Take it ALL in

When deciphering the Bible, almost every word packs a hefty meaning. Small, seemingly insignificant words can leave me with a feeling of awe and wonder at God’s power and enormity. Every time I am reminded of one of those deep meanings, I revel in how much God loves me and every single person. Let’s take a look at the common words ALWAYS and ALL.


When Jesus commissioned the disciples, He said, “And be sure of this: I am with you ALWAYS, ev

en to the end of the age.” In all of those times when we don’t think we can handle our stress, we absolutely can because Jesus is with us ALWAYS — in every second of our lives. And because He is stro

Proverbs 30:5 (NLT) says: Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.

ng and right beside us, we know we are supported 100 percent and we will not fail. We just need to realize that He IS HERE for us!

With respect to our Lord and all He is, Psalm 105:4 (NIV) reminds us to “ALWAYS” see Him in whatever we are doing, thinking, saying. “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face ALWAYS.” When we do this, we put our selfish desires aside and do God’s will. In everything we do, we should see God’s hands all over it.


The other word that needs more attention is ALL. When I read Deuteronomy 6:5: “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your strength.” I have read this verse hundreds of times and thought, “I got it, I will do my best to love God a lot.” Then I realized that ALL doesn’t mean “a lot,” it means 100 percent. 100 PERCENT!!! 

That means when God is telling you to help someone with a flat tire on a Friday night after work, you do it. If he’s telling you to give up your Saturday golf game to help a widow with yard work, you do it. If you have negative thoughts toward someone, you change them to positive thoughts and pray for them. If you see someone walking along with arms loaded down with groceries, give them a ride. That’s right. In a world where we are worried about our safety, you still help. Do these things and watch your happiness grow. You may think that giving up something will be hard. It is, but what you will find out is that God gives back. Helping someone will actually help your mental health. Hats off to those people who give up their entire lives to serve God by serving others.

Again, God uses ALL in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT): “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in ALL you do, and He will show you which path to take.” Here God is reminding us that our ALL is to Him exclusively. ALL does not include our own understanding. If we give our every day lives to God, He will guide us through choices, big or small. And you will be surprised at how pleased you are to do His will. His will is good!

1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NLT) employs both ALL and ALWAYS together.  “See that no one pays back evil for evil, but ALWAYS TRY to do good to each other and to ALL people. This verse gives us a little grace because ALWAYS is followed by TRY. God knows we are human and cannot be perfect followers all the time.  However, as believers, He expects us to try our best. How about making it a goal to show grace to everyone, just like we are given grace from above?

You can read through the Bible quickly to get the gist of it, but if you slow down and linger on Scripture, you will experience the bounty of God’s love in ordinary words. Make it a challenge to dissect every seemingly insignificant word of Scripture and you will unveil a deeper, more fulfilling meaning than you could ever imagine.  Roses are beautiful, but if you stop and smell them, you capture their essence. 

Dispelling Doubts of Christianity

In talking to close friends about why they don’t believe in God, I discovered several causes for their unbelief, which are fairly rational.  Christianity has been a foundation in my family for many generations, so it is easy for me to believe the Bible is the Word of God.  On the contrary, the many who are not raised knowing God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have a high hurdle in trying, or even desiring, to grasp such an existence.  Consequently, we, who are in the know, should help them!

Easier said than done, right!?!  Avoidance of awkward conversation is my biggest although invalid — reason, that has kept me from telling others about Christianity.  But, probably like most Christians, the Holy Spirit nags at me until I do what He says.  It has taken me several years to dial up the courage to talk to many nonbelievers.  But, I have realized that I have nothing to lose and many to try to save.  A big nudge from my pastor motivated me when he said, “If we don’t tell people about the Gospel, we must not like them very much.”  Ouch!

The facts are there!

For so many, a Bible was nowhere to be found in their childhood home, so they don’t give It a second thought.  And, they may have had a bad experience with a church or churchgoer and have written off God entirely.  They may have heard a few of the Biblical accounts — Creation, Noah, David and Goliath — and think of them as just made-up, entertaining stories to teach morality.  Or, they may consider the Bible just a collection of children’s stories.  

But when you dive into Scripture, you can see how the material is amazingly interwoven and cross referenced forward and backward over many centuries.  God foretelling our unbelief is apparent, as He included facts: genealogies, names of historically well-known kings and government officials, and precise geographic locations.  Our doubtful minds can say, “Hmm, there is a lot of evidence that points to the Bible being true.” 

To further support the idea that God desires to squelch our disbelief, in the New Testament, Jesus says things happen so that the Old Testament prophecies will be fulfilled, and the reader can inherently believe the Bible is true. After studying God’s Word — which many scientists (Albert Einstein, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, and even more including Charles Darwin) have discovered — you will see that it is undeniable!

