Saints Who Are Serious About Surrender

Title: Saints Who Are Serious About Surrender

Bible Book: Hebrews 12 : 9

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Surrender; Commitment; Dedication; Faithfulness



Surrender - it’s a word that can be defined in a lot of different ways. It can have both positive and negative connotations. For instance, when I was in Viet Nam, we didn’t like to hear the words overrun and surrender used in the same sentence. No one wanted to think about having to surrender to the enemy. The only time we wanted to hear the word surrender was when it referred to the Viet Cong.

Too often we tend to think of surrender merely in negative terms. However, this idea can be very positive and beneficial, as it relates to one’s relationship with the Lord. One of the definitions given in the dictionary for the word “surrender,” is “to give up possession of or power over; yield to another on demand or compulsion.”1 That is exactly what the child of God must do in every aspect of their life, if they wish to walk closely with the Lord.

The apostle Paul said, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor.6: 20). However, man’s fallen nature rejects the idea of surrender to God, even on the basis of possession rights. The sin nature is loath to give up its possession and control of man’s heart in any way. For this reason, Christians find it very difficult to make a full and unconditional surrender of their lives to God, fearing He will somehow deprive them of all they hold dear and precious. The truth is God only wants what is best for His children.

Today I want to speak of some areas of our lives that need to be surrendered to God. We need not fear to do so, for God is a faithful and loving heavenly Father.

I. Lord, I Give You My Family

A. To Be An Example Of Your Family

Like the Church, the family is characterized by its headship.

1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Note also Ephesians 5:22-23a, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23a For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church…” Then read Ephesians 6:1, “Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”

At the beginning of the 90’s, David Popenoe wrote an article entitled “A World Without Fathers.” He gave some rather depressing statistics:

In just three decades, from 1960-1990, the percentage of children living apart from their biological father has more than doubled, from 17% to 36%. It is now estimated that by the turn of the century, 50% of all American children may go to bed at night without being able to speak to their father.

So how are we doing? I am sad to say that I found at least one source, which confirmed David Popenoe’s prediction. In an article entitled “Fathering Fatherless America” Dr. Scott J. Larson  reports: One in two children now grow up without a father in the United States, and in our inner cities, only one in five children live with their father. A whole new mission field has developed in America: Fathering fatherless kids.

Perhaps the most relevant missionary challenge for our society was penned by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians: “Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father” (1 Corinthians 4:15, NIV). Paul knew that  these people didn’t need another teacher, their needs were much deeper; they needed a father. One can’t be a father to very many, but Paul knew that God was calling him to be a father to some people in Corinth.2

Every member of the family should recognize the ultimate authority of Christ in the home, but especially the man of the house. This is because dad is directly responsible to Christ for how he leads his family.

The wife is to willingly submit herself under the authority of her husband, in a spirit of cooperation. However, the husband’s authority is not to be viewed as dictatorship, but leadership.

The children are to submit themselves to the authority of their father and mother. Though much if not most of what the parents do will be for the benefit of their children, the children should not be permitted to run the home. This is not their place.

Like the Church, the family is characterized by its heart.

Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” Read Titus 2:3-4, “The aged women likewise, that they be…teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”

Children will learn what real love is all about not only by the love shown them by their parents, but by the love and respect demonstrated between their father and mother. Make no mistake about it parents; you teach many lessons to your children without speaking a word.

Zig Zigler has some rather interesting information concerning the family. The evidence is convincing that the better our relationships are at home, the more effective we are in our careers. If we’re having difficulty with a loved one, that difficulty will be translated into reduced performance on the job. In studying the millionaires in America (U. S. News and World Report), a picture of the “typical” millionaire is an individual who has worked eight to ten hours a day for thirty years and is still  married to his or her high school or college sweetheart.

A New York executive search firm, in a study of 1365 corporate vice presidents, discovered that 87% were still married to their one and only spouse and that 92% were raised in two-parent families. The evidence is overwhelming that the family is the strength and foundation of society. Strengthen your family ties and you’ll enhance your opportunity to succeed.3

Like the Church, the family is characterized by its honor.

Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

Ephesians 5:33b, “…and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

Ephesians 6:2, “Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;”

Notice that Peter says that married men should dwell with their wives “according to knowledge” (I Pet.3: 7a). That means that the wife, and “…the marriage relationship be seen in terms of consideration…”4 The husband is also to give “honor” to his wife. In other words, “…the husband respects his wife’s feelings, thinking, and desires.”5

Paul says that wives are to “reverence” their husbands. The basic thought behind that word is respect. The wife is to show respect for her husband. However, respect is not demanded, but commanded. In other words, one’s actions and disposition should be such that they are worthy of respect from others.

The word “honor,” in Eph.6: 2, which speaks of the children’s relationship with their parents, carries the same idea of respect mentioned previously with reference to the wife’s treatment of her husband.

According to a study of more than 500 family counselors, the following are the top traits of successful families:

Communicating and listening;
Affirming and supporting family members;
Respecting one another;
Developing a sense of trust;
Sharing time and responsibility;
Knowing right from wrong;
Having rituals and traditions;
Sharing a religious core;
Respecting privacy.6

Every member of one’s family is due respect, especially the elderly. Once there was a little old man. His eyes blinked and his hands trembled; when he ate he clattered the silverware distressingly, missed his mouth with the spoon as often as not, and dribbled a bit of his food on the tablecloth.

Now he lived with his married son, having nowhere else to live, and his son’s wife didn’t like the arrangement.

“I can’t have this,” she said. “It interferes with my right to happiness.” So she and her husband took the old man gently but firmly by the arm and led him to the corner of the kitchen. There they set him on a stool and gave him his food in an earthenware bowl. From then on he always ate in the corner, blinking at the table with wistful eyes.

