January 10, 2018
The Word: Surrender
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
We must learn to live a surrendered and sacrificial life if we are to satisfy our cravings for pure joy while serving both our fellow man and the Lord Jesus Christ. We must be determined to mature, because it is impossible to be marked for God’s service without being joyfully surrendered in the daily challenges we face.
The call to serve is always accompanied by sacrifice and surrender. Joy bursts forth in the lives of others we serve when we live for the cause of Christ. Young Christians in the faith might serve, but mature Christians sacrifice and are willing to serve even in the midst of suffering. They know joy will be the end product of their faithful, surrendered, and sacrificial lives.
In the eyes of this sinful and fallen world, mature Christians appear alone and without resources to sufficiently sustain their service to the Master or those who are needy. But beneath their scarred exterior, these mature believers inwardly possess pure joy, which is being perfected by the hands of their Master Potter, the Lord God Almighty.
The confidence of mature Christians is refined and their faith grows deeper even when challenges crash into the hull of their life vessels on the stormy seas of life. These voyages distill pure joy into their very souls. Their serving comes from an inner strength reflective of God’s sovereign grace.
Mature Christians are called by God to serve Him as their Creator along with one another. Any service absent the heart of Christ is only human effort and will never produce pure joy.
Service must always be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“You become stronger only when you become weaker. When you surrender your will to God, you discover the resources to do what God requires.”
Father, we thank you for all the times you have strengthened us when we were under attack and sustained us when we were weary and ready to give up. Write “surrender” deep within our hearts and give us a spirit of tenacity. Help us to serve you and those with needs around us, no matter what the outward circumstances of our lives might be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Devotional taken from The 9 Marks of a Mature Christian: A Pattern for Effective Christian Living by Robert F. Loggins Sr.