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All in All

by Kezzia Keener

It’s not like he didn't have everything. Power, popularity, and approval followed the steps of this Pharisee who outwardly lived a blameless life (according to the righteousness stipulated in the law). This suited him fine—he wanted esteem, honor, and greatness—and he didn't hesitate to pull others down in order to gain a higher position for himself. But everything changed when this man, a “Hebrew of Hebrews,” came face to face with glory and saw himself as he really was: a sinner in need of grace.

And so it was that Saul become Paul; the persecutor became the persecuted; and the proud self-server became the humble servant of God. Love had transformed Paul's heart, and Christ had made Paul His own. Now Paul sought only to know Christ and to be found in Him. He left everything he knew to follow His new Master.

Total transformation? Yes, but even those words seem too weak to describe such a radical change. Now, instead of the Christians trembling when Saul came to town, the Jews and Gentiles cried at his approach, “They that have turned the world upside down are come here also!” (See Acts 17:6.)

For weeks, I've wrestled with Paul's concept of counting “all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8). Well, not with the concept—it’s not a new one—but with how to make it practical in my life. For as long as I can remember, I've known that Christ needed to be my all in all, and I've sung songs that declared that He was. But I wonder now if I ever really understood what making Him my all requires. Paul threw aside everything that brings worldly success to follow a simple carpenter from Nazareth; but what I have given to make Christ mine?

It’s a hard question to ask, and harder still to answer. It's made me realize that there is still much in my life that competes for God’s place, and I've been reminded that I can have either all of God or none of Him—there’s no halfway ground. I've been challenged to truly and completely make Christ my all and to seek nothing but to be found in Him.

And that’s what I intend to do. Of course, it won’t be easy and on my own I’d only fail, but I’m not worried. God is able to work His purposes out in me, and in Him is the strength that I need. It’s no unfair trade for me. I may have to leave everything I hold dear, but I gain Christ and everything He has to offer. That’s way more than anything I could ever give up!

Won't you join me in making Him your "all in all"?

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