Summary: In the loss of a loved one we need to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and let Him surround us with His love.
When we were little kids we would play army. We would come upon the “enemy” and yell, “Your surrounded – surrender or else!”
God has a plan to surround you and will tell you to surrender or else.
We need to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ or live in the life we chose without His presence, provisions, and peace.
Jesus says “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matt. 16:24
At a time when we have lost a loved one, surrender to the Lordship of Jesus is the wisest choice.
HOW DO WE ACCOMPLISH THIS?
I. THROW OFF
A. A runner would train with weights strapped to their legs and arms and even sometimes to their bodies.
To run the race successfully you must rid yourself of these weights.
B. What weights do you carry today?
1. Burdens carried for the right cause are for strength.
Concern for others.
Concern for family.
Concern for the church.
2. Burdens given by Satan, or even yourself and others, will weigh us down.
Illus: Bruce Larson tells the story: For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand under this burden. “Now that’s one way to live,” I would point out to my companion, “trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.” On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. My point was illustrated graphically. We have the choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, “I give up Lord: here’s my life. I give you my world, the whole world.
C. “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
D. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; Phil 4:6
II. RUN ON
A. We must have the perseverance to make it through the tough times.
Hang in there when you want to quit.
B. Every promise made to the churches in Rev. 2 & 3 are “to him who overcomes”.
Not to the one who starts well or even the one who peaks and then coasts through life. The promise goes to the one who overcomes!
Illus: Wilma didn’t get much of a head start in life. A bout with polio left her left leg crooked and her foot twisted inward so she had to wear leg braces. After seven years of painful therapy, she could walk without her braces. At age 12 Wilma tried out for a girls basketball team, but didn’t make it. Determined, she practiced with a girlfriend and two boys every day. The next year she made the team. When a college track coach saw her during a game, he talked her into letting him train her as a runner. By age 14 she had outrun the fastest sprinters in the U.S. In 1956 Wilma made the U.S. Olympic team, but showed poorly. That bitter disappointment motivated her to work harder for the 1960 Olympics in Rome--and there Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals, the most a woman had ever won.
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan, 1992, p.10.
C. Our witnesses are cheering us on. They say, “I’ve made it. So can you.”
III. LOOK UP
A. The runner must focus on the finish line!
Have you seen a runner look over his shoulder – lose stride – and then lose the race?
B. Illus: Arnold Palmer
Golf immortal Arnold Palmer recalls a lesson about overconfidence: It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, “Congratulations.” I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus.
On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trop, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don’t forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven’t in the 30 years since.