As you know, we are studying surrender in our ladies Bible study group. Last week, in our introductory session, we looked at the kind of surrender that Jesus requires. For instance, in Matt. 10:37-39, Jesus says,
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Here we see the kind of commitment that loves family less than Christ. Not only that, Jesus calls His followers to take up their cross, the instrument of death, and lose their lives for His sake.
In Luke 9:23-25, we see a similar call:
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?“
The call to the cross is not the call to some burden like an illness or a rebellious child, though those are indeed trials that the Lord may use to strengthen our faith in His goodness and sovereignty. The call to the cross is a call to die to self and to embrace the will of God no matter the cost.
This is the kind of surrender Jesus demands. Relinquishing all. Total abandonment. Complete surrender. A living sacrifice.
In Romans 12:1, Paul exhorts us to surrender ourselves: “by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” What motivates us to die to self, to take up the cross and to follow Christ? The mercies of God, the glorious gospel of grace, the so great a salvation by which God has made us alive in Christ! It is the radical nature of the gospel that compels the radical nature of surrender to be a living sacrifice.
One commentary I read made the following statement:
I love that. As we taste and see the goodness of the Lord, we will yearn to lay ourselves before Him in glad surrender. The more we begin to understand the measure of grace He has poured out on us at the cross of Christ, the more we will want to walk in obedience. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Him, everything else will be rubbish compared to Him. In view of these mercies, He will be preeminent, our love for Him far surpassing our love for anything (and anyone else) and it will be our joy to follow Him wherever He leads, whatever the cost.
We will want to lose ourselves because in so doing our gain is great: He is our reward, the pearl of great price, the all surpassing Treasure.
Where do we catch immense vision? Where will we best see Him? Where do we find His revelation of Himself? In His Word. Devote yourself to searching the glories of Christ in the pages of His living Word, and in view of the mercies of God found in Christ, you will long to present yourself as a living sacrifice. May God grant us the grace to say with Paul: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Nothing compares!