Summary: You can’t commit unless you surrender
A little over 9 years ago, I met Amanda. Her friends set us up. We were talking about when we first met, there was a swing in front of my dorm on the campus of Ozark Christian College. She said that she sat right in the middle so that she could tell if I liked her or not. I asked her to go bowling – and we’ve been throwing strikes ever since. We decided to get married – I asked her on the same porch to spend the rest of her life with me. Our wedding date was actually scheduled around the Mo-Ark Camp schedule. At that point we were committed to each other – but we hadn’t surrendered to each other. Our wedding date came – August 5th 1995. I was standing with my best man and Duane, Duane opens his wallet – seconds before I am to meet my beautiful bride and shows me $100 dollars. He asks me if I would rather have $100 or Amanda. If you have been in the Paragould Church – there is a door that exits their fellowship hall – and the $ was so that I would walk out. At that point we were committed to each other but we had not surrendered to each other. My choice that Saturday morning is clear – we got married. We stood in front of the church, family and more importantly – God and Surrendered our lives to each other.
What does surrender mean? Issac Watts wrote a song that is in our song book – the last part of the song goes something like this – “Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
Let me read you something from our nation’s history that speaks of Surrender.
Fifty-six men signed the United States Declaration of Independence.
five were captured by the British and tortured and killed.
Twelve others had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons as they fought in the Revolutionary Army.
Another had two of his sons captured.
Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the war.
One, Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty.
At the battle of Yorktown, British General Cornwallis took over Thomas Nelson’s home for his headquarters. Nelson quietly asked General George Washington to open fire on his home. It was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying, leaving their thirteen children to flee for their lives. His fields and mill were destroyed. For over a year, he lived in forest and caves, returning home only to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion.
If you have your Bibles with you this morning turn to Romans 12:1-2 (read) (advance)
Our text this morning calls us to place ourselves before God. There is no better place on earth than before the throne of God. (advance)You can’t commit to God until you surrender everything to him. Paul says first – (advance)
I. Present Yourself (1)
a. Give yourself to God
b. Because of his mercies
The NIV says (singular) the Greek speaks of more than one. “In view of God’s mercies” Paul desire is that the Romans remember the example of Daniel – who praised God after seeing his mercies. The example of David who cried out to God for mercy and then praised God because of them. (advance)
Psalm 25:6 – Remember, O LORD , your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
Someone said this: “Our Christianity is not based on pride in what we can do, but entirely on God’s mercy to forgive us.”
i. God is rich in mercy
1. We are alive in Christ – because of his mercy (advance)
Ephesians 2:4-5 – But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.
2. Through Physical acts –
a. Provisions for you
i. Your Home – Comes from God
ii. Your transportation – Comes from God
iii. Clothes on your back – come from God
iv. The shoes on your feet – come from God
v. The watch on your arm – comes from God.
God provides for you to show you his mercy. God’s mercy provides something else, and while the physical things are important – you can’t take them with you --
3. God’s mercy comes through Forgiveness (advance)
Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.