What does “all” really mean?

How many times have you heard someone use the phrase “I gave it my all” or “I did all I could?” How many times have we ourselves said those very words? I am willing to bet that it is more than we can count.

According to the Webster dictionary, the three little letters a-l-l denotes the meaning “entirely” or “complete.” It refers to the whole of something. The American Heritage dictionary states that it means “utmost possible” and “ everything given.”  When looking over these definitions, I wonder, do we truly understand the definition of giving “all” to the Lord in our lives?

I often end my prayers, “Lord, I surrender my all for it belongs to you.” But I think this over with caution. Do I truly give him my all? Do I truly understand what that means? Do I truly surrender everything to Him like I should? I must be truthful and say I do not.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

So if “all” means in whole, or to do something in its entirety, can we honestly say we give our all when we do not consult every action we take with the Lord? Sure, most of us pray over our food (at least 98% of the time), and we pray over major decisions like jobs and ministries. However, what about the smaller things in life? I think about something as simple as what I am going to wear each day and what errands I need to run. I often neglect these things and take them for granted. But why shouldn’t I give even those “little” things to the Lord? His Word says to give “A-L-L.” I think about going to a family function or an event. I think about going to the grocery store or to the bank. Sadly, I, more often than not, forget to give these ventures into the Lord’s hands. I fear that by this neglect, I may have missed many opportunities to glorify him.

The word “all” is so simple and only holds three letters, yet the power that exists in it is phenomenal. It doesn’t discriminate against any as the words “mostly,” “some,” and “partially” do. It encompasses everything equally.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23

This verse offers strong conviction in the heart of men. It creates a realization that nobody is an exception to this truth outside of God. It stings because nobody wants to be labeled with such a terrible characteristic, yet nobody can truly be excluded from this statement. Even saved souls come short and are sinners; it is only through Christ that we can be cleansed daily.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

These verses promise us “all things are become new.” What an amazing promise! God doesn’t tell us that some things become new. He doesn’t say certain aspects will become new. He says that “all” will be changed and become new. What does that mean? It means if we are truly living for Christ, we will change. We will begin to inherit the traits of our Lord. We will be of God as “all things are of God.” The ways of the devil, the flesh, and the world will begin to fade. But this cannot happen until we surrender our all to Him in full. God will not force us to give our all, nor will he drag us along the path. God will lead us with a strong hand. And when we surrender our all to him, we will see things we have never seen before!!

When we are given medicine for our ailments, the doctor will say, “You must take it all. Do not discontinue it too soon, or you could relapse.” The prescription is the same for our Christian walks. If we do not give our all, if we stop short of the full amount, we could relapse back into our worldly ways. We could slide back into our deep ailments of sin. We must take the doctor’s orders and give our all in order to defeat the infection that could destroy the body. We must allow God to make us new again.

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