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What Defines You? – Sacrifice and Surrender?

XXL white flag

How will Jesus introduce you to the Father on your Judgment Day? I can imagine there might be three categories included: Service – Sacrifice – Surrender. Will he know you only by your many activities, or will he say, “Father, this is a man / a woman after your own heart?” Will he have to rely only on your resume, or will he say, “Well done good and faithful servant?” (Matthew 25:21 paraphrased)

Jesus talks a lot about what he will be emphasizing in your introduction. As a matter of fact he says it all really boils down to one thing: trust. That’s right, trust. He tells a story about a widow and an unjust judge, assuring us the Father is looking out for us. But then in a sudden twist he concludes, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith … trust … on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 “trust” added)

That’s it? Can it be that simple? Trust? Yes, the theology is that simple, but not the practice of it. It’s not activities, not service: trust. Of course your service will be a part of your introduction, but it will be on page two. The service that matters to your Father is service that comes from sacrifice and surrender. Front and center will be trust.

Will Jesus have a lot to say about your trust on that Day? Or will he have to stutter his way through, searching for examples? I hope he will be able to say something like, “Father, this is my dear friend. Let me tell you about all the times she trusted you, in big things and even little things. You better sit down Father, because this is going to take a while.”

Trust looks like sacrifice and surrender. When we sacrifice our way, our will, to His way and His will, we show we trust Jesus to lead us and guide us. When I am willing to surrender “my claim to my right to myself,” I show Jesus I trust he knows what is best for me. (Oswald Chambers)

We see a perfect example of non-surrender in Peter’s response to Jesus at Matthew 16. After Peter proclaimed, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Jesus starts to explain to the disciples that his way will mean his own sacrifice and surrender.

Peter, who believed in Jesus, but just didn’t believe what Jesus believed, cried out: “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to … me …uh, I mean you!” Jesus then turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You don’t know anything about true surrender.” (Matthew 16:16-23 paraphrased)

Do you find yourself struggling with surrender? If you are reading this it means you have a pulse, so yes, you do struggle with surrender. Surrender is the most challenging part of following Jesus, because we want to be in control. But it is what he will be looking for when he introduces you to your Creator.

Why? Because without surrender you are simply blocking your own way into the Kingdom. You are declaring, like Peter, “No, Lord, I cannot … I will not … give him/her/that up. I cannot … I will not … let that happen to me.”

If you think your introduction to the Father will be about your many activities, what is on your resume, think again. And please, do not miss this: There will be no resumes on your personal Judgment day. If on that day you reach for a resume, you’re already lost.

Think about the areas in your life you have refused to surrender. You know it’s holding you back. Decide today to release yourself from the bondage of that bad habit, or that stubborn issue of the heart, or perhaps a dream you think you must have to be happy.

Then your introduction to the Father will be a glorious family reunion, recounting all the stories of trust and surrender, and the joy of hearing your Father say, “Oh, no need for any introduction, Jesus. This is my son … my daughter. I can see the family resemblance. He/she looks a lot like you.”