Sunday, October 28, 2012

All to Jesus

All to Jesus: A Year of Devotions
By Robert J. Morgan
B&H Publishing Group, Nashville TN, 2012
380 pages

All to Jesus is a book of one-page devotions for each day of the year. They are not dated, so they can be used over and over. Each day has a Bible reading, a verse excerpted from that Scripture, and a short devotional. For instance, Day 19's reading is Isaiah 38:15-20 and excerpts verse 17 ("You have thrown all my sins behind your back"), with a reflection on forgiving ourselves for past moments we can't change.

What distinguishes this devotional is that each of the Scriptures uses the word "all." Author Robert Morgan, who has previously written Then Sings My Soul, 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart, The Children's Daily Devotional Bible and other books, is a long-time pastor in Nashville, and believes that the frequency with which "all" appears in the Bible must indicate its importance. He explains this in a Question and Answer (reprinted with permission from Robert J. Morgan, All to Jesus).

Can you tell us how your new devotional, All to Jesus, came into being?

One night when I was troubled, I found 1 Peter 5:7, a verse of Scripture I had known for years: Casting all your care on Him for He cares for you. The word "all" struck me. I'd never seen it before. The verse would have been wonderful without it, but its inclusion lifted the promise to infinity. No burden or problem was beyond the reach of 1 Peter 5:7. I could cast "ALL" my burdens on Him without limitation. That made me wonder if there were other verses in the Bible that were similarly modified with that little adjective and I found over 5000 of them. We selected 366 "alls" for this book.

What is “the largest little word in all the world” and why do you think so?

Someone said: "All means all and that's all all means." We often use the word "omni" to describe God — He is omnipresent, omnipotent and so forth. The little word "all" is the earthly application of God's omni-qualities. It takes His infinite nature and shows us what it means to us here and now. The Lord doesn’t waste words in His Book. In the verses above, the alls could easily have been left out; yet there they are. Seems it’s one of God’s favorite words. He used it thousands of times, often in passages that would have read nicely without it; yet the all maximizes the meaning to the absolute. It’s the largest little word in the world, taking already-strong statements and broadening their applications to virtual infinity, which, after all, is what one would expect from an omnipotent Father.

How many times is “all” mentioned in the Bible? Why do you believe God uses the word so frequently?

The word “all” appears in the Bible 5,675 times. God loves to speak in all-encompassing superlatives because He is eternal and infinite. According to 2 Corinthians 9:8, He is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

What are a few of your favorite “all” verses and why?

All things work together for the good of those who love God—Romans 8:28
You have thrown all my sins behind Your back—Isaiah 38:17
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted—Matthew 10:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart—Matthew 22:37
Trust in the Lord with all your heart—Proverbs 3:5-6
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened—Matthew 11:28
Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life—Psalm 23:6 (NIV)
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you—Matthew 6:33

What do you hope readers will take away from their daily readings of All to Jesus?

Each of these devotions is excerpted from my pulpit ministry and represents what I believe to be solid exposition of Scripture, sprinkled liberally with stories, quotes and interesting tidbits of truth. Each reading calls us to total faith and total obedience, based on the totality of God’s grace. Because He is our All in All, we can say, “All to Jesus.”

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