Since I’m milking this whole alphabet theme for all it’s worth, I thought I’d take it one step further. I’m going to share some of my favorite words (in English) in the Bible.
Here are the rules:
1) Go alphabetically, but leave out k, q, x, and z, to keep in step with the 22 letter Hebrew alphabet. Besides, there are no words in the Bible that start with X, except for King Xerxes, and he was not a favorite.
2) Use only small words, four letters or less.
3) Change the rules when necessary.
A is for ALL
The Bible is full of absolute words: all, every, always, never, only, whosoever. None of God’s promises contain words like sometimes, maybe, usually, probably, on the off-chance, once-in-a-while. He is not a now-and-then, half-and-half God. He proved He is “all in” when He sent His Son as a sacrifice to rescue us. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32)
Just think how differently the Holy Scriptures would sound if the word “all” was exchanged for less comprehensive words.
And we know that in SOME things God works for the good… (Rom. 8:28)
I PROBABLY won’t leave you or forsake you….. (Heb. 13:5)
I will be with you SOMETIMES, MAYBE to the end of the age….. (Matt. 28:20)
My God will meet A FEW of your needs ONCE-IN-A-WHILE…. (Phil. 4:19)
Instead, we get promises like this: “And God is able to make ALL grace abound to you, so that in ALL things, at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in EVERY good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8)
When PB and I stood before our family and friends on our wedding day, we made some absolute promises that are still in effect 40 years later. The only limit put on those vows was “until death do us part”. If I had said, “I’ll love and cherish you for a while…” or “Yes to the ‘for better, for richer, in health’ part, but about that ‘for worse, for poorer, in sickness’ part — well, we’ll see”. Those half-hearted vows would’ve left gaping loopholes for a quick escape when the worst day came or the financial trouble arrived or the serious diagnosis showed up. Words like that sound less like a promise and more like a business deal, made to protect the interests of the parties involved.
Will Parker sang to Ado Annie in the Broadway musical Oklahoma, “With me it’s all er nuthin’! Is it all er nuthin’ with you?” God makes His intentions clear in His Word — He holds nothing back, He makes promises that will be kept, and His love is all-encompassing. He’s an ALL kind of God. And He is calling for our “all er nuthin'” devotion.
When Jesus was asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” He didn’t have to stop to think about it. He didn’t go over the 613 Old Testament laws in His mind or even refer to the Big 10. He responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) Jesus didn’t say “Obey the Lord your God with all your heart…” or “Serve the Lord your God with all your strength…” or “Live your best life with all your soul….”
Just love, with all you’ve got.
My favorite word in the Bible that starts with “A” is ALL.