All of You

When asked to explain the impact of his life, William Booth, who founded the Salvation Army, replied in one striking phrase: “Jesus Christ has all of me.”

There was nothing presumptuous or proud in that response. It was simply the only way Booth could explain why it was that he, an ordinary man of insubstantial means, had been used in such a remarkable way and had had such a remarkable impact at that particular point in history.

What would it mean for Jesus Christ to have all of you?

At the beginning of Romans 12, after eleven glorious chapters celebrating the salvation from sin that God wrought at the cross and His sovereign mercy in electing a people for Himself, Paul issues the call to those who are trusting Christ to commit 100 percent of themselves—body, mind, and spirit—to the Lord Jesus Christ. The word he uses for “appeal” here comes from the Greek logikos, which gives us our word “logical.” In other words, his exhortation is not based on emotion or manipulation. Rather, Paul is making a rational, urgent entreaty to his readers, all on the strength of God’s mercy.

There is no dimension of our humanity that is not affected by our willful rebellion against God. Yet by His mercy, God doesn’t count His people’s sins against them, and He has withheld the condemnation we deserve. Instead, He has taken our sins and counted them against His only beloved Son.

If we ignore the “by the mercies of God” part out of this appeal, we immediately go wrong. This is a call to people who have received God’s enabling grace to offer up their lives—not so they might be accepted but on account of the fact that they are already accepted. This plea is for those of us who have already been set free by grace to become all that God intends for us to be, wholly devoted to Him.

God doesn’t ask us to offer our money or possessions. He wants us to offer not less than these, but more: our very selves. All that we are, all that we think, all that we feel, all that we do, and all that we know—offering this to the God who has given His Son for us is the only logical response to His mercy. When we give all of ourselves to God, all our capacities, as limited as they are, can be used for His glory and purposes. The Christian life comes with no option for half measures or holding back. It is an all-in life.

There is something glorious about the kind of commitment that says, “I’m putting the whole thing in.” If you will go all in, then there’s no limit to what will happen in and through you. Will you be the kind of person who can say, “Jesus Christ has all of me”?

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

%d bloggers like this: