Devotionals by Dr. James MacDonald

Our Journey Banner

Terms of Surrender

“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour”  (John 12:27, NASB).

One of the great hymns we sang two or three times a month in the church where I grew up was the old invitation chorus, “I Surrender All.”

But despite all the earnest intentions evoked when you’re with your congregation belting those lyrics from your heart, something’s almost deceptively easy about surrendering our “all” to Jesus. Christians are quick to sign up for the comprehensive, no-holds release of a generic, theoretical “all.” Feels good just saying it. Take it all, God, all of it. I surrender everything to You.

The problem comes when “all” becomes specific. We may be up for surrendering “all” to Him, but perhaps not surrendering . . . this.

My ministry. We’re fine with using our gifts in ways that are safe and satisfying and conducive to the rest of our schedule. But to “surrender all” is to lose the word my in front of “my ministry,” seeing it instead as God’s ministry, meaning He is in full control of it, in control of us, and of whatever this might cost and entail. Are you willing to surrender to that?

My stuff. How strong of a hold do your possessions have over you? If faced with the loss of something valuable to you, how resistant would you be to living without it?

My health. How much time do you spend fretting about how long your life is going to last or whether your health is going to hold out? While some of it can obviously be affected by lifestyle choices, many aspects of what’s to come in our medical histories are beyond our control. With how much faith, grace, and gratitude could you surrender to the ordeals of walking through a health scare or trial?

My family. We generally understand the idea that our spouse, children, and grandchildren belong to God, not to us. But what if His plan for them should conflict with our own desires and expectations for these precious individuals, or for how we wish the dynamics of our relationship to continue?

See? That’s harder . . . when the surrender is specific, when it’s not an abstract all, but a concrete this.

Like when Christ—in the days immediately preceding His arrest, torture, and eventual death on the cross—saw the sun of His suffering begin to rise above the horizon of His thoughts. In seeing it, He could feel the full weight of what His atoning death would cost. No wonder He was “troubled”—even as the Son of God. Yet what did He do with the anguish, anxiety, and horror of the situation?

He surrendered. He surrendered Himself to the Father’s will and purpose.

And in doing so, He left us an example, that we might “follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21, ESV). When everything inside you is saying you can’t do thisor get through it—“Please, Lord, get me out of this!”—observe the Second Person of the Trinity silhouetted against the God-darkened sky late on a Friday afternoon, and behold what can be accomplished for God’s glory and purpose through a single individual who not only surrenders everything from a distance, but surrenders one specific thing at close range.

Journal

  • Are you stuck on a particular point of surrender? Why is this one proving so difficult?
  • What’s an immediate step you could take that would move you forward in surrendering, even in this?

Pray
Lord God, thank You for showing us the ultimate example of what surrender truly is, through the gift of Your Son, and through the surrender of His life for our sins. You’ve called me to surrender my all as well, and You’ve heard me say that’s what I intend to do. Help me put my zeal into practice—even when surrender has a name and a face and a measurable cost. I surrender all, and especially that one thing, trusting in the name of the One who surrendered all for me, amen.

For more from Dr. James MacDonald please visit Walk in the Word on OnePlace.com


Request the God is Bigger set for your gift of any amount to the ministry of Walk in the Word.

continue reading...
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
April 2011
March 2015
February 2015
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011

About Walk in the Word

Walk in the Word...Igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth.

Follow James MacDonald:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrJamesMacDo... 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesmacdonald 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pastorjames... 

Other Ministry Channels:
Vertical Church Band: https://www.youtube.com/user/Vertical... 
Vertical Church Films: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4yx... 

Resources: 
Our Journey Blog (weekly): http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/teachin... 
Vertical Church Blog (for pastors): http://blog.jamesmacdonald.com 
James MacDonald Books: http://store.jamesmacdonald.com/s-4-b... 
Bible Studies: http://store.jamesmacdonald.com/s-27-... 

Watch More From James:
Sermon Clips: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... 

Listen to our FREE podcast:
Apple Podcast: http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/podcast/ 

Mail us stuff to our P.O. Box: http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/contact/ 

Pastor James MacDonald preaches without apology straight from the pages of Scripture, provoking Christians to think and act on their faith. His Bible-teaching ministry, Walk in the Word, launched on as a radio broadcast in 1997, with the mission of "igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth."



About Dr. James MacDonald

James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, and both are from Ontario, Canada. He is the father of three grown children, two daughters-in-law, a son-in-law, and grandfather to five amazing grandsons. James has committed his life and ministry to the unapologetic proclamation of God’s Word. In 1988, along with a small group of ministry partners, James and Kathy planted Harvest Bible Chapel (HarvestBibleChapel.org) which now has more than 13,000 people meeting at seven locations across Chicagoland each weekend.

Walk in the Word, a Bible-teaching television and radio broadcast ministry (WalkintheWord.org), was established in 1997. The radio program reaches more than three million people daily, and the television audience extends around the world. In 2002, through James’ leadership and by God’s grace, the church-planting ministry Harvest Bible Fellowship (HarvestBibleFellowship.org) was founded and has established more than 100 churches across North America and around the world. James’ vision is for God to use Harvest Bible Fellowship to plant 1,000 churches by 2020.

James’ extensive ministry also includes a training center for pastors, a year-round camp, a center for biblical counseling, a disaster-recovery organization, and a Christian school—all used to reach more people with the life-changing message of the gospel.

James is the author of several books including Vertical Church, Authentic, Lord Change My Attitude, When Life is Hard, Always True, Come Home, and most recently, Act Like Men.

Find out more about James and his ministries at:

WalkintheWord.org HarvestBibleChapel.org
HarvestBibleFellowship.org
@pastorjamesmacdonald on Instagram
@jamesmacdonald on Twitter
James MacDonald - Walk in the Word on Facebook

Contact Walk in the Word with Dr. James MacDonald

Mailing Address 
Walk in the Word
P.O. Box 5368
Elgin, IL 60121