As someone who struggled to stay awake in church as a teenager, I probably missed several messages that God wanted me to hear. Then again, as Jesus often said to his followers, “let them who have ears hear,” Mark 4:9. It’s one thing to hear what a teacher says in class. Yet, to apply this advice by putting it into practice takes a combination of conviction, inspiration and motivation. This is the spiritual place that Clay Crosse reached when writing I Surrender All.
Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. 11 The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed, Romans 10:9-11.
My initial belief in God was based upon going to church and doing good deeds. This was reinforced within me during my confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church. Unfortunately, I wasn’t introduced to a personal relationship with God until high school through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. When I accepted Jesus into my heart as my Savior in December of 1984, I was still in control. I had to wait until a retreat in college where the Lordship of Christ was emphasized. Like today’s song, this is when l I was finally willing to surrender everything in my life to Jesus. A new year, 2023, provides an opportunity to do likewise.
by Jay Mankus