Daily Devotional for Monday July 3, 2006
Surrendering to Christ and taking the Truth of God's Word to a Lost and Hurting Nation
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:48
Surrendering to Christ and taking the Truth of God's Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ to a lost and hurting nation! God's Word tells us that those who have been given much, much will be demanded from them. It goes on to say that those who have been entrusted with much will be asked to do more. For an entire decade, from the time I was 21 until I was 31, I took all that God had given me, all that He had blessed me with, and used it to build my kingdom and not His. I was not interested in anything but my own selfish desires and as long as I was happy, could really care less about anyone else. It was not "thy will be done," but MY will be done. God was there each moment, trying to talk to me, but I wasn't listening or interested in what He had to say.
Sadly, it took losing all of my earthly possessions and even my freedom for 31 months before I was broken enough, humbled enough to listen to God http://www.liveprayer.com/press/weeklyplanet.htm). I heard God say that your life is not your own, it belongs to me. He told me that He had much work for me to do, but I couldn't serve Him and serve myself at the same time. It only works if I was wholly, fully, and unconditionally surrendered to Him. God reminded me of our Lord's words found in Mark Chapter 8, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
It was 16 years ago this August 20th that I finally gave God the one and only thing He had ever asked of me. It is the one and only thing He has ever asked of you or anyone. That is our life, wholly, fully, and unconditionally surrendered to Him! God has a plan and purpose of one each of our lives. However, for that plan and purpose to unfold, we have got to be yielded to the Lord, allow Him to use our life in whatever way He desires. When our life belongs to Him, when it is ALL His, not 50% of it, not 75% of it, not even 90% of it, but ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of it, then God can do amazing things through us.
If someone would have told me on August 20, 1990 as I sat in that Federal prison cell finally surrendering my life to God that in the next 16 years He would have me preach His Word in over 500 churches around the nation to hundreds of thousands of people, that He would use me to create programming for Christian television stations all over the nation and world, that He would give me a vision to start an Internet site that would bring over 130,000 souls to Christ in less than 7 years, impact millions of lives worldwide every day through the Daily Devotional, respond to over 60 millions prayer requests and see millions of praise reports follow as a testimony of His grace and mercy, I would have told them they were crazy.
I would have really told them they were crazy if someone would have told me that in 2003 God would open the doors for me to do a "live" TV program for an hour every night on a major secular TV network in Tampa, the 12 television market in the nation, that after 28 months the TV program would expand to other major secular broadcast network affiliates throughout the entire state and Florida and attract a nightly viewing audience of over 1/4 million people (90% of the viewers bieng non-Christians), that through this program Biblical Truth would be brought to the marketplace, that thousands would come to know Jesus as their Savior, that millions would find hope and encouragement in their time of need, and that after the 40th month of being on the air, after doing 870 broadcasts, the TV program would move to a major secular network and be seen by the entire nation.
My friend, ONLY GOD could have done these things! I share these things with you today to encourage you that God is no respecter of persons. What God has done in my life, He will do in your life. We have all been called to do different things for the Lord, but the reality is, God wants to use YOUR LIFE in a huge way. The question for you today is will you let Him? Will you surrender to Him? I am not talking about that "one foot in, one foot out" type of surrender. I am talking about completely surrendering your life to Him, 100%!
Let me remind you that when you asked Jesus into your heart and life by faith, you gave Him your life. The Bible says that it is no longer your life, you were bought with a price and your life belongs to the Lord. Did you really mean it? Did you really give Him your life? Jesus gave His life so that your sins could be forgiven and you could be reconciled back to the God who created you and loves you so much. In return, He asks you to give your life to Him so that He can use you for His glory. Will you be like the Bill Keller who heard God's voice but ignored it because he was so wrapped up in what he wanted to do, or will you be like the Bill Keller who finally surrendered his life unconditionally to the Lord so that God could use that life for His plan and purpose?
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today. The choice you have to make is very simple. Hang on to your life and give God a few pieces along the way, or give it ALL to Him and let God pour Himself through you to bless many. The fact is, the things of this world that you hold on to will all be gone one day soon, it is only those things that you do for the Lord that will stand the test of eternity. There is no true peace or joy in the things of this world. However, there is peace that passes all human understanding and joy unspeakable when you give your life to the Lord and live for Him each day.
Since that night nearly 16 years ago I have been doing my best to faithfully serve God. I realize that He has blessed me with so much and that I am required to do much in return. The reality is I can do nothing myself, but with Him I can do ALL things. I have openly, honestly, and with transparency shared my walk of faith with you these past 82 months since Liveprayer was birthed. We have prayed together, we have seen God's hand over and over supply the needs, we have watched this outreach grow from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands to millions of people worldwide. We have rejoiced with the angels over each souls who came to know Christ by faith.
We learned how to walk in real faith as we started the television program 40 months ago, walk in a deeper level of faith last July as we expanded the program to the rest of Florida, and now we are on the ultimate journey of faith as we take His Truth and the hope and love of our Savoir to a lost and hurting nation tonight. At the end of each program I will be giving an invitation to those watching to ask Jesus into their hearts and lives by faith. As I share that invitation each night, the music of that great hymn "I Surrender All" will be playing. In closing today, let me leave you with those great words and I pray today that you will make this your prayer today.
All to Jesus, I surrender; All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.
All to Jesus I surrender; Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken; Take me, Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus, I surrender; Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine.
All to Jesus, I surrender; Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy love and power; Let Thy blessing fall on me.
Refrain I surrender (I surrender all), I surrender (I surrender all), All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.
Words by Jud?son W. Van De?Vent?er Music by Will Win?field S. Weed?en 1896