Newsletter: I Surrender

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” – Mark 8:35

By Fr. Christopher Waters

My roommate from college, Don, came into Owasso earlier this week to say hello and catch up. He is also a pastor, but unlike me, he grew up in church and has always had a strong knowledge of Holy Scripture.

During our conversation, I quoted Scripture. I don’t remember why, but as I said it, I thought about our youth together. I laughed because I have always thought of my upbringing, until I was baptized at age 27, as being raised “heathen.” I wondered what 16 year old Chris would think about his 62 year old self. Don and I both had a good laugh about the thought of that.

The difference in me today and 45 years ago (high school graduation) is as different as light and dark. I knew NO scripture, believed that Jesus was God (as do the demons), but did not know why. My life was completely and entirely about me.

Then Jesus quietly called me to follow Him and making that decision dramatically changed the course of my life. I know that I am forgiven, delivered from sin, have the hope of heaven and am trying to be useful to Jesus. I was content.

This morning, I was reading a devotional and Oswald Chambers, in his book My Utmost for His Highest stated, “Gaining heaven, being delivered from sin, and being made useful to God are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender. Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself.”

In other words, what if we had no hope of anything for ourselves, would we still want to entrust our lives to Jesus? Total surrender is trusting Jesus to glorify the Father regardless of what it means for us. We minimize ourselves so that God is magnified. Nothing in our lives should be more important than our love of God.

As I pondered Chambers’ words, it occurred to me that I am not really as different as I thought I was. My life is still much about me. In many ways, I can see that I am not the same as I was before. But in other ways, I see how much of me is still left to surrender to the Lord Jesus.

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow;
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Now I feel the sacred flame;
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

Judson W. Van DeVenter, 1896

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