And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:1-3
Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me .... Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you .... My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart. Psalm 51:10, 12, 17
The Lord said: Heaven is my throne; the earth is my footstool. What kind of house could you build for me? In what place will I rest? I have made everything; that’s how it all came to be. I, the Lord, have spoken. The people I treasure most are the humble—they depend only on me and tremble when I speak. Isaiah 66:1-2
Since we have a Kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts and with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:15-16
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The verses above are all about surrender. Surrender is one of the three words we are focusing on this week to help us gain a full understanding of what it means to be a new person with a new life. The other two are identity (Thursday) and vocation (Friday). Yesterday we equated surrender with commitment. When we commit ourselves to God we are surrendering to him. But no one can be perfectly surrendered to God. It is a life-long commitment and pursuit. So in reality the surrendered person is not one who is perfectly surrendered but one who has made the commitment to always pursue being surrendered to God as fully as possible. This distinction is important for two reasons. First, if we view surrender as something absolute, total, and perfect, we will give up on it as unattainable. Second, when we view surrender as a pursuit, then the initial commitment we made to pursue surrender becomes a milestone in our lives to which we can look back in those times when our surrender is lacking and this helps us to go forward restored and renewed in our pursuit of surrender.
It is important that we have a solid grasp on what it means to make a commitment to the lifetime pursuit of surrender to God. When we make this commitment we are saying to God: I want you to be in charge of my life. I want to be the new person with the new life that you have in mind for me. I want your will and not my own. I am willing to be anything you want me to be, go anywhere you want me to go, and do anything you want me to do. I am willing to give up anything you want me to give up and to steer clear of anything that does not fit in with your will for my life. Perhaps the real question for us is: can we trust God with our lives. If we can trust God, then it would seem that surrendering our lives to him makes all the sense in the world. Perhaps you have never made the commitment to pursue a lifetime of surrender to God or perhaps you find yourself at a spot where the commitment you have made is severely lacking. Either way, now is a great moment to come before the Lord in full commitment to a lifetime of surrendering to him.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, Here I am, take my life and all that I am and make everything new and right. Help me not to be afraid of anything that might happen as a result of surrendering to you. Help me to let go of everything. Help me to take hold of you completely. I release myself into your arms of love for the blessed life in you that I need and long for. Amen!
Posted on Wed, July 8, 2020
by Alan Porter