The Cost of Surrender March 21-25

The rich young man, wanting to know how to inherit eternal life, was given an answer that he could not accept. While giving up all material possessions is not normative for every person, full surrender is expected of every person. We want surrender on our own terms, but that is not how it works. There has never been a harder time for the church to hear these verses, as we have more material things than we have ever had. Regardless of our financial situation, our riches can get in the way. Jesus wants to be Lord of every area of your life. There’s no such thing as a part-time Lord. Ask Jesus what needs to be surrendered in your life. The answer will be different for each of us, and what you gain in return is worth way more than what it costs you.

Day 1     Matthew 19:16-30

Reflect:  Based on his questions to Jesus, for what was this man looking? Why did Jesus choose these commandments (verses 18,19)? How would you summarize Jesus’ teaching?

Apply:   If you asked, what would Jesus say you need to surrender (verse 21)? In verse 27, Peter is essentially asking, “Is it worth it?” How do you feel about Jesus’ response?

Pray:     Lord, I offer those things in my life that keep me from fully surrendering my heart to You.  Empower me to put these things aside and to enjoy the grace and salvation You have so richly poured out on me.

Day 2      John 12:23-26

Reflect:  In what terms does Jesus speak of His glory? How is this different from culture’s view of glory? How does this text speak to surrender? To servanthood? To the cost of discipleship?

Apply:    What happens when you die to self and surrender your life to Christ? When you don’t? How do these and other promises of Jesus help you follow Him?

Pray:       Father, forgive me for wanting my discipleship and ministry to be done my way. I want to die  to my will and have Your will come to life in me to the glory of Your submissive and triumphant Son, Jesus.

Day 3   Luke 14:26-33

Reflect:  Why do you think many people are initially attracted to Jesus? Why is counting the cost          so important in following Christ? What are the key points of His two cost analogies?

Apply:   What troubles you most about the cost of surrendering to Jesus? Consider what cost would      cause you to turn away from Him. Is anything He asks too much? Why or why not?

Pray:      Lord, I want to be Your disciple, to take up my own cross daily and follow You in humble        obedience. I pray that I willingly submit to Your will in every area of my life.

Day 4       Acts 20:22-25 

Reflect:   How would you describe Paul’s commitment to Jesus? What did it cost Paul to follow Christ? How did Paul’s singular focus in ministry affect those around him?

Apply:     Currently, compared to Paul, how committed are you to Jesus?  Ask the Holy Spirit to change not only your behavior, but also your heart, and to grow your trust and faith in God.

Pray:      God, what is your mission for me today? Use me, inspire me, and empower me to testify to others about the good news of Jesus’ love and grace.

Day 5      Philippians 3:1–8      

Reflect:  What does it mean to put confidence in the flesh? For Paul, what is the most valuable thing in life? What does he mean by that?

Apply:   What things have become worthless to you since you began your walk with Jesus? What         will it take for you to be able to say “everything”? How well do you know Christ?

Pray:       Father, help my desire to know Christ continue to grow and expand until, like Paul, I am          able to gladly suffer the loss of those things that I value and hold dear in life in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.

Put It Into Practice

With regard to any “surrendered” areas you have identified, reflect on the effects of being enslaved to these areas so you can see more clearly the cost of your lack of surrender. Ask Jesus for the courage to trust Him with these things.