Millions of people in the Christian world hold a very favorable view of Jesus Christ. In fact, many would call themselves Christians. Most would affirm a strong belief in God even though their behaviors might not represent Jesus at all. Can a person have genuine faith in God simply by holding a favorable view of Jesus Christ?
During the first 300 years of Christianity, true believers paid a steep price for their faith, and it is still going on today. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have been martyred for refusing to deny the Lord. They have been slaughtered in the most horrible ways. I think they held something much deeper than a mere fondness for Jesus’ teachings and humble lifestyle.
Romans 10:9 teaches us that salvation comes to those who surrender to the lordship of Christ: “If you confess with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Calling Jesus your Lord is a statement of surrender—total surrender. This is but the beginning of a life journey of learning to surrender to the will of the Father. Why is surrender to God so difficult for us? It comes down to one word: trust. In the secret places of our hearts, we do not really trust that God wants and knows what is best for our lives. We are afraid to put our dreams, relationships, interests, and desires into His hands. We have more confidence in our own ability to direct our lives even though we have ample evidence to the contrary! We want to be our own god.
God asks us to trust Him, but not blindly. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He has proven His love for us. He has proven that we can trust Him. He comes to us with His hands open and outstretched. And if we will daily trust Him, He will lead us on a life journey of freedom and fulfillment that does not exist in this world. He asks us to live for Him, but this joyous life cannot be found by fond admiration. It comes only through total surrender.
SCRIPTURES TO READ: Romans 10:9; Romans 5:8; Matthew 16:24-26; James 1:17
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
• Have I unreservedly surrendered my life to Christ?
• Do I daily deny my natural inclinations and impulses that come into conflict with His claim on my life?
• Do I fully trust Him and believe that His will is the best for me?
Heavenly Father, I confess anew the lordship of Jesus Christ. I believe You want good and perfect gifts for me. You see where my heart struggles to surrender. Help me to trust You more. I give up myself—my will, my thoughts, and my body to You. Thank You for making Your lordship a reality in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.