Lorie Hartshorn – Co-Host – The 700 Club Canada, cbn.com
I’ve been thinking a lot about surrender lately. What does it really mean to surrender as a follower of Christ? The word surrender literally means, to stop resisting and submit. Here’s what Jesus said:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25 NIV).
In other words, Jesus is asking for all of each of us. No resistance, but willing submission. Why? He knows that we so desperately want to be in control of our lives and if we are left to ourselves, we will actually ruin it. When we surrender to God and His will, we will then find the life that God intended for us. Listen to what Jesus says:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
It’s so hard to give up control, isn’t it? Perhaps surrender is not so much something that we do but rather something that happens to us when we welcome the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives? I mean, think about this — I can’t just decide one day I’m going to totally surrender every thought, every word, every action to Christ and voila, it just happens! Surrender only comes through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us, a journey of growing in faith. As we surrender one area of our lives to Christ’s control, then God puts His spotlight on another area where we’re still trying to be the boss.
Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!” (Isaiah 30:19-22 MSG).
I love this picture described by the prophet Isaiah. Surrender is a result of living out of a loving and trusting relationship with God. We learn one step of trust at a time and one day at a time as we depend on the Spirit. Our confidence grows as we discern His voice and see the way He is guiding us. That’s why we can surrender. The life that results from surrendering to God will far exceed our old idols and dreams. Like Isaiah, we will gladly say, “Be gone! I don’t want you anymore!” I surrender! And that’s courageous living.
Where Bread will not Be Scarce
Julia Prins Vanderveen Today Devotions
SCRIPTURE READING — DEUTERONOMY 8:11-20
“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God. . . .”
Moses was instructing the people on how to live. He mentioned bread, eating, being satisfied, and being fed. Clearly the theme of bread and eating was important for understanding God’s saving work in the people’s lives.
We need tangible experiences of grace, and God often reveals his goodness and abundant love through visible signs of flourishing: a land where his people would eat bread without scarcity (Deuteronomy 8:9) and where they would lack nothing. There would be water, olive oil, fruit, and much more in abundance.
But it can be surprisingly easy to overlook God’s generosity—and even to forget the tough times we have survived by God’s grace. Moses reminded the people that the hard times they went through were there to test them, shape them, and ultimately do them good. It’s also easy to congratulate ourselves when things start going well. Moses didn’t say that the people didn’t participate in their own flourishing, but he did remind them that God was the one who gave them the power to do well in the first place. And Moses warned his listeners: If you start living as if you did all these good things for yourself, you’ll forget the source of every good thing, and then you’ll see for sure that you don’t live on bread alone.
We all need God, so let’s remember him in everything—when things are hard and when things are going well.
Blessed be your name, O Lord. Help us to remember that we need you in all situations. Amen.
Grace in the Morning – Streams in the Desert – September 13
- 202213 Sep
Come up in the morning . . . and present thyself unto me in the top of the mount (Exod. 34:2).
The morning is the time fixed for my meeting the Lord. The very word morning is as a cluster of rich grapes. Let us crush them, and drink the sacred wine. In the morning! Then God means me to be at my best in strength and hope. I have not to climb in my weakness. In the night I have buried yesterday’s fatigue, and in the morning take a new lease of energy. Blessed is the day whose morning is sanctified! Successful is the day whose first victory was won in prayer! Holy is the day whose dawn finds thee on the top of the mount!
My Father, I am coming. Nothing on the mean plain shall keep me away from the holy heights. At Thy bidding I come, so Thou wilt meet me. Morning on the mount! It will make me strong and glad all the rest of the day so well begun.
My mother’s habit was every day, immediately after breakfast, to withdraw for an hour to her own room, and to spend that hour in reading the Bible, in meditation and prayer. From that hour, as from a pure fountain, she drew the strength and sweetness which enabled her to fulfill all her duties, and to remain unruffled by the worries and pettinesses which are so often the trial of narrow neighborhoods.
As I think of her life, and all it had to bear, I see the absolute triumph of Christian grace in the lovely ideal of a Christian lady. I never saw her temper disturbed; I never heard her speak one word of anger, of calumny, or of idle gossip; I never observed in her any sign of a single sentiment unbecoming to a soul which had drunk of the river of the water of life, and which had fed upon manna in the barren wilderness.
God’s Principle of Sowing and Reaping
From: Intouch Ministeris
Ask the Lord to give you the courage and wisdom needed to share the gospel with those He sends your way.
Today’s passage contains an important scriptural truth: Our actions and words have consequences. Or put another way, we get back what we put in. And this is especially obvious in our relationships.
Earlier in Galatians, Paul explained that there’s a battle between a believer’s new nature, which is ruled by the Spirit, and the “flesh,” which is ruled by the sin patterns that linger in us. Then he listed some of the deeds of the flesh, many of which are relational: strife, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy (Galatians 5:20-21). In contrast, Paul tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Which one of these lists more accurately reflects how you treat others? Admittedly, there are some people who are difficult to love, yet sowing the fruit of the Spirit in those relationships will reap a forgiving heart, godly character, and faithful obedience in us. But sowing to the flesh has a corrupting influence in our life. Before you interact with anyone, ask yourself what kind of harvest you’d like. You’ll never go wrong by letting the Spirit guide you.