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Summary: In order to become a true Christ-follower, it takes a heart of surrender.

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The Choice Of Self Or Surrender

Luke 9:23

Introduction:

1. In order to become a true Christ-follower, it takes a heart of surrender.

2. Humanly speaking, this presents a problem because our nature wants its own way. This preoccupation with our own self-interest and self-desires has been true of our entire lives from even before we could talk.

3. This love for self is very natural, but at the same time, very destructive. It has been very popular in secular psychology to teach the concept of self-love. It teaches that you must love yourself more. The idea being, if I can somehow love myself more, everything else in my life will improve.

4. The Bible teaches just the opposite. It teaches that love for myself is the root of my problems, both inwardly and relationally. Love for myself causes me to focus on what pleases me, regardless of how it affects others. It causes me to focus on my past, my hurts, my fears, and my circumstances. Of course this is a recipe for self-destruction.

• Love for myself keeps me in a state of immaturity, spiritually and emotionally, and keeps me in bondage to my worries, fears, and fallacious thinking.

5. What did Jesus teach? If I truly want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, what choice do I need to make? According to Luke 9:23, it’s a choice to look away from ourselves toward Jesus Christ by completely and totally entrusting our lives into His hands.

6. It is not natural for our flesh to surrender our hearts, our will, our minds, and all of who we are to Christ. Yet, it is absolutely the key to growing into the man or woman of God that we are capable of becoming.

• Surrender is the key to overcoming our past. You must let go and learn to open up your hearts again to truly love.

• Surrender is the key to overcoming depression in order to have continual inner joy.

• Surrender is the key to overcoming worry and fear, by having a settled peace in your heart daily.

• Surrender is the key to overcoming anger and hostility in order to be patient with others.

• Surrender is the key to overcoming pride, arrogance, and abrasiveness, allowing you to become gentle and kind towards others in all your dealings.

• Surrender is the key to overcoming doubt, which allows you to grow in your faith.

• Surrender is the key to overcoming bad, destructive habits, allowing you to have control over fleshly appetites.

7. By the way, do you know what I just gave you? I gave you the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. This is what Christ wants to produce in your life.

8. Do you know what the next verse in Galatians says? “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24

9. The flesh is synonymous with a life of self-dependence. It is living a life independent of Christ, instead of surrendered to Christ.

10. Again, Galatians says, “ …they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh.” This is another way of saying that those who are given over to Christ have died to self (the flesh) and are now surrendered to Christ. Every believer must choose a life of surrender.

Surrender is a choice!

1. In our human minds, the word “surrender” may carry the idea of giving up, bondage, or oppression. But biblically speaking, nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible informs us that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.

2. Surrender to Christ means being released from the bondage of self to follow Christ and to live in liberty. John 8:36; Galatians 5:1

3. Christ never forces surrender to Himself. He holds open His arms and invites, but He doesn’t forcefully dominate, control, and subjugate people against their will.

4. Notice verse 23 – He said to them all, “IF any man will come after me… ”

• In college, I made a choice of my free will to go after Deniece Webster. What if she found out later that I had no choice and that her mother made me go after her? What if her mom threatened me and forcefully made me go after her, ultimately to marry her? How would Deniece feel?

• Lording over and dominating individuals is not the way of Christ. Matthew 11:28-29

5. Surrender is a choice that you are going to seek Jesus Christ above all else. It is a freedom that you have. Surrender does not mean submitting to a conqueror as an unwilling captive.

6. Surrender is turning our lives over completely to One who is superior, who loves us ever so deeply and who has our best in mind.

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