May you be encouraged instead of burdened and take whatever next steps necessary to give Jesus your all.
Fullness of life and surrender are inextricably linked. As we begin to wrap up our week on diving into the fullness of life, today we’ll explore the concept of surrendering to Jesus. May you be encouraged instead of burdened and take whatever next steps necessary to give Jesus your all.
Jesus makes an important and paradoxical statement in Matthew 10:39: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” What does it look like to lose your life for his sake? How is it possible to find life as the result of losing it? You and I are only truly living to the degree that we’ve surrendered our lives to Jesus. True life is eternal, kingdom-based, and fueled by the love of God. Life apart from God is fleeting and meaningless. It’s for this reason Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:14 says, “I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.”
We have opportunity every day to lay our lives down at the feet of Jesus in response to his great love that we might experience the abundant life only he can give. Surrender positions our hearts to receive the incredible reward of being fully God’s. God won’t force his blessings on us. He won’t force his presence or his love. He patiently draws us near, hoping that in response to his overwhelming affections we will lay down our lives that we might experience all the wonders he has in store for us.
Humbling ourselves before God as our King, Creator, and Sustainer is absolutely vital in going deeper. Pride so often stands in the way of God’s conditional promises. Scripture is clear in James 4:6, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Promises like “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” found in Matthew 6:33 require a level of humility and surrender most aren’t willing to give.
We often associate humility with weakness when in reality declaring our weakness before an Almighty God is the only posture of strength we can take. It’s for this reason that Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:30, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” When we humble ourselves before God and surrender, we position ourselves to receive all the abundance of help, power, guidance, and love we could ever need.
God is an endless ocean of love, help, healing, and power. The Holy Spirit who dwells within you longs to empower you with everything you need to truly live in the fullness of life available to you. If you will choose to lay down your life in surrender to God’s plans, purposes, truth, and perfect will, you will experience a life unlike anything you’ve known. Take time today to lose your life that you may find it in God. Cast aside all pride and selfish ambition that you might pursue the wonderful, abundant life of one submitted to an Almighty, omnipotent, omnipresent, and fully loving Father.
today’s devotional is written by Craig Denison
1. Meditate on the need for surrender in fully pursuing God.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'” James 4:6
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
2. In what ways have you been allowing pride, fear, or selfish ambition to keep you from fully surrendering to God? In what ways have you been seeking glory for yourself?
3. Lay your life down at the feet of your good and loving Savior that you might experience the fullness of his love, grace, and affection for you. Rest at the feet of Jesus. Choose the good portion today rather than spending all your energy seeking fleeting admiration and temporal possessions.
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:38-42
While surrender in the world results in defeat, surrender to God brings ultimate victory. When we stop pursuing our own glory and worldly acclamations, we begin building up treasure in heaven that will never be taken away from us. God’s plans for us are infinitely better than anything we could do on our own. His heavenly rewards for us vastly outweigh any sense of earthly accomplishments. Surrendering our lives completely to God releases us from the constraints of this world that we might live for the kingdom that will never end. May your life be completely wrapped up in the goodness of your loving Savior.
May your life be completely wrapped up in the goodness of your loving Savior.