All for You

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34 NIV1).

Debbie Akerman closes her book Secrets to Surrender with these words: "We each have only one life to offer Jesus our Lord and King. What will our final words be at the close of our life? Will they reflect a life surrendered completely to Jesus? Will our final words be of the joy of giving our all as a living sacrifice? Will they be an encouragement to others to serve the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind until Jesus returns? Will they reveal an all-for-You life?"

As our emphasis All for You draws to a close this month, I would ask you to consider these questions. Jesus instructed us in how to be His disciples. We must deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Him. Have we allowed these words to change us, to truly transform our lives? Has our passion for following Him grown such that we are willing to sacrifice our own desires, surrender our whole will, and serve Him wholeheartedly? Or, are we still attempting to control our own lives through self-sufficiency and self-determination?

This month, take some time to ask yourself these questions. Examine your life, and ask the Lord to examine your heart and your thoughts. Ask Him to reveal to you those areas that need to be brought further into submission to Him. As He raises your awareness, write down these thoughts. And, then, be courageous enough to pray over these areas, asking Him for strength to live a life fully devoted to sacrifice, surrender, and wholehearted service.

Pray: Dear Father, I desire to submit every area of my life to You; to live a life characterized by sacrifice, surrender, and service. Please search my heart and my thoughts. If there is a grievous way in me, please reveal that, Father, and give me the strength to deny myself, take up my cross and follow You. Help me to no longer live for myself, but in every area of my life to live for You, and You alone. Amen.

1Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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