You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Mark 10:19-22 NIV
In the old game show, “Let’s Make a Deal”, the contestant was holding on to something precious – like possibly $1000. He was offered the option to keep that money or trade it all away for what was behind door number 1, 2, or 3. Many times it was a dream vacation worth thousands of dollars or it could have been a live chicken. He would verbally choose a door and physically surrender what was in his hands to gain what was behind the door. Everyone in the show was shouting what they think he should do…”Keep It! Give it Away! Choose Door #3!” Finally, he would make his unchangeable decision.
Although the word surrender is not in our Bible passage today, its concept is embedded in the actions. The rich young man was verbally willing to become a follower of Jesus. He was a great candidate as far as his moral conduct. Jesus even agreed with his moral assessment of following the commandments. But he lacked one thing.
Most of us miss the point because we focus on the amount of money. Even the side comment by Mark said that he went away because He had great wealth. Yet the more telling phrase is that “he lacked one thing”. Jesus knew the one thing he was unwilling to surrender to become a follower of Jesus.
Why does Jesus demand an ALL SURRENDER?
- He who wishes to save his life, loses it. But he who loses his life, gains it.
- You cannot serve two masters, either you would love the one and hate the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon
- To be a follower of Jesus anticipates that He is both Lord and Savior. He saves us from the penalty of sin and redeems us to make us a child of God. Romans 10:9-10 states that we should confess with our mouth, “Jesus as Lord!” He is the master and we are his servant.
I believe surrender to His lordship is both a beginning point and an ongoing commitment. We exchange our sinful heart for His life at the new birth. But we daily – actually moment by moment yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This surrender will include a verbal and physical element. It takes both to move us to the place of surrender.
Back to our passage. The young man verbally said he surrendered and wanted to be a follower of Jesus. But he lacked the follow through of going and doing what the Lord Jesus asked of him.
So…the big question. What is the one thing you lack?
I’m not talking about becoming saved – Although if you have never surrendered to His love and life now would be a great time for this.
BUT where do you find yourself telling Jesus, “this far and no more”?
- For most of us, our time is nonnegotiable. We offer up many concessions, but hold back the “personal times”
- For some, it will be money…God owns it all, we are stewarding His money
- For some, it is unwillingness to follow commands, like forgive and it will be forgiven or no submission to stop using your tongue in hurtful or divisive ways
- For others it may include denying yourself of TV, other media or even food
Daily surrender for the follower of Christ brings great joy and peace. It is the value of trading our way of thinking about what’s good for us or the world’s values for the treasures of the kingdom of God. It is ALWAYS the better trade to follow God’s path.
So how would this look in real time?
- Verbally confess your desire to surrender all of your life, time, money, worries to Jesus your Lord and Savior. The earlier saying this when you awake the better. Say it to your daily calendar of events.
- Then follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit throughout your day
- These may include adding more time to read the Bible
- Or he may ask you to take time to pray for or with another person
- Or he may saw follow the desires of your heart which lead to life, peace and joy
- Yield, surrender when He says to do the next thing. This leads to life and joy everlasting
I listened to the old hymn “I surrender All” this morning. In my early church context, this was one of the songs used at the end of the service as an invitation for salvation. I was struck with a different understanding as I listened and read the lyrics. Moving past the “I surrender” shows all the treasures that Jesus offers for the trade.
1 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. 2 All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. [Refrain] 3 All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy love and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. [Refrain]
May we all experience His love, power, and blessings on the other side of surrender.
Blessings Love y’all