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March 12, 2014

March 12, 2014

"The Practice of Surrender"

“If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want.  They must be willing to give up even their lives to follow me.”  Matthew 16: 24 NCV

There are people, like Paul, who can point to a dramatic moment in their lives when they finally gave in and surrendered to God.  For others, it’s an on-going process.  Yet, even for those with the dramatic event, there is an on-going process.  Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15: 31b, “I die daily.”

There is a difference between surrendering and living the surrendered life.  Paul says in Romans 12 to “offer yourself as a living sacrifice.”  The problem is that living sacrifices can crawl away from the altar.  If you do that, you may have to come back and surrender again.

That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said you have to give up things, even your own life.  When you try to hold on to your wants and your desires it’s going to get in the way of God’s plans for you.

The truth of the matter is we all live self-centered lives.  If we are hurt by somebody we want to hurt back.  When we have money we want to hold on to it rather than giving generously to others; if something goes wrong, just like Adam and Eve, we want to point our finger at someone else and make sure God knows they’re to blame.

Want to know what will please God?  Do exactly the opposite of what you’d like to do.  Bill Wright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ was once asked how he’d accomplished so much for God.  He explained that when He was young he had actually signed a contract with God.  It said, “From this day forward, I am a slave of Jesus Christ.”

Are you willing to sign your name on such a dotted line?  Or are you still struggling with God to do with your life as it pleases you?

It’s time to surrender – to God’s grace, love and wisdom it will be the best thing you’ve ever done with your life.

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don