"All Things"

I have found that when it comes to studying my Bible, it is important to focus on "all things" in it and not just some. As a matter of fact, when we take "all things" into consideration, we come away with a completely different perspective about our life in Christ and our blessings in Him. Like the Psalmist, we are forced to pause and reflect on God's unchanging truth which should evoke in our hearts a whole range of powerful emotions.

When we take "all things" into consideration, we should be amazed. We should be amazed when we think of our wonderful Savior who spared not His own life, but was delivered up for us all that God with Him might "freely give us all things" (Rom. 8:32). He does not say just some things, but all things. Every Christian is a recipient of a vast reservoir of spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3), sufficient to meet our needs and satisfy our deepest longings. It truly is amazing that the Creator of all things, who is before all things (Col. 1:16-20), who is the Heir of all things and who upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb. 1:2-3) stooped to this sinful scene so that He could reconcile all things to Himself, a reconciliation that included you and me. He gave that we might have. Truly we can say with conviction that it is "Love so amazing, so divine". No wonder we are told that the Lord should have the preeminence in all things (Col. 1:18). Before the Cross, He knew all things before they happened, yet He still "went forth" (John 18:4); while He hung upon the Cross, He waited and then cried out "I thirst" knowing that all things had to be accomplished first (John 19:28); after the Cross, He affirmed to the Emmaus disciples that all things had be fulfilled which were written in the Law and the Prophets concerning Himself (Luke 24:44). Every thing-indeed all things were important in effecting God's eternal plan.

We should be amazed also when it comes to our salvation. We should be amazed that He came to us and sat with us and freely offered us the water of life--the gift of God just as He did with the woman at the well (John 4: 29), even though He knew us and told us all things that ever we did. With this being so, how is it that all things are ours (1 Cor. 3:21), despite the fact that we were alienated in our minds by wicked works and never for a moment deserved this glorious salvation? Furthermore, how can it be that after years of teaching and experience on the path of faith that He still says to us, "Feed My Sheep" even though like Peter we have consciously failed Him? It is a constant battle; at times full surrender to the Lord while at other times totally selfish and fully sinful. Indeed, "the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation" (Ex. 17:16). All we can say is "Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee" (John 21:17). And we do. Certainly God is "greater than our hearts and knows all things" (1 John 3:21), but despite this He still values us because He purchased us with His Son's precious blood and has made a pledge to complete the good work that He began in us. When we consider all that was involved and how He sought us and taught us and brought us along through the years, truly we can say "He hath done all things well (Mark 7:37). We should be amazed!

Not only amazed, but encouraged when we take "all things" into consideration . We should be encouraged because God tells us plainly in His Word that " all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23). The next time we are tempted to think that we cannot do what He asks me to do, we need to remember this special promise and His pointed words to us: " I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?" (Jer. 32:27). Some things are out of our control, but what is not, we need to say to ourselves that with His help, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13). The Lord understands our weaknesses because there is nothing that we have experienced that He has not experienced also since "in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren" (Heb. 2:17). And since we are numbered among the sons of glory (wonder of wonders!), we will one day be like Christ because " all things work together for good to them that love God who are the called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28). We are a part of that purpose and will ultimately overcome and inherit all things (Rev. 21:7) since we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). And when we get discouraged looking at world events, we must keep in mind that even though we do not now see all things under Him, we know that He is able to subdue all things unto Himself (Phil. 3:21) and that indeed one day all things will be put under His feet (Heb. 2:8) having gathered out of His kingdom all things that offend (Matt. 13:41). We should be encouraged!

We should also be challenged when we take "all things" into consideration. To the unsaved, we should be challenged to be " all things to all men" so that they might save some (1 Cor. 9:22). This does not mean participating with them in their sin but what it does mean is getting close enough to make a difference and passionate enough to win a crown. To fellow believers, it means being "temperate in all things" (1 Cor. 9:25) so that we don't offend anyone (including God!). The Apostle Paul said " All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient (1 Cor. 6:12). Therefore, we will want to make every effort to watch our step so that we not come under the power and influence of anything that dilutes our steadfastness for Christ. We will want to be dedicated and well-rounded like the apostle Paul who could boldly and sincerely say to the Ephesian elders, "I have shown you all things" how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Our motives may be impugned; our efforts may be unappreciated, and we may be counted "as the filth of this world and the off scouring of all things (1 Cor. 4:13), but no matter, it is not our reputation that we are looking to preserve, but God's honor instead who wants us to be obedient in " all things" (2 Cor. 2:9) and watchful in all things in order to make full proof of our ministry (2 Tim. 4:5) so that in all things we are approved as ministers of God (2 Cor. 6:4). He whose eyes are a flame of fire is looking at every detail of our lives--not just our public life, but our private life as well to see if we really mean it when we say that we love the Lord. If we do, we will truly be pleasing to Him. Further, we have a responsibility to be disciplined and conscientious since " all things should be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40); a responsibility to give "thanks always for all things" (Eph. 5:20); and a responsibility to do " all things without murmuring and disputing" (Phil. 2:14). If we do, we will have a life characterized by a love that "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (1 Cor. 13:7). We should be challenged!

Finally, when we take "all things" into consideration, we should be motivated. Motivated to take the Good News into all the world because as His ambassadors He has sent us out with the invitation that states clearly: "Come for all things are now ready" (Luke 14:17). There is nothing more that needs to be added to God's free offer of salvation and it can be entered into by anyone who accepts it. But in order to accept it, they need to hear it! We should be motivated because we have a duty to teach the nations to observe all things that He has commanded us (Matt. 28:20) to declare the whole counsel of God and not just the things they want to hear. We should be motivated because we know that the Spirit searches all things, yea the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10) and will work in conjunction with the Word upon people's consciences to glorify Christ and to convict them of sin and righteousness and judgment as His claims are presented to them. And as they look to Him and live, old things will pass away, behold all things will become new (2 Cor 5:17), just as it was with us. We should be motivated!

Well, there are a lot more "things" that we can say, but as you can see, it is important to focus on all things in God's Word and not just some. As we do, we will indeed be amazed, encouraged, challenged, and motivated...and much more--"all things" considered.