All in All

We who profess and hold the precious faith of Christ in truth, do we also make him our all in all? By our tongue he may be heard, but in our lives and deeds, is he to be found? As Savior many will own him, but as Lord few do know him. Almost anything shall come before him. Too many desire a hound, or flower in the garden, a new suit or fashionable clothes, and such other trifles as their all in all. Great is the power that mammon has in the world. In the hours of sickness let Nabal call and cry unto it, and see if it can deliver him in distress of conscience. Let Judas see what comfort his money will afford him in the day of death and judgment. Does not experience teach us to cry out ‘all is vanity’? Let Christ be in all our desires and wishes, and all the haberdash—stuff the whole world has is not worthy to be valued with this jewel. Few have even some faint and languid wish: ‘O that Christ were mine!’; but he will not be found by such that seek him but lazily and coldly, and yet desire all the world besides. He that desires anything above him, equally with him, or without him, shall never obtain him. He will be won only when you seek him with all your soul and strength or he will not be won at all. Embrace him with both your arms of love. All of your rivers of desire together should not form a current as strong as your love for him. He suffered all for you; he should be your all in all without any fival for affection. O what a difficult virtue is this when it comes to actually practicing it, to neglect all the glistering lures and temptations of the flesh and let him be in all our joys! The whole of our duty as men is to give ourselves wholly to Christ—soul, spirit, and body, and all that is within us—dedicating and devoting ourselves to his service all the days of our lives.

– Samuel Ward, Sermons, as quoted in Voices from the Past, ed. Richard Rushing, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009).

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