Devotions this week based on the Message: “BELIEVE: Week 15: Total Surrender”
(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Total. Complete. Exclude nothing. Include everything.
Following Jesus is an ALL in proposition.
We like to make exceptions in our own mind for why 50% or 75% will do.
We’d rather have a “MOSTLY in” proposition.
We wouldn’t be alone. Jesus had to remind a few people of the cost of leaving all and following him:
Luke 9:57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
It perhaps is easy up front to say, “Yes, Lord I will follow you!” As Jesus goes a little deeper, he challenges the “part in” with the “all in.”
Lord, I will follow you, but…first…let me…
How would you end that statement?
I’ll be all in Lord, but first, let me retire.
I’ll be all in Lord, but first, let me finish raising my kids.
I’ll be all in Lord, but first, let me make more money.
When we are called to “total surrender” it can conjure up a plethora of things we feel we have to do before we can be “all in” for Jesus.
Jesus is pretty blunt. Let me put it in my own words. “If you aren’t all in, you’re not in.”
It’s not that we don’t earn a living or attend a funeral for a loved one, it’s releasing our heart to make the Lord Jesus our focus in every aspect of life.
Jesus is looking for a first commandment type loyalty that leads us to have no other gods before him. It leads us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). It leads us, “In view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).
When we totally surrender and are all in for the Lord, we can still raise our kids…but we are doing it with a primary desire for them to love the Lord and walk in his ways. We can still have a career and earn a living, but we do it with the heart that wants to serve others and glorify God at all times. We can retire, but we do it with a realization I’m not retiring from the Lord, I’m just changing seasons.
All in means the Lord is in all we are and all we do.
Why would we have it any other way!
Apply: Evaluate your heart. What percentage “in” are you? Ask the Lord to equip you more and more to do that which he called you to do!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for calling me to follow you. Allow me to trust that as I give up things of this world to follow you, I will find greater “wealth,” significance and purpose in following you! AMEN.