All In, All The Time

Then the king [Josiah] sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.  And Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.” 2 Chronicles 34:29-33

It is hard to read this passage without the “alls” jumping out and awakening holy desire for a comprehensive overhaul. “When he was yet a boy, [Josiah] began to seek God,” and he reigned over Judah with the highest standards and care. When the law of God was found in the temple, he responded to its words with humility and contrition for his nation’s erring ways, and led them in earnest recommitment to God and His commands. I imagine the difference this revival made in the country– in worship, in attitude toward work and fellow citizens, in behavior and service to others, generosity, mutual respect, moral and physical health. Neighbor to neighbor, home by home, as all the people applied this word, cooperation and harmony and fruitfulness and joy increased.

White steeple w cross

What alls is Jesus asking of me today? When I give all my attention to all I read from His word, all my affection to Him my Lord, all my heart and soul to His will, and ask Him to remove all my ugly thoughts and ways and tendencies, much is transformed. Laying aside selfishness, outlook is rosier, vision broader. Conversation becomes more pleasant and meaningful, work and serving are energized, tone of voice is gentler, expressions are softer, compassion is deeper, love for others is purified and multiplied, and giving is more lavish. All is elevated to loftier living.

“All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All my being’s ransomed pow’rs;
All my thoughts and words and doings, All my days and all my hours.                                    Let my hands perform His bidding; Let my feet run in His ways;
Let mine eyes see Jesus only; Let my lips speak forth His praise.”                                         ~Mary Dagworthy James (1810-1883)

Oh Lord, may all my hours be spent for You, Your good purposes, Your glory. May all my heart beat for You and all my soul be sealed for You all my days, that all I encounter see You and want to know You.

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