One day his hands trembled rather more than usual, and the earthenware bowl fell and broke.

“If you are a pig,” said the daughter-in-law, “you must eat out of a trough.” So they made him a little wooden trough and he got his meals in that. These people had a four-year-old son of whom they were very fond. One evening the young man noticed his boy playing intently with some bits of wood and asked what he was doing.

“I’m making a trough,” he said, smiling up for approval, “to feed you and Mamma out of when I get big.”

The man and his wife looked at each other for a while and didn’t say anything. Then they cried a little.

They then went to the corner and took the old man by the arm and led him back to the table. They sat him in a comfortable chair and gave him his food on a plate, and from then on nobody ever scolded when he clattered or spilled or broke things. One of Grimm’s fairy tales, this anecdote has the crudity of the old, simple days.7

B. To Do With As You See Fit

Would you be willing to pray, “Lord, make our home Your own.”

Samuel 6:11, “And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household.”

The ark was viewed as representative of the very presence of God by the Israelites. Because of Israel’s sin, the Philistines captured the ark during a battle in which Israel suffered terrible losses. However, due to the plagues that afflicted the Philistines, they sent it back to Israel on a cart, pulled by two oxen. The ark was left with Obed-edom until King David could make arrangements to transport the ark back to Jerusalem safely. Can you imagine how things must have changed around Obed-edom’s home when God moved in?

I wonder how many things would have to change around our homes if the Lord Jesus were to come for a visit? Would some books have to be thrown out, or some TV programs avoided?

Would you be willing to pray, “Lord, my wife and I give You our family as an offering?” Parents need to present themselves to the Lord.

Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Parents need to present their children to the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:11, “And she (Hanna) vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”

Many times parents have less trouble giving themselves to the Lord than giving their children to Him. They fear that God is going to send them off to some foreign field as a missionary or something. The fact is your children are always safe in the hands of God, no matter where He might call them.

II. Lord, I Give You My Finances

I don’t remember where I read this statement, but I found it extremely accurate: “Credit is what keeps you from knowing how far past broke you are.”8 The following adds validity to this statement:


Personal debt in the U. S. increased at the rate of $1000 per second and consumer installment debt has mushroomed to a point where it takes approximately $1 out of every $4 that consumers earn after taxes to keep up the payments—not including the home mortgage. For over 250,000 Americans, the burden of debt is so great that he/she declares bankruptcy. There are even more serious consequences of this financial tension created by debt: 56% of all divorces are a result of financial tension in the home.9

A. So That They Don’t Steal My Heart

The child of God can serve but one master.

Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or

else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Man’s worth must not be measured by his abilities or money.

Luke 12:15, “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

Often society tends to place a lesser value on the infirmed or handicapped. But the fact is that one’s abilities, or the lack thereof, do not determine their worth as a human being.

Now I’m a Real Boy

The greatest obstacle to being handicapped — or challenged, or disabled or whatever label we may be using this year — is not the condition but the stigma society still associates with it. The truth is we are valuable because of who we are, not because of how we look or what we accomplish. And that applies to all of us, the disabled and the temporarily able-bodied alike.

I’m convinced God didn’t turn His back at the moment of Jeff’s conception. He is still the God of miracles, but in this instance, the one who received healing was me. Our Lord is still in the business of changing lives, but not always in the ways we expect.

Several years ago, Jeff played in a special Little League for kids with disabilities. After many seasons of watching from the bleachers and rooting while his big brother played ball, Jeff’s opportunity finally arrived. When he received his uniform, he couldn’t wait to get home to put it on. When he raced out from his bedroom, fully suited up, he announced to me, “Mom, now I’m a real boy!” Though his  words pushed my heart to my throat, I assured him he had always been a “real boy.”10

Man’s love for money will turn his live into a mess.

1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Money is not synonymous with happiness, as the following story points out: Learned How To Make Money, But Not Live.

In 1928 a group of the world’s most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. The following were present: The president of the largest utility company, the greatest wheat speculator, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, a member of the President’s Cabinet, the greatest “bear” in Wall Street, the president of the Bank of International Settlements, the head of the world’s greatest monopoly. Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the

U.S. Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples.

Twenty-five years later, this is what had happened to these men. The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent. The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison. The member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home. The greatest “bear” in Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide. The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide. The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide. All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live.11

Man’s reliance should be on his Lord and Master.

Jeremiah 9:23-24, “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”

1 Timothy 6:17, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”

B. So That They Can Be Used To Help

Our tithes and offerings help support the church’s ministry.

Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

Our giving helps support the work of our missionaries.

Philippians 4:14-17, “Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”

Our giving will help to see that the needs of needy saints are met.

I John 3:17, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”

III. Lord, I Give You My Future

A. Knowing That Life Is Uncertain

Proverbs 27:1, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

James 4:13-14, “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

There are many things in life that we cannot know with certainty. But God can be trusted with them all. “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”12

B. Knowing That You Are Unchanging

Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

C. Knowing That You Are Unmovable

Romans 8:3-39, “ shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are  more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Hebrews 13:5c, “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”


1. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, and David B. Guralnik, Editor in Chief Emeritus, Webster’s New World Dictionary Of American English: copyright 1988 by Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, NY; pg. 1348.
2. Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999.
3. Zig Zigler in Homemade, March 1989.

4. Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 1449.
5. Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Hopeful: Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 75.
6. Focus on the Family Bulletin, December 1988.
7. Traditional. Acquired from
8. Source unknown.
9. Howard Dayton, in Homemade, June 1986.
10. Carlene Mattson, Focus on the Family, April 1993, p. 13.
11. Source unknown. Acquired from
12. Corrie Ten Boom.

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