The Bible stands the test of time

The Bible is the oldest text known to man, making it an extremely ancient historic work which may seem archaic when reading it, especially the older versions of the Bible.  Keep in mind that the oldest book was written over 3,000 years ago and the newest 1,900 years ago, when obviously, the culture and writing style were way different.  Thus, critiquing the Bible according to today’s standards is not a fair comparison.  (However, most of the benchmark actions that are viewed as evil in today’s times, will also be scorned by God.)  So take your time reading and researching those rabbit-trail questions and God’s wisdom will pour into your soul.  

My best friend from college recently told me about her experience with first opening up the Bible.  At a very low point in her life, she fell to her knees and felt a call to read the Bible.  She was out of options.  She started at the beginning in Genesis and thought, “What in the world?”  But, God spoke to her and said, “It’s OK.  Keep reading.”  Now she is a firm believer!

Thankfully, we have new versions that bring old text to today’s use of language, which makes the Bible much easier to comprehend.  It has been around for over three millennia and has been confirmed to have held on to original meaning after all those translations.  It’s importance is evident in the fact that it’s the No. 1 selling book of all time at 5 billion copies sold, with the next one in the far distance, selling around 1 billion.

God is good.  People, not always

If you put a blindfold on to God’s existence, then you are missing out on a fulfilled life!  If you sit back and think everything there is to learn about Christianity will just come to you, like on the news or tidbits here and there, you couldn’t be further from the truth.  Recently, I was talking to a long-time friend who said she doesn’t see a reason to believe because so many church leaders commit wretched acts.  Unfortunately, most of those reports are probably correct.   

The Bible addresses these transgressions.  The Old Testament features God’s own people, the Israelites, whom He chose as an exemplary nation to show others how blessed they were because of their faith.  However, with human’s inherent nature, they still fell to sin following other gods and doing despicable acts.  Nonetheless, they would return to God time and time again, repenting their sins and realizing His way gives them a more satisfying life! 

God’s knowledge of our sinful ways continues in some New Testament letters that encourages churches to cleave to righteousness or scolds them about corruption among members.  Thus, church leaders falling into sin is not a new issue.  In fact, sin even happened in heaven, which is how Lucifer, aka Satan, was kicked out (Isaiah 14:12-15)!  Jesus, the perfect teacher, would never do such evil acts, nor does He condone it — but He still loves us even when we sin — as you can read in the Bible.  He is our model of a perfect human that we can strive to be more like.  He is love and goodness!   

Many churches are amazing and follow Jesus’ example whole-heartedly.  They serve as missionaries and support mission work all over the globe helping thousands, if not millions of suffering people.  They also serve the community through homeless shelters, food bank donations, community outreach programs such as Vacation Bible School, and service projects like home repair, yard cleanup and meals.  Without our churches today, the world would be a much sadder place.

Seen as another fantasy

Yet another friend just sees Christianity as a fantasy, much like Greek mythology.  I just have this to say, “Look closer!”  The Bible is an impeccable historic account of events, prophecies, proverbs, poetry, parables, miracles, teachings and more that all relate to one another.  And, we have the Dead Sea Scrolls to support the Bible’s legitimacy.  Because the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in the New Testament and the NT references the OT, there HAS to be an overseeing/directing creator, which God, in fact, says that the Bible is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17), meaning the words came from Him.

That same friend argues science.  But, in fact, the Bible and science work together.  For every scientific dispute he introduced, the Bible has an answer.  There’s a good reason why it’s the best-selling book of all time — it goes deeper into history than any other book and it’s full of truth!  And, guess what?  You can be a scientist and a Christian at the same time!

Dig in!

If you still think Christianity is nonsense, all you have to do is talk to a Christian friend, call a pastor or check out a grounded church online or in person.  You can also go online and research articles.  Beware of this though, because you will find information that tries to unravel Christianity at its core.  But, I challenge you to take on those articles and find the holes in their arguments.  I have done this and it strengthens my faith even more!  Have an open mind.  Think of theology as a subject to study, just like history or science, and you will be able to better absorb what you are reading.  

In reading the Bible a while, you will discover that the whole text points to Jesus saving us from our sins.  He came to earth to show us love and that we can have eternal life if we believe in Him and follow Him.  If you have that stirring in you that lets you know when you have done something wrong and also gives you joy when you do something out of love, then that is the Holy Spirit working in you to awaken you to the Way.  After you accept Christ as your Savior — meaning because of His love for us, He came to save us so we can live eternally in heaven — then you belong to Him and will desire to tell others the Good News!

So, what have you got to lose?  Well, you have your life and potentially many more lives around you.  You have NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to gain!