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March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

"The Heart of Worship is Surrender"

“Give yourselves to God…surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes.”  Romans 6: 13b TEV

This week we begin Lent on Ash Wednesday.  I thought it would be good to talk about giving up or, as the Bible calls it, surrendering during the beginning of Lent.

The heart of worship is surrender.  The problem is that word has really gone out of favor.  It’s almost as disliked as submission.  It implies losing and no one wants to be a loser.

Surrender evokes unpleasant images of admitting defeat in battle, forfeiting a game or yielding to a stronger opponent.  The word is almost always used in a negative context.  Captured criminals surrender to the authorities.

In our competitive world, as we just witnessed in the Olympics, we’re taught to never quit trying.  No matter what you face, if you try hard enough, you can overcome it is the thought.   If winning is everything, surrender is unthinkable.

Yet the Bible teaches us that rather than win, succeed, overcome and conquer we should instead yield, submit, obey and surrender.  Over the next few days we’re going to talk about what that means.

Today, we start with the theme that by surrendering to God we enter into the heart of worship.  When we stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on God it gives pleasure to Him.

We best demonstrate our surrendering by obedience as we cooperate with our Creator.  When God asks you to do something, you say “Yes, Lord,” to whatever He asks.  In fact, if you’re saying, “No, Lord,” you’re living in contradiction to God’s will.  That's called sin, not obedience.

You can’t claim Jesus as your Lord when you refuse to obey Him.  Peter modeled surrender when, after a night of failed fishing, Jesus told him to try again:  “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so I will let down the nets.”

Surrendered people obey God’s Word even when it doesn’t make sense.  God is not some cruel slave driver or bully who uses force to coerce us into submission.  He doesn’t try to break our will.

Rather, He moves in us so that we might offer it freely to Him.  God is a lover and a liberator; surrendering brings freedom, not bondage.

When we completely surrender ourselves to Jesus, we discover that He is not tyrant but a Savior; not a boss, but a brother; not a dictator but a friend.  We all need friends like Jesus.

Consider your relationship with Him.

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don