really clean "all" stains. I might say to my son, pick up "all" your toys. To him that means pick up as many toys as you think you have to in order to satisfy Mom. I may tell my kids to put away "all" their clothes. To them that includes everything except the hoodies that need hung in a closet. If they come home and want to grab a snack out of a container that was half full yesterday but only has a few left in it today, they say "who ate 'all' the snacks???" Some clubs, societies and sadly, even churches advertise "all" are welcome, but that is rarely true. In our society, "all" is relative, it seems.
But when "all" is used in scripture, that's an entirely different thing. God means what He says, so when He uses the word "all", it means "the whole amount, quantity, or extent of, as much as possible, every member or individual component of, the whole number or sum of , every, any, whatever, completely taken up with, given to, or absorbed by." So as we think about the "alls" in scripture they become beautifully simple. All means all, not some. And there are a lot of "alls" in scripture that happen to reside in some very powerful promises!
I believe that it's necessary for this to be simple because of whom it was written to. Afterall, God did say that "all" men are stupid", meaning that we, even at our best, are idiots compared to Him. But further meditation on the ramifications of the "alls" in scripture, transform them into something completely profound because they are written by Almighty God and nothing He does is less than that.
Take this scripture for example:
God forgives ALL our sins. Not some, not just the big ones, but ALL. He wipes the slate completely clean!
God heals ALL our diseases. Not just some, not just for some, but He heals ALL and for ALL!
God executes righteousness and judgement for ALL that are oppressed!
Do you see how life could change if you truly believe that God meant what He said?
Of course, there is the other side of this. Salvation might be free but it costs everything to have. I explain it to my kids this way. If someone gave us a brand new car, it would be ours and it wouldn't cost us a penny to get it. But, it would cost us to keep it. We would have to buy a license, an inspection, insurance, gas and pay for repairs. So even though it was freely given, it is not cheap to own.
We are instructed to love the Lord with ALL our heart, soul, stength and mind. That same definition applies here. Christianity is not casual. We are to love God supremely. That means that our love for Christ is the ruling passion, the supreme thing in our lives. Duplicity of passions cannot exist in the heart of a Christian.
Casual means occuring by chance, hit or miss, without regularity, random. Ferverency for God is not causal. It is hot, seething, boiling, glowing with heat. And the way to remain on fire for God is to stay close to the source--God Himself.
Sadly, many times I have found my Christian walk, "cooling" or "irregular" and I have to run back to the source of fire. There have been times in my Christian walk where my spiritual life has been hit or miss and random, and I have to return to a regular reading of the Word and prayer.
A simple examination of our lives can yield some profound results. Are you as hot for God as you were this time last year? Is your love for Him increasing, staying the same, or posing questions? Do you know Him better than you did this time last year or has your relationship grown common and cool?
Scripture is clear that God demands "ALL" our hearts. There cannot be one spot that is not His, if we want to be called His. We cannot live in sin and consider ourselves His. The Lord "hates "all" that do iniquity." We will not be judged by what we know, or what we feel, we will be judged by what we have done because actions speak louder than words, even in God's economy. What you truly believe is made evident by what you practice in life, and those are the things that you will be judged by in the end.
You see, what you do is tied directly to what you are. When I start doing things that aren't good, I follow it all the way back to heart to find out what is in my heart that is producing this action. If I am having a "down" day, I realize that it's not normal for a Christian, so I follow it all the way back to my heart and very often I find offense or unforgiveness there. Sometimes I just find "me" right in the center of my heart crowding out the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit.
So it is simple--Love God with ALL you are! Thats not a hard thing to grasp. But the outworkings of that love are profound and as limitless and expansive as the heavens. It stretches from the very throne of God to the heart of a believer to the lives of other believers and finally to the world of lost humanity. Afterall, He died for all. How profound! What a mighty God we serve!