Friday, April 2, 2010

Ultimate Surrender

Today we remember the death of our Savior. Every year I think more about how my response to His sacrifice seems inadequate. He voluntarily suffered the most painful, torturous death possible. “Thank you” isn’t enough to express how grateful I am. Beyond that, I really don’t feel grateful enough. How can I “feel” grateful enough for such a sacrifice?

Jesus modeled the ultimate act of surrender. Remember that Jesus didn’t “want” to die on the cross. He asked the Father to “let this cup pass” (Matthew 26:42). He knew the cross would be painful. He understood what it meant that he would take on the sin of the world. His response was not, “I’d be happy to;” it was, “Not my will but your will be done.” Surrender was Jesus’ response. Not just any surrender, ultimate surrender. He took on the sin of man and died the most excruciating death ever conceived. How can we say a mere “thank you” to a sacrifice like that?

The most grateful response is to follow Him in surrender. The Apostle Paul says that the prerequisites for salvation are belief in the resurrection of Christ and confession that He is Lord (Romans 10:9-10). Confessing Jesus as Lord is not just a comment. It is an act of surrender in itself. Jesus is not just Lord of heaven and earth. He must be Lord of your life. He has to be Lord of every decision, every thought. If you haven’t given him the throne of your life, then maybe that should be your act of gratitude this Good Friday. Jesus surrendered so that you could surrender too. Don’t just tell Him you are thankful. Show Him with surrender.

How do I know if I’m surrendered? I find it helpful to take inventory of my life now and then. Here are a few things that I do to check myself.
Do I make decisions according to what will bring God the most glory?
• Have I recently told myself or someone else that I deserve something?
• Do I believe God is going to provide for me no matter what?
• Has God led me to do something that I rationalized myself out of doing?
• Is there a sin in my life that I have not repented of?
• Am I holding a grudge or bitterness toward someone?
• Have I done my best to reconcile broken relationships in my life?
• Am I working and resting to the glory of God?
• Am I submitting to the authorities in my life as to the Lord?
• Have I been in prayerful conversation with God?

How are you living surrendered in your life? What specific things do you do differently because you are following Christ in surrender?

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