Surrender

I Choose Life

By Ty Haguewood

The call to follow Jesus is not a small call. It is a call to abandon yourself and surrender completely. The real question is, “Why should I surrender?”

I mean seriously.

I want to give you a working definition of what surrender looks like for the Jesus follower. Are you ready?

Our call to surrender, or self-abandonment, is a call to leave the shackles of sin and death and finally be free to run to the Author of Life.

The call to follow Jesus is not the call to follow a list of rules and guidelines hoping that you somehow make it out with more good deeds than bad so you can get into heaven. No, it’s quite the opposite.

The call to follow Jesus is simple. It’s ultimately the call to choose life and we have help. Now, we must look at a few different things here.

A Right View of Jesus

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.”  Hebrews 1:1-4

We have not been called to follow a good leader, preacher, teacher, or humanitarian. We have been called to follow the Lord of All. We must have a right perspective of Jesus if we are going to rightly follow Him. Understanding that we follow the Author of Life, gives us more confidence in Him giving us Eternal Life.

Jesus is Lord. He inherited a seat at the right hand of God through sacrificing His life to give life to all those who would believe. Jesus calls us to abandon all things that have no eternal worth to surrender to the only thing that can offer eternal worth, namely Himself.

It is through His name that we inherit eternal life. It His through His name that we are saved. It His through His name that we experience freedom. There is no hope if there is no Jesus. He made a way when we had no way. He loved when we deserved condemnation. He laid down His life to bring us to Himself.

A Right View of Surrender

“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  Titus 3:4-7

I want to focus on the words “regeneration” and “renewing.” These are two different things. We have regeneration which is that God creates new life when a person believes. They are no longer who they used to be, the old is gone but now the new is here. Believers are not improved versions of themselves but rather new creations all together. We see this in John 3 when Jesus says all must be born again to inherit eternal life. He creates us new.

The word renewal speaks of a continual operation of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. The Jesus follower is created new and then empowered by the Holy Spirit who never leaves them. He sanctifies, convicts, guides, intercedes, and emboldens them.

We need to understand that our call to surrender is not a call to figure out our own way to God. It is not a call to live a perfect life nor is it a call to find your own righteousness. Our call to surrender is a call to allow the Spirit of God to move in our lives. There is never a moment in a believer’s life where God is uninvolved. He is with us. Jesus says it best in the great commission. “I WILL BE WITH YOU ALWAYS.”

The call to surrender sounds horrible if you see it as a lonely, empty path. The call to surrender only becomes sweet when the focus of the surrender turns to Jesus. You are not called to lay down your life in vain. It’s not something that only a few religious do. It’s for all those who understand that the call to follow Jesus is simply the call to choose life. It’s the call to choose the better option. It’s the call to be accepted, loved, and forgiven for eternity.

We must remind ourselves, when given the call to surrender, that Jesus is simply calling us to Himself.

Jesus is worth more than what I am called to surrender. I choose life.

Listen to the podcast.

Prepared

By: Karen Polich

We place such value on being prepared. We plan everything from vacations to what we are going to have for dinner. We plan our careers, our weddings, our lives. We plan for excellence. The question is do we really prepare?

The best athletes work tirelessly to be ready for any situation the game throws at them. They know what they need to do to be ready, to build on their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. We celebrate their success, but never see the endless hours they put into the preparation before the big moment. They always come prepared,  leave nothing on the table, and give everything they have.

That is how we should approach our Lord when given the opportunity to share in The Lord’s Supper. We should be ready to offer everything we are, everything we have. Do we prepare for this in the same way we prepare for the things that occur in our daily lives? Do we prepare with the best we have?

Pastor Michael Cook shared what it means to be prepared spiritually. Our preparation is truly an act of faith. Each small action leads up to something that impacts the days ahead. God has placed us here to be extraordinary. We are here to touch lives. We should be pursuing Him with everything. Pastor Cook shared how we can be prepared.

Six areas we need to look at when it comes to preparing ourselves.
1. Surrender Yielding to God in surrender is the beginning point in approaching Him. We are each unworthy, but made worthy in Christ. (Matthew 16:24-25)
2. Know Him We need to really know Him. Matthew 22:37 says, “Jesus replied; “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind.”
3. Attitude Many times we drag cultural influences into our worship. We think about our rights, what we like or don’t like. Our attitudes and thoughts should be one of a servant. (Romans 12:2)
4. Words/Communication How clean is our communication? Not just our words, but every way we communicate in this fast paced world. Are we ready to account for every empty word? (Matthew 12:36)
5. Relationships The relationship we have with our Lord and with others matters. We should love the unlovable and be willing to restore what is broken. (John 13:34-35)
6. Search our hearts We need to search our hearts for the sins laid out biblically, but also for the sins of omission. The sins we commit because of something we have been called by God to do that we don’t. (Luke 6:46)

Preparation can bring us closer to God. We have every opportunity to prepare ourselves in everything we do. If we are simply willing, we can prepare ourselves to come before our Lord with great reverence and intimacy.

He is waiting. Are you prepared to approach Him?