"They gave their own selves to the Lord" 2 Corinthians 8:5.
The chief element of what Jesus has done for me--always does for me--lies in His surrender of Himself for me. I have the main element of what He would have me do in my surrender to Him. For young Christians who have given themselves to Jesus, it is of great importance to always hold fast--to confirm and renew this surrender. This is the special life of faith which says again every day, "I have given myself to Him. I will follow and serve Him.1 He has taken me. I am His and entirely at His service."2
Young Christian, hold firm your surrender and continue to make it firmer. When a stumbling or a sin recurs after you have surrendered yourself, do not think that the surrender was insincere. No, the surrender to Jesus does not make us perfect at once. You have sinned because you were not thoroughly or firmly enough in His arms. Adhere to this, even though it is with shame, "Lord, You know I have given myself to You, and I am Yours."3 Confirm this surrender again. Say to Him that you now begin to see better how complete the surrender to Him must be. Every day, renew the voluntary, entire, and undivided offering up of yourselves to Him.4
The longer we continue as Christians, the deeper our insight into God's Word will lead us to surrender to Jesus. We will see more clearly that we do not yet fully understand or contemplate it. The surrender must become more undivided and trustful. The language which Ahab once used must be ours, "My Lord, O King, according to thy saying, I am Yours, and all that I have" (1 Kings 20:4). This is the language of undivided dedication--I am thine, and all that I have. Keep nothing back. Keep back no single sin that you do not confess and turn from. Without conversion there can be no surrender. Lay upon the altar all of your thoughts, your utterances, your feelings, your labours, your time, your influence, and your property.6 Jesus has a right to all--He demands the whole. Give yourself, with all that you have, to be guided and used and kept, undivided and blessed. "My Lord, O King, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have."
That is the language of trustful dedication. It is on the Word of the Lord--which calls upon you to surrender yourself--that you have done this. That Word is your guarantee that He will take and guide and keep you. As surely as you give yourself does He take you. And what He takes He can keep. Only we must not take it out of His hand again. Let it remain fixed with you, that your surrender is in the highest degree pleasing to Him. Be assured of it, your offering is a sweet smelling savour. Not on what you are or what you experience or discover in yourselves do you say this, but on His Word. According to His Word you are able to stand on this--what you give He will take, and what He takes He will keep.
Therefore, every day let this be the childlike joyful activity of your life of faith. Surrender yourselves continually to Jesus, and you are safe in the certainty that He, in His love, takes and holds you securely. His answer to your giving is the renewed and always deeper surrender of Himself to you.
According to Your Word, my Lord and King, I am Yours, and all that I have. Every day, this day, I will confirm it. I am not my own, but am my Lord's. Fervently I implore You to take full possession of Your property so that no one may doubt whose I am. Amen.
1) Matt. 4:22; 10:24,25,37,38; Luke 18:22; John 12:25,26; 2 Cor. 5:15
2) Matt. 28:20
3) John 21:17; Gal. 6:1; 1 Thess. 5:24; 2 Tim. 2:13; 1 John 5:16
4) Luke 18:28; Phil. 3:7,8
5) Matt. 7:21; John 3:20,21; 2 Tim. 2:19,21
6) Rom. 6:13,22;12:1; 2 Cor. 5:15; Heb. 13:15; I Pet. 2:5
7) John 10:28; 2 Thess. 3:3; 2 Tim. 1:12
l . Ponder once again the words giving and taking and having. What I give to Jesus, He takes with a divine taking. And what He takes, He has and thereafter cares for. Now it is absolutely no longer mine. I must have no thought of it. I may not dispose of it. Let your faith find full expression in adoration. Jesus takes me. Jesus has me.
2. Should a time of doubting or darkness overtake you, and your assurance that the Lord has received you has come to be lost, do not allow yourself to become discouraged. Come simply as a sinner and confess your sins. Believe in His promises that He will by no means cast out those who come to Him, and begin simply on the ground of the promises to say, "I know that He has received me."
3. Do not forget what the chief element in surrender is-it is a surrender to Jesus and to His love. Fix your eye not on your activity in surrender, but on Jesus who calls you, who takes you, and who can do all for you. This is what makes faith strong.
4. Faith is always a surrender. Faith is the eye for seeing the invisible. When I look at something, I surrender myself to the impression which it makes upon me. Faith is the ear that hearkens to the voice of God. When I believe a message; I surrender myself to the influence, whether cheering or saddening, which the words exercise on me. When I believe in Jesus, I surrender myself to Him, in reflection, in desire, in expectation, in order that He may be in me and do in me that for which He has been given to me by God.
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