Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 August 2022   Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.       So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 

It’s the Lord’s Day my people! The first day of the new week…Sunday, glorious Sunday! Just the fact that it’s Sunday, with its peace, quiet and contentment, is enough for celebrations, and when you add the factors of gathering and worship in the Lord’s sanctuary, or by the awesome means of technology that we now have, oh brother, the day gets even brighter! 

That’s why Christians are so joyful all over the planet this Sunday morning…and well they should be, as there’s nothing more important than gathering to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise for His everlasting kindness to us, although we don’t deserve it. 

And as always, we’ll begin today’s proceedings with a song of humble acknowledgement of God’s awesome LOVE, grace and mercy, written around 1896 by the American hymn writer, Judson W. Van De Venter (1855-1939). It’s a song we all know and LOVE, one that’s aptly titled: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ So, without further ado, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise in a soulful and harmonious version of the song, letting heaven know of the high regard in which we hold our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And the choir sang: ‘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 Saviour, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken. Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all..) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Saviour, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. (Refrain: I surrender all…) 

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: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all… All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…’ 

Oh friends, that word ‘surrender’ is possibly the most important word when it comes to our relationship with Jesus, because if we don’t wholly surrender our lives to him, He won’t be able to do any meaningful work in them. He want’s ALL of us, or nothing at all, because He’s interested in even the smallest, apparently meaningless aspect of our lives! Yes, and when we surrender our all to Him, it shows that we sincerely revere and trust him. 

Now, I believe we can break down this term surrender into two aspects; the first being giving up our worldly possessions in the name of Jesus’ work, like He says in the gospel of Luke: ‘So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:33). It’s like how the brothers, Peter and Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John just gave up their fishing business and families and followed Jesus when He called them. (Matt. 4:18-22) 

And the scholars explain that verse from Luke thus. ‘Forsaketh means literally “renounce” or “give up.” Disciples must live in constant readiness to put their means at the disposal of the Lord’s ends.’ That’s why the rich man who wanted to follow Jesus and was told he first had to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, went away sad. Like many of us, he found it difficult to give up his worldly possessions. Thankfully though, Jesus doesn’t always want us to give up everything, but He does expect us to sacrifice on His behalf whenever the situation calls for it. 

And thus, when in sincere astonishment, Peter asked who could be saved, if the rich man would have problems entering heaven? Jesus replies with this promise. ‘And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or fathers, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands (fields), for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life,’ when the Son of man shall sit on His throne of glory. (Matt. 19:29) 

So, we lose some earthly possessions down here living and working for Jesus, but we will be well rewarded for the sacrifices we make when Jesus assumes His rightful place on the throne of His father David. However, I do believe that the other aspect of surrendering, that of our soul, hearts, and bodies, is more important and even more difficult. Why? Because things are easier to give away than oneself, and are also easier to earn again. But the giving away of one’s heart, mind, body and soul, is a horse of an entirely different colour. (smile) 

And just look at how Bruh Paul solemnly and seriously puts it in His letter to the Roman church nuh. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.’ (Rom. 12:1) 

And the scholars explain: ‘By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans chapters 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs. 1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs. 6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs. 9-11). That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex. 29:37). This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. Your bodies: The body has been an instrument of sin (ch. 6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

Oh my, my! Remember I said the second aspect was harder than the first. (smile) But Bruh Paul is so thoughtful, that whenever he gives us a hefty spiritual task, he always gives us some practical way(s) to perform it. So, here’s how we go about presenting our bodies a reasonable service to God. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect (mature), will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes, my fellow believers, all true surrender begins with transforming our minds, because that’s where the battle for supremacy between the flesh and the Holy Spirit takes place. And if you keep on thinking like the world does, you won’t be able to give your all to Jesus. Many of us try to ride the fence, with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom, but that’s useless, because you’ll never be successfully transformed until you give ALL, not some to Jesus! 

And for some further practical advice on how to transform oneself, you can check out Bruh Paul’s advice to the Ephesians in chapter 4:21-32. That’s our homework for today. (smile) Now let’s go home rejuvenated, and inspired, filled with the confidence of our heavenly Father, that we can successfully handle whatever comes against us in this new week. Much LOVE!

…to the Father…to the Son…and to the Holy Spirit…be the glory…now and for ever more… 

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