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For such a small word, all packs a huge punch. The word can be seen on detergent boxes, heard in songs and poems, and sermonized about by politicians who assure us that, “All this country needs is…” I am convinced that many times the person speaking has not given real consideration to what the word means.

The question must be asked, how much exactly is all? On the face of it, all means – well – all. A question: if a room is filled with as assorted of items, say furniture, and you are told that everything must be removed – how many items must go? The answer is of course – all. In life, our choices and decisions are rarely this cut and dried; the hard work of sorting and sifting through the necessary and pseudo-necessary is often confusing and frustrating. The dictates of family, faith, finances and so forth can cause us to withhold pieces and parts of ourselves in an effort to maintain a semblance of control.

So, how much of us does God want? Consider: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [FN]Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5*

God wants all of us: mind, body and soul. We cannot compartmentalize ourselves and give God only what we want Him to have. On occassion, we try to bargain and barter with God, giving Him an hour or so on Sunday, but the rest of the week belongs to us. We will give our money, but only what's left over after a shopping spree. God has blessed us with homes, cars, friends – life, but we sometimes withhold our praise and thanksgiving because things haven’t worked out exactly as we want. A former pastor once said what it really comes down to is whether we trust God with our lives, our families, our finances, etc. Are we truly willing to let go and allow God to be Lord of our lives?

For me, it has come down to this: if I cannot or will not trust God for the simple things, how can I say that I trust Him for the promise of eternity? If I say that God is my Strength and Redeemer, then why do I cling so tightly to what is momentary in lieu of what is eternal? My resolution this year is to let God have control over my life. I resolve to let Him in on my decision making – both large and small and to trust that He knows what is best for me.

I give Him my all.

Amen and amen.

*New International Version

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