Psalm 127:3-5

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"

What I'm Reading...

I started this book today by Nancy Leigh DeMoss: "Surrender: The Heart God Controls." It was given to me several years ago but I had not read it yet. Well, during my time with God this morning I began to ask Him to reveal to me areas in my life that I needed to work on. After finding some scripture references to begin memorizing, I began looking at my book shelves to see if there was a book that stood out that might deal with some of the areas that I'm struggling with. This one did. As I thumbed through the index, I realized that it would be an excellent book to devote time to.

As I've spent the afternoon and evening reading, it has not been in vain! Nancy DeMoss is very upfront and honest with the fact that a true believer is to lead a life of FULL surrender to the Lord, no questions asked! Many christians believe that they can "accept Christ" and then go about their lives living as they see fit. However, that is not what the Lord requires of us! Matthew 16:24-25 states pretty clearly what followers of Christ should do: "Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.'"

In chapter three, Nancy DeMoss gives a very good presentation of the difference in scripture between the terms "slave" and "servant," when referring to a Christian. As a Christian we are not servants ("a person employed to perform services... for another") of Christ but rather we are to be slaves ("[a] human being who is owned as property by and is absolutely subject to the will of another.") of Christ.

I was intrigued by her relaying of the Old Testament law for slaves. In Exodus 21:1-2, 5-6 it says: "Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever."

Nancy DeMoss says of this: "This was not merely a contractual agreement. This was not about being hired help. This was the act of a man who voluntarily said to someone he had come to know and love and trust, 'I am yours - I belong to you, and I want to spend my life fulfilling your wishes.... He was under no obligation to stay, but he wanted to stay - he loved his master and made a voluntary choice to become his master's bondslave." (pg.74)

However, here is where it gets really neat and exciting! She goes on to say: "The New Testament tells us that when the Lord Jesus came to this earth, He took "the form of a servant [δουλος- the lowest form of slave] (Philippians 2:7). In obedience to His Father's will and out of love for His Father - and for the bride and family His Father had given Him - He humbled Himself and offered Himself to be a bondslave, so He could deliver those who were in bondage to sin (Hebrews 2:10-18).... As far as we know, no one had ever opted to have his ear pierced in the ceremony described in Exodus 21 - until Christ came to earth!" (pg. 76)

Christ humbled Himself to the lowest form, a slave, so that He could redeem all that the Father had given Him. Oh what a wonderful truth and how my heart should sing praises to Him for His painful death on the cross in my place! He then rose again, defeating death, and offering eternal communion with Himself to me (and mankind).

If this truth does not stir us on to then be willing to commit our days on this earth in service to our King, what else will? We are to lead surrendered lives that desire only to serve God in EVERY aspect of life.

Nancy DeMoss shared several "letters/prayers" written to God by various people in history who sought to surrender their lives to God. One woman's prayer was very convicting to me. Betty Scott said: "Lord, I give up my own plans and purposes, all my own desires, hopes and ambitions, and I accept Thy will for my life. I give up myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. I hand over to Thy keeping all of my friendships; all the people whom I love are to take second place in my heart. Fill me now and seal me with Thy Spirit. Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, for to me to live is Christ. Amen." (pgs. 61-62) When Betty Scott wrote this, she had no way of knowing how God would use her. About three years later, this woman, newly married with a baby just weeks old, would be taken with her husband by Communists and beheaded for their faith. She was 28 years old.

She was not much older than me, yet she had chosen for years to live a life fully surrendered to God. Wow!!! How inspiring and yet how convicting to me! This young woman had counted her costs and deemed it better to live and die for the Lord than to live a life entangled in this world. What a witness; what an example!

Are we ready and willing to surrender it all, no matter the cost?


ruminations of a redhead said...

hey michelle! thanks for this wonderful word of truth. that sounds like an incredible book!

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